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God of our fathers, whose almighty hand

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand. Daniel Crane Roberts* (1841-1907). Written in 1876 to mark the centenary of the US Declaration of Independence, this is a hymn that celebrates responsible freedom, and prays for blessing on a nation. It was written when Roberts was rector of St Thomas's, Brandon, Vermont, and first sung there (to RUSSIAN HYMN). It was included in the American Episcopal Church's Hymnal Revised and Enlarged (1892), and in the same year it was widely used to commemorate...

God of our fathers, known of old

God of our fathers, known of old. Rudyard Kipling* (1865-1936). This poem was written for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, and printed in The Times on 17 July. It was included in Kipling's collection, The Five Nations (1903), with the title 'Recessional'. It was a commentary and a warning about the British Empire: to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee contingents from all over the world had come to pay homage to the Queen and Empress. There was a huge procession in London, and a...

We come unto our fathers' God

We come unto our fathers' God. Thomas Hornblower Gill* (1819-1906). Written in 1868, according to Gill 'just in time to be a link' in his collection The Golden Chain of Praise (1869), this hymn 'was intended to set forth the continuity and unity of God's people in all ages'. Its composition took place on 22 November 1868, which Gill noted was St Cecilia's Day. It was, he said, 'almost the most delightful day of my life. Its production employed the whole day and was a prolonged rapture'...

O God of Bethel, by whose hand

O God of Bethel, by whose hand. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). First published in the Church of Scotland's Translations and Paraphrases of Several Passages of Sacred Scripture (1745), and then as no. 4 in Hymns founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (1755), edited by Job Orton, where it began 'O God of Jacob, by whose Hand/ Thine Israel still is fed'. It was entitled 'Jacob's Vow: from Genesis 28: 20-22'. The alternative opening phrase, 'O God of Bethel' was written by Doddridge in...

O God, by whose almighty plan

O God, by whose almighty plan. Howard Charles Adie Gaunt* (1902-1983). This hymn was written for a special service in Winchester Cathedral, when Gaunt was serving as precentor there. The Companion to RS suggests it is more appropriately 'a prayer for healers and carers rather than for those who need healing' and therefore could be used in 'healing' services (p. 785). It was first published in 100HfT (1969), and is found, with slight alterations, in HP and RS. JRW

O God, whose all-sustaining hand

O God, whose all-sustaining hand. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). Written partly in Swansea and partly at his home at Ford near Salisbury, this was a response to a request for a hymn for a civic occasion. In 1996 Peter Thistlethwayte was to become High Sheriff of the county of Essex, and in January the author, by then retired to Ford, was asked to provide one which could be sung at the annual 'Justice Service' in Chelmsford Cathedral. This was regularly attended by one or more of the High Court...

Lord God of Hosts, whose mighty hand

Lord God of Hosts, whose mighty hand. John Oxenham* (1852-1941). Written in 1914, and published in 'All's Well!' some helpful verse for these dark days of war (1915), one of Oxenham's books of patriotic and morale-raising verse during the first World War, 1914-1918. It was entitled 'For the men at the front'. It had six 6-line stanzas, of which four were normally printed. These were: Lord God of Hosts, whose mighty handDominion holds on sea and land,In Peace and War Thy Will we seeShaping...

O God of our fathers, we praise and adore thee

O God of our fathers, we praise and adore thee. Edward Hughes Pruden* (1903-1987). Written for the First Baptist Church, Washington DC, to mark the 150th anniversary of the church, founded in 1802. It was almost certainly written to fit the tune KREMSER (see 'We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing'*). It was used in a young people's hymnal, When Youth Sing (Anderson, Indiana, 1961) and in Baptist hymnals, including the Primitive (Old School) Baptist Hymns of Grace (1968). It was in the...

O Lord our God, Thy mighty hand

O Lord our God, Thy mighty hand. Henry van Dyke* (1852-1933).  This stirring piece of pride and hope in the nation was written at some time before 1912, when (according to Hymnary.org.) it was published in Songs of the Christian Life. It was characteristic of van Dyke's work in the skill of its versification, and the ability to convey exactly what the author was trying to celebrate, from the beauty of the American landscape (a favourite theme for van Dyke) to the hope of a better society. It...

Thou, whose almighty word

Thou, whose almighty word. John Marriott* (1780-1825). Marriott's hymns were not published during his lifetime. This appeared shortly after his death in the Evangelical Magazine (June 1825) as part of a record of a meeting of the London Missionary Society on 12 May, when it had been quoted by the Revd Thomas Mortimer, Lecturer of St Olave's, Southwark. It then appeared in The Friendly Visitor (July 1825). It had no author's name. It was entitled 'Missionary Hymn'. According to one of...

Daniel Crane Roberts

ROBERTS, Daniel Crane. b. Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York, 5 November 1841; d. Concord, New Hampshire, 31 October 1907. He was educated at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. During the Civil War he served as a private in the 84th Ohio volunteers. Immediately after the war he was ordained into the Episcopal Church of America (deacon 1865, priest 1866). He served in parishes at Montpelier, Vermont; Lowell, Massachusetts; Brandon, Vermont; in 1878 he was appointed to St Paul's, Concord, New...

The hand of God

The hand of God. F.M. Hamilton* (1858-1912). From Songs of Love and Mercy:Adapted to the Use of Sunday Schools, Epworth Leagues, Revivals, Prayer Meetings, and Special Occasions (Jackson, Tennessee, 1904). This Common Meter Double hymn expresses trust in God's providence for this life and the next. Although this hymn and the preceding ones are characteristic of the hymnody of that time, they take on added depth coming from the pen of a once enslaved writer who has held on to hope in God amid...

Faith of our fathers! living still

Faith of our fathers! living still. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). Published in Jesus and Mary: or, Catholic Hymns for Singing and Reading (1849), and later reissued in Faber's Oratory Hymns (1854). It was conceived as part of a project to provide Roman Catholics with accessible vernacular hymns, at a time when selections from Bishop Richard Challoner's Garden of the Soul (1740) were still the staple of non-liturgical musical expression. In its original form, it spoke to Catholics of...

O Father, whose creating hand

O Father, whose creating hand.  Donald Hughes* (1911-1967). This harvest hymn was not published in the author's lifetime. It was found among his papers following his accidental death in 1967, and published in the Methodist supplement to MHB, Hymns and Songs (1969). It must have been admired by John Whitridge Wilson*, who played a large part in the committee for that book, and who, with Erik Routley* as co-editor, printed it in Hymns for Celebration (Croydon: RSCM, 1974). It was included...

Praise to God, Almighty Maker

Praise to God, Almighty Maker. William Robinson* (1888-1963). First printed without the author's name (perhaps because Robinson was one of the editors) in The Christian Hymnary for use of Churches of Christ (revised edition, 1938). A hymn for Baptism, it is found in Baptist books (BHB, BPW), HP; and also in RS. HP omits stanzas 7 and 8: Praise to Father, Son and Spirit, Sacred Name of holy love; Here, baptized, the Church we enter, Realm on earth of heaven above. Praise to God,...

Almighty Father, hear our cry

Almighty Father, hear our cry.  Edward Henry Bickersteth* (1825-1906). Written in 1869, this was first published in Bickersteth's Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer* (1870). It was then printed in the Second Edition of A&M (1875) in the section 'For Those at Sea'. It was retained in A&M (1904), and in the Standard Edition of 1922, but dropped from A&MR.  It is a four-verse hymn, which begins  Almighty Father, hear our cry,  As o'er the trackless deep we roam;Be Thou...

I believe in God Almighty

I believe in God Almighty. Sylvia Dunstan* (1955-1993). This is a metrical version of the Apostles' Creed about which, in her own words, Sylvia Dunstan says, 'Although the United Church of Canada has a denominational statement of faith which is commonly used in worship, the national worship committee has been committed to fostering the use of the great ecumenical creeds. Encouraged (and nagged) by Fred McNally, I worked out this metrical version, which has not had the desired effect on United...

O Thou whose hand hath brought us

O Thou whose hand hath brought us. Frederic William Goadby* (1845-1879). Written for the opening of a chapel at Beechen Grove, Watford, during Goadby's tragically short time as a minister at Watford. It had five 8-line stanzas, and is a fine hymn for the opening of a place of worship. It was printed in the Baptist Hymnal (1879), in the year of Goadby's death at the age of 34. It remained in use in Baptist books up to and including BHB, and was also valued by Wesleyan Methodists, who used it in...

Almighty God, Thy word is cast

Almighty God, Thy word is cast. John Cawood* (1775-1852). Written in 1816, and first published in Thomas Cotterill*'s suppressed Eighth Edition of his Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1819), in five stanzas. It was entitled 'After a Sermon'. It was based on Mark 4: 3-9. It was printed in James Montgomery*'s Christian Psalmist (Glasgow, 1825), and other books, including Godfrey Thring*'s A Church of England Hymn Book (1880), and became widely known. There are two texts of this...

I sing the almighty power of God

I sing the almighty power of God. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). With the title 'Praise for Creation and Providence', this was the second text in Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children (1715). It had eight stanzas. Stanza 7 is normally omitted from modern hymnbooks: In Heaven he shines with Beams of Love, With Wrath in Hell beneath: 'Tis on his Earth I stand or move, And 'tis his Air I breath [for 'breathe']. Other books shorten the hymn further by omitting the...

Our Father, by whose servants

Our Father, by whose servants. George Wallace Briggs* (1875-1959). This hymn was written for Loughborough Grammar School in 1920, when Briggs was Rector of Loughborough and took a keen interest in the school. It appears in Prayers and Hymns for use in Schools (1928) with an attribution 'Loughborough School Hymn'. In the same year it was printed in The American Student Hymnal and it has continued to have a vigorous life in the United States, being found in H40 and (without the final stanza) in...

Our Father, by whose name

Our Father, by whose name. F. Bland Tucker* (1895-1984). Written in 1939 on the theme of the Christian home, and published in H40: it was written in a different metre (66.66.88.) for the Report of the Joint Commission on the Revision of the Hymnal, but modified to fit the tune RHOSYMEDRE, also called LOVELY (66.66.888). It then appeared in the Irish ICH4  (1960) and the Scottish CH3 (1973). It was included in MHfT (with the title 'The family') and thus in A&MNS. In the USA it is found in...

Our Father, whose creative love

Our Father, whose creative love. Albert Frederick Bayly* (1901-1984). This unassuming hymn for infant baptism was written in February 1966 and published in the author's Again I Say Rejoice (1967) with the title 'For Young Parents'. It was then published in the Methodist Hymns and Songs (1969), followed by HP and the Unitarian HFF (1991). Valerie Ruddle

God of the living, in whose eyes

God of the living, in whose eyes. John Ellerton* (1826-1893).  This was written for Ellerton's Hymns for Schools and Bible Classes (Brighton, 1859). The Hymnal 1940 Companion (p. 155) notes that it began  God of the living, to whose eyeAll worlds thou madest open lie… and that it was rewritten and expanded on 6 July 1867.   It was published in its revised form in Church Hymns (1871; Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874), of which Ellerton was one of the editors. It was in the 'Burial' section,...

Great God, we sing that mighty hand

Great God, we sing that mighty hand. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). Published posthumously as no. 257 in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (Salop, 1755), edited by Job Orton, under the heading 'Help obtained of GOD'. It is based on Acts 26: 22. Like several of Doddridge's hymns, it bears a sub-title: 'For New-Year's-Day'. It conveys thanksgiving for past blessings and quiet trust in a covenant God who will provide for the future, and ends with confident hope in a happy...

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826). This is the best known of Heber's hymns, written for Trinity Sunday. It was first published in A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for the Parish Church of Banbury (Third Edition, 1826) and subsequently in Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), published after his death.  It is a reverent and faithful paraphrase of Revelation 4: 8-11 and John's vision of the unceasing worship in heaven. As such,...

When God almighty came to be one of us

When God almighty came to be one of us. Michael Edward Hewlett* (1916-2000). Originally entitled 'Song and Dance', this hymn first appeared in Faith, Folk and Festivity (1969): it later appeared in other collections such as Praise for Today (1974) and WOV. The author described it as 'a divine and affectionate joke at the expense of man, and especially man in authority' (Songs of the People of God, 1982, p. 100), the joke being that so many seemingly insignificant and mundane occupations and...

Thy hand, O God, has guided

Thy hand, O God, has guided. Edward Hayes Plumptre* (1821-1891). This hymn on church unity was first published in the Supplement (1889) to the Second Edition of A&M. It has since been included in over fifty hymnbooks. In the original text it had six verses, but one or two verses are often omitted, most frequently verse 3: When shadows thick were falling, And all seemed sunk in night, Thou, Lord, didst send thy servants, Thy chosen sons of light. On them and on thy people Thy...

Thanks to God, whose word was spoken

Thanks to God, whose word was spoken. Reginald Thomas Brooks* (1918-1985). Written in 1954 for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the British and Foreign Bible Society. It refers to this especially in stanzas 3 and 4, which celebrate the revelation of the Bible (stanza 3) and its translation into many languages (stanza 4). It is possible that Brooks chose the metre (the metre of 'Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah'*) in recollection that the BFBS was originally founded to provide Bibles for...

Glory to God, whose Spirit draws

Glory to God, whose Spirit draws. Baptist Wriothesley Noel* (1799-1873). First published in Noel's A Selection of Psalms and Hymns adapted chiefly for Congregational and Social Worship. This collection was first published in 1832; in 1853, after Noel's move from the Church of England to the Baptist Church in 1848, it was republished in an enlarged edition, containing an Appendix of 39 'Hymns to be Used at the Baptism of Believers', of which this was one. It had four stanzas: Glory to God,...

Lamb of God, whose dying love

Lamb of God, whose dying love. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745), section 1, 'As it is a Memorial of the Sufferings and Death of Christ'. The first line was 'Lamb of God, whose Bleeding Love', a line that was altered in William John Hall* and Edward Osler*'s Psalms and Hymns adapted to the Services of the Church of England (1836) ('The Mitre Hymn Book'*), and which was subsequently adopted by most books. It had four stanzas, with the last two lines of each...

Eternal God, whose power upholds

Eternal God, whose power upholds. Henry Hallam Tweedy* (1868-1953). Written when Tweedy was a professor at Yale Divinity School, this hymn won a prize for a missionary hymn from the Hymn Society of America in 1928. It is a strong but undogmatic hymn, praying to God 'to Whom there is no here nor there,/ No time, no near nor far'. It was included in many American and Canadian books until recent times, when it fell out of favour in spite of its avoidance of the imperious tone of some other mission...

God, whose city's sure foundation

God, whose city's sure foundation. Cyril Argentine Alington* (1872-1955). Written for the commemoration of the saints, martyrs and doctors of the Church of England assigned to 8 November in the calendar of the 1928 Church of England Prayer Book. It was printed in Alington's verse collection, In Shabby Streets (Eton, 1942), with the suggestion that it should be sung to OBIIT by Walter Parratt* (it is also sung to WESTMINSTER ABBEY by Henry Purcell*). The opening image of the city of God on its...

Thanks be to God, whose Church on earth

Thanks be to God, whose Church on earth. (Thomas) Caryl Micklem* (1925-2003). Written for a service (18 July 1977) to mark the founding of the Council for World Mission, an amalgamation of the London Missionary Society, the Commonwealth Missionary Society, and the English Presbyterian Mission. Until 1977 the Societies had acted as agents, sending missionaries out to countries that were perceived to need them. In 1977, the constitution was revised so that there were no longer 'senders' and...

God, whose giving knows no ending

God, whose giving knows no ending. Robert L. Edwards* (1915- 2006). The Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship (1981) quotes Edwards as saying that this hymn was written at his family's summer cottage at Randolph, New Hampshire, in August 1961. It was submitted to a Hymn Society commission for new hymns on the theme of stewardship, and was one of those chosen to be published by the society in Ten New Stewardship Hymns (Springfield, Ohio, 1961). Edwards said that he had been listening...

God, whose farm is all creation

God, whose farm is all creation. John Arlott* (1914-1991). Written in 1950 at the request of the compilers of BBCHB (1951) and published in that book, together with two other hymns by Arlott (who at that time was working for the BBC). It was taken up by hymnbooks and supplements of the 1960s and 1970s such as New Church Praise and 100HfT, and thus it came into A&MNS, A&MCP, and A&MRW. In the original version the last line of stanza 1 was 'Crops we grow that men may live.' It is a...

George William Warren

WARREN George William. b. Albany, New York State, 17 August 1828; d. New York City, 17 March 1902. Warren was educated at Racine College, Wisconsin, and was primarily self-taught as a musician. He served Episcopal parishes in Albany, New York (1846-1860), Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, New York (1860-1870), and St Thomas Church, New York City (1870-1900). Warren composed service music, anthems, and hymns. His sacred music was published by William A. Pond, Union Square, New York, and by 1888...

It is God who holds the nations in the hollow of his hand

It is God who holds the nations in the hollow of his hand. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). This hymn, commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral, became a hymn for the official order of service for the celebration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977, sung in churches throughout the UK and the Commonwealth. The original lines 1 and 2 of stanza 3 were: When a thankful nation, looking back, unites to celebrate Those who reign in our affection by their service to the state; The...

O God in heaven, whose loving plan

O God in heaven, whose loving plan. Hugh Martin* (1890-1964). First published in a booklet by the Hymn Society of America entitled Thirteen New Marriage and Family Life Hymns (1961). Surprisingly (for Martin was an eminent Baptist), this hymn has not been used in Baptist books. It was included in 100HfT and thus in A&MNS, and it has remained in A&MCP. It is also found in HP, without verse 4, which contains a heavy hint about sharing the chores: O Father, in our homes preside,   Their...

God named Love, whose fount Thou art

God named Love, whose fount Thou art. Elizabeth Barrett Browning* (1806-1861).  From The Seraphim, and other poems (1838). This book, besides containing 'The Sleep' (see 'Of all the thoughts of God, that are'* and 'What would we give to our beloved'*), has a sequence of four hymns. The present text is 'Hymn I', entitled 'A Supplication for Love'. It had nine 4-line stanzas, with an unusual accent in line 1 ('namèd') to make up the eight syllables:  God, namèd Love, whose fount Thou art,  Thy...

O God, whose will is life and good

O God, whose will is life and good. Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley* (1851-1920) and the Compilers of BBCHB. This is a version of Rawnsley's 'Father, whose will is life and good'* in four stanzas made for BBCHB (1951), and described as being by Rawnsley 'and Compilers': O God, whose will is life and good  For all of mortal breath,Unite in bonds of brotherhood  All those who fight with death. Make strong their hands and hearts and wills  To drive disease afar,To battle with the body's ills,  And...

Eternal God, before whose face we stand

Eternal God, before whose face we stand. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). Responding to a request from Canon Charles Stewart, then precentor of Winchester Cathedral, for a new Remembrance Sunday hymn, the author wrote this at Ford, near Salisbury, in January 1999. This occasion is not the easiest for which to choose hymns that do justice to a variety of emotions and contrasting attitudes to war and peace, but the text reflects the desire to unite mixed congregations gathering at these...

O God of Truth, whose living Word

O God of Truth, whose living Word. Thomas Hughes* (1822-1896).  This hymn was written for a collection edited by G. Stevenson de M. Rutherford entitled Lays of the Sanctuary, and other poems (1861) The editor is referred to in JJ, p. 541 , as 'the Hon. Mrs. Norton'. The Preface makes it clear that this was a book published to help a poor widow, Elizabeth Good. The death of her husband left her 'in easy circumstances', but she was the victim of fraud by which she lost her money and was 'reduced...

A mighty fortress is our God

A mighty fortress is our God.  Martin Luther* (1483-1546), translated by Frederic Henry Hedge* (1805-1890). This translation of Luther's version of Psalm 46 ('Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott'*) is the one that is most commonly used in the USA. As expected it is found in Lutheran publications, but it appears in books of all denominations. Hedge's translation, entitled 'Luther's Psalm', was included in the last part ('Supplement') of Hymns for the Church of Christ (Boston, 1853) edited by Hedge...

He whose confession God of old accepted

He whose confession God of old accepted. Laurence Housman* (1865-1959). This is a translation of 'Iste confessor domini sacratus'*, a Latin hymn of unknown origin but probably written in the 8th century. The original was widely used: it was written for the feast of a confessor, that is, one who avowed the Christian faith in the face of danger, but did not suffer martyrdom. The translation appeared in EH, to be sung to plainsong or to the tune ISTE CONFESSOR. The third stanza in the Latin text...

Thou hidden love of God, whose height

Thou hidden love of God, whose height. Gerhard Tersteegen* (1697-1769) translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This translation of Tersteegen's 'Verborgne Gottes-liebe du'* was made by John Wesley in 1736. He would have found the hymn in Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Hernnhut (1735), taken by the Moravian missionaries on the voyage to Georgia. It was shortened there to eight stanzas from its original ten in Tersteegen's Geistliches Blumen-Gärtlein (1729). The translation was printed in the...

The fathers built this city

The fathers built this city. William George Tarrant* (1853-1928). Long before the 'city' hymns of modern hymnbooks, there was a concern for the welfare, both physical and spiritual, of urban populations (see, for example the near-contemporary 'Where cross the crowded ways of life'*). This hymn by a Unitarian minister was written for 'Citizen Sunday' in 1905, and published in The Fellowship Hymn Book (FHB, 1909), entitled 'Hymn of the City'. It was included in the Primitive Methodist Hymnal...

Lord of our life, and God of our salvation

Lord of our life, and God of our salvation. Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern* (1594-1648), freely translated by Philip Pusey* (1799-1855). This hymn, 'Christe, du Beistand deiner Kreuzgemeine' (literally, 'Christ, thou support of thy people of the Cross') is found in Geistliche Kirchen- und Haus-Musik (Breslau, 1644), in which Löwenstern's hymns were bound in with others. The date of their first publication is uncertain, but was probably 1643. It is a hymn that speaks for its time, praying for...

Give to our God immortal praise

Give to our God immortal praise. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This is one of three versions of Psalm 136 in The Psalms of David (1719), one in Common Metre, and the second in the metre of the 'Old 148', the popular metre of 6.6.6.6.44.44. This, in Long Metre, is the only one of the three that has been widely used. It had the title, 'God's Wonders of Creation, Providence, Redemption, and Salvation'. Stanzas 5 and 6 are normally excluded from modern printings. The Jews he freed from Pharaoh's...

O God of our forefathers, hear

O God of our forefathers, hear. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745) in four 6-line stanzas, in the section entitled 'The Holy Eucharist as it implies a Sacrifice'. It was included in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), in the section entitled 'For Believers seeking for Full Redemption', where its eucharistic significance was obscured, as it has been by its placing in subsequent Methodist...

God bless our native land

God bless our native land. William Edward Hickson* (1803-1870). Written in 1836 and published in The Singing Master, Hickson's famous book on musical education, where it had three stanzas. A fourth stanza was added to the Second Edition of The Singing Master in 1844. Hickson said that it had been written 'as a new national anthem' (JJ, p. 1566): it follows the metre of 'God save our gracious Queen (King)', and can be sung to the normal tune, although it is often set to MOSCOW by Felice...

A safe stronghold our God is still

A safe stronghold our God is still. Martin Luther* (1483-1546), translated by Thomas Carlyle* (1795-1881). This is a translation of Luther's magnificent hymn based on Psalm 46, the date of which is uncertain (perhaps 1529). Carlyle had been studying German literature during the 1820s, and was supporting himself in part by publishing essays on German authors and by translating. This translation appeared in Fraser's Magazine in 1831, entitled 'Luther's Psalm'. In it Carlyle said that he thought...

Through the love of God our Saviour

Through the love of God our Saviour. Mary Peters* (1813-1856). From Peters's Hymns intended to help the Communion of Saints (1847), a book of hymns almost certainly written for the Plymouth Brethren (Peters had contributed hymns to an earlier PB book, Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1842). It has appeared in many collections, set in Golden Bells and others to SOUTHGATE by Thomas Bishop Southgate (1814-1888) or to NUTFIELD by William Henry Monk*, contributed to A&M (1861) for 'God, that...

O matchless beauty of our God

O matchless beauty of our God. Colin Thompson* (1945- ). Written in 1987, this was included in RS, subsequently in Lambeth Praise (1998) and Praise! (2000). It is based on a passage from the Confessions of St Augustine*, Book X [XXVII] 38. The 'matchless beauty…so ancient and so new' (verse 1) is from 'Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new', and the 'late have I loved you' opens Thompson's verse 2 ('How late we came to love you, Lord'). Verse 3 ('You called and cried, yet we were...

When, in our music, God is glorified

When, in our music, God is glorified. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). Written at the suggestion of John Wilson*, who wanted a text for Charles Villiers Stanford*'s tune ENGELBERG (written for 'For all the saints who from their labours rest'* but which had been superseded by Vaughan Williams*'s SINE NOMINE). It was written in 1972 for a Festival of Praise, and was first included in a book in New Church Praise (1975). It is frequently sung at great festivals, such as the Three Choirs Festival....

God is our strength and refuge

God is our strength and refuge. Richard Thomas Bewes* (1934- ). This paraphrase of Psalm 46 was written in 1970 for Family Services at St Peter's Church, Harold Wood, Essex, where the author was vicar. It was written for, and sung to, Eric Coates*'s DAMBUSTERS' MARCH, composed in 1954 and used in a then well-known war film. For copyright reasons it was not at first possible to print the tune with this text, so in 1973 Psalm Praise provided Michael Baughen*'s DEVA. Coates's tune has been the...

O Lord our God, arise

O Lord our God, arise. Ralph Wardlaw* (?) (1779-1853). First published in the Congregationalist book, A Collection of Hymns for the use of the Tabernacles in Scotland (1800), in two 4-line stanzas. According to JJ it is 'usually attributed to Dr. Wardlaw, but on insufficient evidence' (p. 1583). If it is by him, it would certainly have been written very early in his career, perhaps while he was still a student. It was enlarged to make a hymn of four 4-line stanzas in Wardlaw's 1803 Selection of...

Come, Thou Almighty King

Come, Thou Almighty King. British 18th century, author unknown. According to JJ this appeared without an author's name in a four-page tract bound in with George Whitefield*'s Collection of Hymns for Social Worship in the edition of 1757, British Library copy. It is no longer in this copy, if it ever was (although the book is in a poor state, there is no sign that pages at the back have been forcibly removed; either they have somehow disappeared, or JJ made an error). It is bound in, as JJ...

Lamb of God! our souls adore Thee

Lamb of God! our souls adore Thee. James George Deck* (1802-1884). First published in an Appendix in the 1841 edition of George Vicesimus Wigram*'s Hymns for the Poor of the Flock (1838). It had seven stanzas, carrying the narrative of the life of Christ, with appropriate reflection. It began: Lamb of God! our souls adore Thee,  While upon Thy face we gaze;There the Father's love and glory  Shine in all their brightest rays;Thine almighty power and wisdom  All creation's works proclaim;Heaven...

God save our gracious Queen (King)

God save our gracious Queen/King (British National Anthem). The first recorded performance of this hymn was at Drury Lane theatre, 28 September 1745, during the reign of George II, in response to the threat posed by the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. It began 'God bless our noble King;/ God save great George our King;/ God save the King', with music arranged by Thomas Arne (1710-1778), the director of music at the theatre. It had been published one year earlier, in Thesaurus Musicus (1744)....

O God, our help in ages past

O God, our help in ages past. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This version of Psalm 90, verses 1-5 is from The Psalms of David (1719), with the title 'Man frail, and God eternal'. It had nine stanzas. It began 'Our God, our help in ages past', an opening line that was altered by John Wesley* in his Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1738) to 'O God…'. This emendation has been accepted by most British hymnbooks apart from those of Congregationalists and Baptists, and some early Presbyterian books...

Almighty Father of all things that be

Almighty Father of all things that be. Ernest Edward Dugmore* (1843-1925). Written in 1884 for a small industrial exhibition in Dugmore's parish, Parkstone, Dorset, and printed in a local publication, Hymns and Litanies (Parkstone Press, 1885). In Dugmore's Hymns of Adoration for Church Use (1900) it was entitled 'For the Opening of an Exhibition'. It was used in an altered form in A&M (1904) to make it suitable for the 'General Hymns' section. Although omitted from A&M editions after...

Louis Moreau Gottschalk

GOTTSCHALK, Louis Moreau. b. New Orleans, Louisiana, 8 May 1829; d. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 18 December 1869. Gottschalk's father, Edward Gottschalk (1795-1853), was a Jewish businessman, born in England, his mother, Aimée Bruslé Gottschalk (1808-1856), was described by a brother-in-law as 'extremely diffident… much more than…expected in a French woman.' In his definitive biography of Gottschalk, S. Frederick Starr (1940-) writes that Gottschalk's impulse for music came from his mother, and...

We praise thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator

We praise thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator. Julia Cory (1882-1963). This hymn, originally of two verses, was first sung in 1902 at a Thanksgiving Day service at Brick Presbyterian Church, New York, where Cory, then Julia Cady aged 19 or perhaps 20, was a member. It was written at the request of the organist, J. Arthur Gibson, as an alternative to the patriotic hymn 'We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing'* set to the Dutch tune KREMSER, arranged by the Austrian composer Eduard...

Heralds of Christ

    Heralds of Christ. Laura L. Copenhaver* (1868-1940).  Laura Copenhaver was scheduled to speak for a conference in Northfield, Massachusetts in the summer of 1894. For personal reasons she could not attend. She wrote the poem 'The King's Highway' and sent it to the conference asking, according to her daughter Eleanor Copenhaver Sherwood, that it be 'accepted in my place' (Reynolds, 1964, p. 66).  Robert Guy McCutchan*, Methodist hymnologist and pastor, cited the author's own...

At Thy feet, our God and Father

At Thy feet, our God and Father. James Drummond Burns* (1823-1864).  According to JJ, p. 1551, this was first published in The Family Treasury, presumably a Christian periodical, in 1861 (Gordon Bell notes 'July'). It later appeared in the Presbyterian Church of England's Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), and in James Hamilton's Memoir and Remains of the Rev James D. Burns (1869). The text in 1869 was entitled 'New Year's Hymn', and was preceded by '“Thou crownest the year with thy...

Wash, O God, our sons and daughters

Wash, O God, our sons and daughters. Ruth C. Duck* (1947- ). Written in 1987 at the request of the Hymnal Revision Committee of UMH, and published in that book in 1989. It is a hymn that can be used for infant and adult baptism, or for the renewal of the baptismal covenant; but VU provides in addition an altered text for adult baptism beginning 'Wash us, God, your sons and daughters/ newborn creatures of your womb', followed by 'us' as a pronoun and 'our' as a possessive pronoun...

All creatures of our God and King

All creatures of our God and King. William Henry Draper* (1855-1933). This is a free versification of the 'Cantico di frate sole'* of St Francis. It was written for a children's Whitsuntide Festival at Adel, Leeds, when Draper was the incumbent at Adel, between 1899 and 1919. Draper could not remember the exact year in which he wrote the translation, but it was published in the Public School Hymn Book (1919), so it was known before that book was compiled. It was written to be sung to the tune...

God of our life, through all the circling years

God of our life, through all the circling years. Hugh Thomson Kerr* (1871-1950). This hymn of celebration was written in 1916, in the form and meter of 'Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom'*, and to the tune SANDON for the fiftieth anniversary of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, of which Kerr had become the minister three years earlier. It was revised for The Church School Hymnal for Youth (1928), and included in the Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of...

Come let us to the Lord our God

Come let us to the Lord our God. John Morison* (1750-1798), perhaps with John Logan* (1747/8-1788). This paraphrase of Hosea 6: 1-4 was printed in the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases (1781). It has continued in use in the Church of Scotland from that time on, and is found in successive psalters and hymnbooks, up to and including CH3 and CH4. It was used in a number of 19th-century books, but in the 20th century its spread was remarkable, and it is found in many places outwith...

Now thank we all our God

Now thank we all our God. Martin Rinckart* (1586-1649), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). Rinckart's text, 'Nun danket alle Gott'*, is one of the most famous of German hymns. It was first published in Johann Crüger*'s Praxis Pietatis Melica (1647), and probably before that in Rinckart's Jesu Hertz-Büchlein (1636), of which no copies are known. In the third edition of Rinckart's book (1663), it is entitled 'Tisch-Gebetlein', a 'Table-Grace', and may well have originated in the...

Our Father God, who art in heaven

Our Father God, who art in heaven. Adoniram Judson* (1788-1850). This Common Meter paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer first appeared in an undated letter to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Judson offered it for publication in the Board's magazine as 'The Lord's Prayer versified in the shortest compass'. He included the place and time of the writing: 'Prison, Ava, March, 1825' (Music and Richardson, 2008, p. 171). The hymn was published as early as 1837 in Select Hymns:...

Praise, O praise our God and King

Praise, O praise our God and King. Sir Henry Williams Baker* (1821-1877). Written for the First Edition of A&M (1861) and printed there in the 'Harvest' section, with the first two lines of the tune as 'Semi-Chorus' and the second two as 'Chorus', and the instruction 'The first and last verses to be sung in Chorus, the others as above'. It appeared beneath the text: 'Who giveth food to all flesh; for His mercy endureth for ever' (from Psalm 136:25). It has remained in the A&M tradition...

The hand that was nailed to the cross of woe

The hand that was nailed to the cross of woe. Harriet (Hattie) Pierson* (1865-1921).   This dramatic hymn by the writer usually known as 'Hattie Pierson' was published in a number of Revival hymnbooks in the early 20th century and after. It is frequently known by its title, 'The hand that was wounded for me' from line 2 of the refrain.  By concentrating on the hand and the nail, Pierson brings the agony and suffering of Christ on the Cross vividly to life. The earliest printing in...

O God our Father, who dost make us one

O God our Father, who dost make us one. William Vaughan Jenkins* (1868-1920). Published in The Fellowship Hymn Book (1909), of which Jenkins was one of the editors, entitled 'A Parting Hymn', and again in the revised version of FHB (1933). In between these printings it appeared (without a title) in Grave and Gay (1921), a book published after Jenkins's death containing poems by him and his daughter. It has appeared in many books, notably MHB, BHB and HP. These books all omit verses 3 and 4 (of...

Almighty Father, Lord most high

Almighty Father, Lord most High. Vincent Stuckey Stratton Coles* (1845-1929). Written in 1904, when Coles was Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, and first published in A&M (1904). It is a hymn for Holy Communion, entitled in A&M 'At the Offertory', and it may well have been written for that specific purpose in that book. The three central stanzas are the most specific: Almighty Father, Lord most High,Who madest all, Who fillest all,Thy Name we praise and magnify,For all our needs on...

God who hast caused to be written thy word for our learning

God who hast caused to be written thy word for our learning. T. Herbert O'Driscoll* (1928 - ). Herbert O'Driscoll recast the Collect, Epistle (Romans 15:4-13) and Gospel (Luke 21:25-33) from the Book of Common Prayer into language of the mid 20th century for worship on the second Sunday of Advent. The new hymn would fit in congregational worship with the vocabulary and structure of recent translations of the Bible and of Anglican liturgy. The 'thy' in the first line has been changed to 'your'...

O let Jehovah' s liberal hand

O let Jehovah' s liberal hand. Susanna Harrison* (1752-1784).  From Harrison's Songs in the Night, by a young woman under deep afflictions, first( published in 1780. In the Seventh American Edition (New York, 1847) it was no. CXVIII, entitled 'Praising God for a Plentiful Harvest'. It had six stanzas:  O let Jehovah's liberal handBe own'd and sung through all the land'Tis He that sends a plenteous store,His name let every soul adore.  Let undeserved goodness raiseOur admiration and our...

Almighty Father, who dost give

Almighty Father, who dost give. John Howard Bertram Masterman* (1867-1933). First published in In Hoc Signo: hymns of war and peace (1914), with music edited by Walford Davies*. It is eminently suitable for war time, but because the sentiments are general, it can be seen as a hymn for various purposes: after the war of 1914-1918 it came to be seen as a hymn for World Peace and Brotherhood (the heading of the section in which it appears in MHB). It could also be used for missions: it appeared...

Precious Lord, take my hand

Precious Lord, take my hand. Thomas A. Dorsey* (1899-1993). Written in Chicago in August 1932, under distressing circumstances: Dorsey's wife Nettie died in childbirth, and her child died soon afterwards. Dorsey, who was at a revival meeting when he heard the news of his wife's death, was distraught. He was consoled by a friend, Theodore Frye, who took Dorsey to a local music college where Dorsey idly began playing on the piano what he remembered of an old tune. This was a pentatonic...

Thou, whose purpose is to kindle

Thou, whose purpose is to kindle.  D. Elton Trueblood* (1900-1994). This hymn is also known by its title, 'Baptism by Fire'. In the Preface to The Incendiary Fellowship, dated Labor Day, 1966, Trueblood comments that it was written 'because of the conviction that the message of this book may be expressed more succinctly in poetry than in prose.'  He writes of his admiration for the hymn 'God of grace and God of glory'* by Harry Emerson Fosdick*, and of 'the Biblical basis for his own hymn: ...

Ich steh in meines Herren Hand

Ich steh in meines Herren Hand. Karl Johann Philipp Spitta* (1801-1859). First published in Spitta's Psalter und Harfe (Pirna, 1833), where it was entitled 'Zuversicht' ('Confidence'). It had five 8-line stanzas. It is a hymn which expresses very clearly the trust in God, whatever may happen ('Und wenn zerfällt/ Die ganze Welt,/ Wer sich an ihm, und wen er hält,/ Wird wohlbehalten bleiben'). All five stanzas are in EG in the 'Angst und Vertrauen' ('Anxiety and Confidence') section (EG...

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation. Joachim Neander* (1650-1680), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). Neander's hymn, beginning 'Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren'*, was published in his A und Ω. Joachimi Neandri Glaub- und Liebesübung: auffgemuntert durch einfältige Bundes Lieder und Danck-Psalmen (Bremen, 1680). It has five stanzas. Catherine Winkworth's translation, in the metre of the original, was first published in The Chorale Book for...

Creator Spirit, by whose aid

Creator Spirit, by whose aid. Latin, translated by John Dryden* (1631-1700). Dryden's translation of the Latin hymn 'Veni creator spiritus'* appeared first in one of a series of poetical collections published by a bookseller in London, Jacob Tonson, entitled Examen Poeticum: Being the Third Part of Miscellany Poems (1693). It consisted of 39 lines, arranged in irregular verses from four to nine lines in length. It was used, with some alteration, by John Wesley* in his first British hymnbook, A...

O King of kings, Whose reign of old

O King of kings, Whose reign of old. William Walsham How* (1823-1897) This hymnological curiosity was commissioned for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. It was included in a pamphlet published for the occasion, 'to be used in all Churches and Chapels in England and Wales, and in the Town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, upon Sunday the Twentieth day of June, 1897' (Berwick, on the border between England and Scotland, was technically in neither country at that time). It skilfully contrasted...

Ja, fürwahr! uns führt mit sanfter Hand

Ja, fürwahr! uns führt mit sanfter Hand. Friedrich Adolf Krummacher* (1767-1845). According to James Mearns* in JJ, p. 634, this was first published in Krummacher's Festbüchlein, in the Third Edition, 1813, of the part entitled Der Sonntag (first published 1808). There were three Festbüchleinen: Der Sonntag (1808, 1810, 1813, 1819); Das Christfest (1810, 1814, 1821); and Das Neujahrsfest (1819). They consisted of conversations, historical observations, and stories: this hymn is sung by...

Our God reigns

See 'How lovely on the mountains'*.

O lead my blindness by the hand

O lead my blindness by the hand. William Ewart Gladstone* (1809-1898). This hymn is an extract from a poem by Gladstone in ten stanzas beginning 'Lord, as Thy temple's portals close', written by him as a young man (it is dated May 1836). It was contributed to the religious periodical Good Words by Gladstone's widow in the year of his death. Verses 3, 4 and 5 of the original were printed in EH, and subsequently in SofP and BBCHB. In the last of these it appears twice, once with a tune for...

Father, whose everlasting love

Father, whose everlasting love. Charles Wesley* (1707-88). First published in Hymns on God's Everlasting Love (1741) in seventeen 4-line stanzas. It was printed in full in the Arminian Magazine, 1788, but not in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the use of the People called Methodists (1780), to which it was added in 1808. It is usually shortened to five or six stanzas. The occasion for the writing and printing of Hymns on God's Everlasting Love was to make clear the Wesleys' opposition...

O King of kings, O Lord of hosts, whose throne is lifted high

O King of kings, O Lord of hosts, whose throne is lifted high. Henry Burton* (1840-1930). This hymn has a complicated history. It is dated 1897 in some books. Burton's  Songs of the Highway (1924), however,  refers to a similar hymn with the identical first line dated ten years earlier, in 1887, with the title 'A Jubilee Ode' and a note: ' (Written for the Queen's Jubilee in 1887, and sung – the music by Sir John Stainer – at the Royal Albert Hall, London.)' The Jubilee of 1887 marked Queen...

First of martyrs, thou whose name

First of martyrs, thou whose name. Jean-Baptiste de Santeuil* (1630-1697), translated perhaps by a friend of Isaac Williams* (1802-1865). This is a translation of Santeuil's 'O qui tuo, dux martyrum', from the Cluniac Breviary (1686) and from his Hymni Sacri et Novi (1689). It appeared in Williams's Hymns translated from the Paris Breviary (1839), with the first line 'Rightful Prince of Martyrs thou'. In the Preface Williams said that the translation was 'supplied by a Friend', whose identity...

Christ, whose glory fills the skies

Christ, whose glory fills the skies. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740) with the title 'Morning Hymn'. It was used by Augustus Montague Toplady* in his Psalms and Hymns (1776), and was thought for some years to have been written by him. As James Montgomery* put it, when setting the record straight: 'one of Charles Wesley's loveliest progeny has been fathered upon Augustus Toplady' (The Christian Psalmist, 1825). In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for...

Father, whose will is life and good

Father, whose will is life and good. Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley* (1851-1920). This hymn for medical missions, first published in A Missionary Hymn Book (1922), exists in three distinct versions. The original text asks a blessing on the work of medical missionaries, described in stanza two as 'friends in lands afar', who bring the love of Christ to the suffering. It appears in this form in RCH and several later hymnals. In other collections, such as BHB (1962), a substitute stanza 4 is used,...

Let all our brethren join in one

Let all our brethren join in one. Arthur Campbell Ainger* (1841-1919). This harvest hymn was first published in leaflet form in 1898, with a tune by Joseph Barnby*, later named JUBILATE, and still in use in CP (1951). It was included in Additional Hymns with Tunes for Use with any other Church Hymnal (1903), edited by C.W.A. Brooke. It had four stanzas and a refrain: Let all our brethren join in one  To lift the heart and voice,The Lord hath done great thing for us,  And therefore we...

Blest is the man whose softening heart

Blest is the man whose softening heart. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1743-1825). This text is taken from the hymn beginning 'Behold, where breathing love divine'*, first published in her friend William Enfield*'s Hymns for Public Worship: selected from various authors, and intended as a supplement to Dr Watts's Psalms (Warrington, 1772),  where it was entitled 'Christian Charity'. It had eight stanzas. The present hymn starts at stanza 3. It was published in Barbauld's Poems (1773) as 'Hymn IV'...

Father of all, whose powerful voice

Father of all, whose powerful voice. John Wesley* (1703-1791). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), under the title 'The Lord's Prayer Paraphrased'. This was part of a long hymn of nine 8-line stanzas. In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists, it was divided into three hymns of three stanzas each. The second part began 'Son of thy Sire's eternal love' (now 'Eternal Son, eternal Love'*) and the third 'Eternal, spotless Lamb of God*. The hymn is...

Lord of light, whose name outshineth

Lord of light, whose name outshineth. Howell Elvet Lewis* (1860-1953). Written when Lewis was the minister of the Welsh Tabernacle in London for the Congregational Hymnary (1916). Lewis was one of the editors of that book. It appeared with the quotation 'Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth' (Luke 11: 2). The hymn appeared in RCH and CP. In the Companion to CP (1953), Lewis was quoted as saying that the hymn was written as a complementary hymn to one by Charlotte Elliott*, 'to declare...

Almighty Father, who for us thy Son didst give

Almighty Father, who for us thy Son didst give. George Bradford Caird* (1917-1984). Written in 1941 as an entry for the Scott Psalmody Prize at Mansfield College, Oxford, set as 'a hymn to be sung after a sermon on the social implications of the gospel'. It won the prize and was subsequently included in CP. From there it was included in many books, including 100HfT and thus A&MNS, WOV and HP and RS (with alterations to produce inclusive language in two places). Its long lines of 12...

Hail, Father, whose creating call

Hail, Father, whose creating call. Samuel Wesley (II)* (1691-1739). First published in the Weekly Miscellany, 27 July, 1734, and then in Poems on Special Occasions (1736), where it was the first poem, entitled 'An Hymn to God the Father'. It began: Hail, Father! Whose creating Call   Unnumber'd Worlds attend; JEHOVAH! comprehending all,   Whom none can comprehend. It was included by John Wesley* in his first hymnbook (see John Wesley's Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1737)*), with very...

Eternal Power! whose high abode

Eternal Power! whose high abode. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This was the final poem in Book I of Horae Lyricae (1706), 'Sacred to Devotion'. It was headed 'The Conclusion' and given the title, 'The Glories of God exceed all Worship', changed in the Second Edition of 1709 to 'God exalted above all Praise'. Horae Lyricae was expressly designed to encourage weaker Christians not to believe 'that Poetry and Vice are naturally akin… They will venture to sing a dull Hymn or two at Church in Tunes of...

Father of heaven, whose love profound

Father of heaven, whose love profound. Edward Cooper* (1770-1833). This appeared in A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use (Uttoxeter, 1805), and Cooper's own compilation, A Selection of Psalms and Hymns (Lichfield, 1811). Between these two it was included in another Staffordshire book, Portions of the Psalms, chiefly selected from the versions of Merrick & Watts, with Occasional Hymns, adapted to the Service of the Church, for every Sunday in the year (Uttoxeter,...

Light of those whose dreary dwelling

Light of those whose dreary dwelling. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1745), where it is hymn 11, in three 8-line stanzas. This very beautiful hymn remained in Methodist use up to and including MHB (1933), after which it was dropped. It is a hymn of comfort to 'every weary wandring spirit', guiding the soul into the 'perfect Peace' at the end: Save us in thy great Compassion,  O Thou mild pacifick Prince,Give the Knowledge of Salvation,  Give the Pardon of...

O let him whose sorrow

O let him whose sorrow. Heinrich Siegmund Oswald (1751-1834), translated by Frances Elizabeth Cox (1812-1897). Oswald's hymn, 'Wem in Leidenstagen', was first published in his Letzte Mittheilungen meiner der Wahrheit und Religion geweihter Muse (Breslau, 1826). Based on Psalm 50: 15, it had 14 stanzas. Cox's translation of seven stanzas (1-3, 10, 12-14) appeared in her Sacred Hymns from the German (1841). It was chosen by Henry Alford* for his Psalms and Hymns, adapted to the Sundays and...

Head of the Church, our risen Lord

Head of the church, our risen Lord. Josiah Conder* (1789-1855). First published in The Congregational Hymn Book (1836), edited by Conder for the new Congregational Church as a Supplement to Isaac Watts*'s Psalms and Hymns. It is based on a hymn from the Gelasian Sacramentary, an 8th-century Vatican manuscript in which the Feasts of the Church were arranged according to the ecclesiastical year. The Sacramentary contained the priest's prayers and rubrics for the Eucharist, and the Gelasian...

Thou whose unmeasured temple stands

Thou whose unmeasured temple stands. William Cullen Bryant* (1794-1878). Written in 1835 for the dedication of a church in Prince Street, New York City, afterwards destroyed by fire. The note in JJ, p. 189, states that it was altered to 'O Thou, whose own vast temple stands' in 'Sewell's [sic](Unitarian) Collection (revised ed., 1845)'. This was A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Social and Private Worship compiled by a committee of the West Parish in Boston (Boston, 1823, edited by Henry...

Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee

Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee. Rudyard Kipling* (1865-1936). This is the concluding poem in Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), a series of stories and poems for young people constructed on episodes of English history. It was entitled 'The Children's Song'. It had eight stanzas, all of which are found in SofP: Land of our Birth, we pledge to theeOur love and toil in the years to be;When we are grown and take our place,As men and women of our race. Father in heaven, who lovest all,O...

In our work and in our play

In our work and in our play. William Chatterton Dix* (1837-1898); Whitefield Glanville Wills* (1841-1891); William Charter Piggott* (1872-1943). This hymn exists in several versions. That by Dix was in four stanzas, published in Hymns and Carols for Children (1869), edited by Dix but also containing hymns and carols by Gerard Moultrie* and Richard Frederick Littledale*. It was included in Church Hymns (1871; Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874), and in The Children's Hymn Book (1881), edited by...

The God of Abraham praise

The God of Abraham praise. Thomas Olivers* (1725-1799). Written probably in 1770 at the house of Olivers' friend John Bakewell* in London, and published in leaflet form as A Hymn to the God of Abraham. In Three Parts: Adapted to a celebrated Air, sung by the Priest, Signior Leoni, etc., at the Jews' Synagogue, in London. It had twelve stanzas. 'Signior Leoni' was the name given by Olivers to Meyer Lyon (1751-97), cantor at the Great Synagogue in Duke's Place, London. He must have heard Lyon...

Lord, whose Love through humble service

Lord, whose Love through humble service. Albert Bayly* (1901-1984). Bayly composed this four-stanza hymn in response to an invitation for hymns on social concerns extended by the Hymn Society of America (HSUSC) and the Department of Social Welfare of the National Council of Churches in Christ in the United States. It was published, set to HYFRYDOL, in the society's Seven New Social Welfare Hymns (19610, described in the Preface as hymns to express 'the interrelationship of worship and service...

In unity we lift our song

In unity we lift our song. Ken Medema* (1943 – ). This hymn was composed in 1983 and premiered by Medema at a Southern Baptist Women in Ministry Conference held at Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, on 8 June 1985. It was also sung at the first convocation of the Alliance of Baptists, a reforming offshoot of the Southern Baptist Convention, in March 1987 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Set to the tune of Martin Luther*'s EIN FESTE BURG, the music combines with the text to invoke a Reformation...

O Holy Spirit, by whose breath

O Holy Spirit, by whose breath. Latin, ca. 9th century, translated by John Webster Grant* (1919-2006). Grant's translation of the 'Veni creator spiritus'* dates from 1968. It was made for The Hymn Book (1971) of the Anglican Church and the United Church of Canada, from the Latin office hymn for Pentecost written about the 9th century; it has appeared in numerous hymnbooks, including the Canadian Catholic Book of Worship (Ottawa, 1972, 1980 and 1994), The Australian Hymn Book (WOV, Sydney,...

O Thou Whose all-redeeming might

O Thou Whose all-redeeming might.  Latin, 8th or 9th century, translated by Richard Meux Benson* (1824-1915). This translation of the anonymous Latin hymn 'Iesu Redemptor omnium'* was included in the First Edition of A&M (1861), in the section 'Martyrs, &c.' It was preceded by a quotation from 1 Timothy 3: 1: 'If a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a good work.' In subsequent editions of A&M it is headed 'For a Bishop'. It was slightly altered in A&M (1904), but...

Episcopal Church, USA, hymnody

Episcopal Church Hymnody, USA The Introduction is by Raymond F. Glover. The historical survey is by Robin Knowles Wallace. Introduction Among the vast number of persons who came as settlers beginning in 1607 to what is now known as the United States of America were many who brought with them a pattern of worship consistent with the liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer, the singing of metrical Psalms from the 'Old Version'* of Thomas Sternhold* and John Hopkins*, perhaps a few hymns of...

Risen Lord whose name we cherish

Risen Lord whose name we cherish. David Mowbray* (1938- ). First published in Mowbray's local collection, Kingdom Come: Fifty Hymns for Parish Services (no date, ca. 1979), for the use of his congregations at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. Following an invocation, asking Christ ('Risen Lord') to look mercifully on his people, a catalogue of our sins is followed by an affirmation of the good works of the Church, a prayer for unity and an invitation to Christ to dwell in us, so that we may taste...

Though lowly here our lot may be

Though lowly here our lot may be. William Gaskell* (1805-1884). Written before 1860, when it was printed in the Second Edition of Ellen Coulthard's Psalms, Hymns, and Anthems. It is the one hymn by Gaskell that has become widely known in Britain outside Unitarianism. Although it mentions 'high work' in line 2 and again in stanza 4, it is concerned more with the 'work' of the Christian life than about work itself (cf. 'Stay, Master, stay upon this heavenly hill* by Samuel Greg*). It is a simple...

Dear Master, in whose life I see

Dear Master, in whose life I see. John Hunter* (1848-1917). This was published in his Hymns of Faith and Life (1896), having previously appeared in 'The Monthly Calendar', the magazine of Trinity Congregational Church, Glasgow, where Hunter was minister from to 1887 to 1901 (and again later). It is a short and pithy two-stanza hymn, which has appealed to many hymnbook compilers: Dear Master, in whose life I seeAll that I would, but fail to be,Let Thy clear light for ever shine,To shame and...

Great is our redeeming Lord

Great is our redeeming Lord. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). This hymn was not published in Wesley's lifetime. It appeared in the Arminian Magazine (1797), with a text of ten verses. It is a paraphrase, with many significant modifications, of Psalm 48. The most important of these occurs at the very beginning, when the Psalmist's 'Great is the Lord' is turned into 'Great is our redeeming Lord': the hymn thereafter becomes one of Charles Wesley's greatest hymns on the theme of redeeming love. The...

O Father, by whose sovereign sway

O Father, by whose sovereign sway. Cyril Argentine Alington* (1872-1955). First published in Alington's poetry collection In Shabby Streets (Eton, 1942), and subsequently included in BBCHB, A&MR, CH3 and other books. The author's suggested tune was MARYTON, by H. Percy Smith* (1825-1898), though it is set in A&MR to WAREHAM, by William Knapp*. Although intended as a wedding hymn, little direct reference is made to marriage. The hymn describes how each of the three persons of the...

They come, God's messengers of love

They come, God's messengers of love. Robert Campbell* (1814-1868) First published in Campbell's Hymns and Anthems for the Use of Holy Services within the United Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane (Edinburgh, 1850) for 'Saint Michael and All Angels'. It was reprinted with alterations by Francis H. Murray* in his Hymnal, for use in the English Church (1852; see Murray's Hymnal*), from which it found its way into the First Edition of A&M (1861). JJ thought it 'the most widely adopted...

God of pity, God of grace

God of pity, God of grace. Eliza F. Morris* (1821-1874). This Litany hymn comes from Part II of Morris's The Voice and the Reply (1858: JJ says published at Worcester; the Bodleian Library gives London). According to JJ, p. 770, quoting from another source, it was written on 4 September 1857. It was published in the New Congregational Hymn Book (1859). It was entitled 'The Prayer in the Temple'. It subsequently appeared in the English Presbyterian Church Praise (1884), the Scottish Church...

Our Father, while our hearts unlearn

Our Father, while our hearts unlearn. Oliver Wendell Holmes* (1809-1894).   This hymn is six stanzas was entitled 'Hymn written for the twenty-fifth Anniversary Reorganization of the Boston Young Men's Christian Union, May 31, 1893', and published in Holmes's Complete Poetical Works (Boston and New York, 1890). In Britain it was included by William Garrett Horder* in Worship-Song (1905), and it was chosen by the undogmatic Percy Dearmer* for SofP and SofPE. Dearmer described it (Songs of...

English hymnody

Before the Reformation English hymnody is as old as English poetry itself. The first known English poem is the hymn by Caedmon*, the lay helper at Whitby Abbey, dated between ca. 657 and 680. According to Bede* in his Historia Gentis Anglorum Ecclesiastica, Caedmon thought himself unable to sing but was visited by an angel who told him to sing of the Creation, whereupon he composed the hymn in Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse beginning 'Nu sculon hergan | heafonrices Weard' ('Now praise we the...

Away with our fears/ Our troubles and tears

Away with our fears/ Our troubles and tears. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).  From Hymns of Petition and Thanksgiving for the Promise of the Father. By the Reverend Mr. John and Charles Wesley (Bristol, 1746), where it was Hymn XXXII, the last in the book. It had five 8-line stanzas:      Away with our Fears,    Our Troubles and Tears!    The Spirit is come, The Witness of Jesus Return'd to hs Home:    The Pledge of our Lord    To his Heaven restor'd,    Is sent from the Sky, And tells us our...

This God is the God we adore

This God is the God we adore. Joseph Hart* (1712-1768). This hymn began life as seven 8-line stanzas, opening with the line 'No prophet nor dreamer of dreams', in Hart's Hymns &c. Composed on Various Subjects. With a Preface, containing a brief and summary account of the Author's Experience, and the great things God hath done for his soul (1759). Although this is a long text, it is so extraordinary that we are printing it entire, with its title: If there arise among you a Prophet, or a...

Awake our souls, away our fears

Awake our souls, away our fears. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This appeared in Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1709), Book I, 'Collected from the Holy Scriptures', with the title, 'The Christian Race, Isa. 40. 28, 29, 30, 31.' It is a free paraphrase of the Old Testament passage, and, unusually for Watts, does not make any direct reference to Christ as the source of strength, apart from its title. John Wesley was one of the first to include this text in a hymnbook, in A Collection of Psalms and Hymns...

Faith of our Mothers, living yet.

Faith of our Mothers, living yet. Arthur Bardwell Patten* (1864-1952).  This is a praiseworthy attempt to assert the rights of women in opposition to the gender-exclusive language of 'Faith of our fathers! living still'* the famous hymn by Frederick William Faber* of 1849 (each stanza of Patten's hymn ends, as Faber's does, with the stirring 'We will be true to thee till death'). The earliest page scans in Hymnary.org print 'living yet', which suggests that Patten was attempting to make his...

Our country is Immanuel's ground

Our country is Immanuel's ground. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1742-1825).  This is a selection of stanzas from a hymn published in Barbauld's Poems (1792) beginning 'Lo where a crowd of Pilgrims toil/ Yon craggy steeps among!' The usual selection of stanzas begins as above, which is different from Barbauld's first line ('...Emanuel's land').   She portrays the pilgrims as singing on their way: “Our country is Emanuel's land, We seek that promised soil; The songs of Zion chear our hearts, ...

Daisies are our silver

Daisies are our silver. Jan Struther* (1901-53). This charming children's hymn was written for SofPE (1931), when Struther was helping Percy Dearmer* with the editing, and printed in the section 'For Children'. It was written for the tune GLENFINLAS, to which the words are beautifully suited. It might be thought of as a typical 'Songs of Praise' hymn, undogmatic and full of nature imagery: Daisies are our silver,   Buttercups our gold:This is all the treasure  We can have or hold. Raindrops...

Our Father, hear our longing prayer

Our Father, hear our longing prayer. George MacDonald* (1824-1905). First published in Hymns and Sacred Songs for Sunday-schools and Social Worship (Manchester, 1855), which MacDonald edited with his brother Charles (1823-1905) and George Burden Bubier*. It was based on one of the Beatitudes, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit' (Matthew 5: 3). In one book, Laudes Domini: a selection of spiritual songs ancient and modern (New York, 1884), edited by Charles S. Robinson*, it was given the title of...

Deep in our hearts

Deep in our hearts. John Wesley Oldham* (1945– ).  Though John Wesley Oldham (b. 1945) has written more than eight thousand hymns and songs, 'Deep in our hearts' is his most popular and beloved. Written in 1994 while walking in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the text came to Oldham over the course of about an hour and a half. He subsequently sent it to composer Ronald Klusmeier* to be set to music, which did not occur until 1996, just prior to its performance in concert. It was subsequently published...

The Advent of our King

The Advent of our King. Charles Coffin* (1676-1749), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876). This Latin hymn, 'Instantis adventum Dei', was set for the Nocturn in Advent. It was translated by Chandler in The Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837), and altered by the compilers of the First Edition of A&M (1861). Chandler's translation began The Advent of our God Our prayers must now employ, And we must meet him on the road With hymns of holy joy. Chandler's 'God' is clearly closer...

Be present at our table, Lord

Be present at our table, Lord. John Cennick* (1718-1755). From Cennick's Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, in the Days of their Pilgrimage (1741), where it was entitled 'Grace before Meat' ('Before Meat' in the Second Edition, also 1741). It is a simple one-verse grace, asking for a blessing on an earthly meal, and looking forward to a heavenly one. In Britain it was popular with the Primitive Methodists and Moravians; and it was also included in RCH (in the section 'For Little Children')....

O Thou whose feet have climbed life's hill

O Thou whose feet have climbed life's hill. Louis F. Benson* (1855-1930). Written 2 February 1894 as a 'Prayer for Schools and Colleges'. It was published in The Hymnal (1895) of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, edited by Benson and William W. Gilchrist. It began 'O Christ, who didst our tasks fulfil,/ Didst share the hopes of youth'. This text is found in the British Fellowship Hymn Book (1933). Benson altered the opening lines for the revised edition of The Hymnal (1911). In this form it...

Christ is our corner-stone

Christ is our corner-stone. Latin, author unknown, translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876) The Latin text, 'Angularis fundamentum'*, in various versions, is found in a 10th-century manuscript, and in some 11th-century ones. The translation, taken from the Paris Breviary of 1736, is from Chandler's Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837), where it was printed in the section 'Dedication of a Church', and designated for Evensong. It followed the hymn for Matins in that section, which was Chandler's...

Awake, our drowsy souls

Awake, our drowsy souls. Elizabeth Scott* (1708–1776) This appears in the manuscript collection, Hymns and Poems by Elizabeth Scott*. In a modern numbering of those 90 hymns and poems, this one is indexed as H39. A transcription of H39 showing Scott's heading, spelling (some of which are idiosyncratic), punctuation, and capitalizations follows below.  Possibly H39 was included in Scott's Collection as early as 1740, as this date appears in her letter to her father that accompanied some of her...

The nail-scarred hand

See 'Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life'*

To the Name of our Salvation

To the Name of our Salvation. Latin, perhaps 15th century, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). First published in Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences (1851). Neale attributed this Latin text, 'Gloriosi Salvatoris nominis praeconia'*, to a German source. It is found in an Antwerp breviary of 1496. The translation was included, with alterations, in the First Edition of A&M, as follows: NealeA&M To the Name that brings Salvation Honour, worship, laud we pay: That for many...

Now that our holy day is done

Now that our holy day is done. Sarah Doudney* (1841-1926).  This is from Doudney's Psalms of Life (1871), where it was entitled 'Sunday Evening Hymn'. It was prefaced by a quotation from the Book of Common Prayer version of Psalm 63: 7: 'Have I not remembered Thee in my bed, and thought upon Thee when I was waking?'  Now that our holy day is done,  Our day so blest and bright, Lord, for the sake of Thy dear Son,  Vouchsafe us rest to-night.  Put thoughts of worldly strife aside,  Let love...

Our Growing Years (1998)

Our Growing Years, a hymnal This hymnal was published by GIA Publications, Inc., in 1998. From the title, it would appear at first glance to be a children's book; but the title comes from a hymn by David Mowbray*, 'Lord of our growing years'*. It was a book designed for elderly people in retirement homes. The title is therefore both a clever surprise and a determined attempt to assert the right of the elderly to grow in the faith: 'by singing and reading hymns, we can share spiritual insights...

O very God of very God

O very God of very God.  John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is from Neale's Hymns for Children, Third Series (1846), for 21 December, based on the Antiphon for that day, 'O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae ' (for the 'greater Antiphons' of Advent, see 'O come, O come Emmanuel'*). It is a hymn that was written in simple language, but the metaphors of light and sun were suitable for children who could appreciate the figurative diction of the hymn. The first stanza echoes the language of the...

Healer of our every ill

Healer of our every ill. Marty Haugen* (1950- ). This hymn was written before 1987, when it was copyrighted by GIA Publications Inc, in Chicago. It has since become very popular, and is found in some major hymnals such as the Canadian VU, the Chalice Hymnal and Evangelical Lutheran Worship. In its compassion and sympathy it reflects Haugen's training in psychology: Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow, give us peace beyond our fear and hope beyond our sorrow. JRW

In thee, great God, with songs of praise

In thee, great God, with songs of praise. Joel Barlow* (1754-1812). Barlow 'corrected and enlarged' Isaac Watts*'s The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied to the Christian State and Worship (1719) at the request of the General Association of Connecticut (Congregational Church), a work published in 1786 as Psalms carefully suited to the Christian Worship in the United States of America, being Dr. Watts's Imitation of the Psalms of David, as improved by Mr....

God of concrete, God of steel

God of concrete, God of steel. Richard Granville Jones* (1926- ). Written in 1964 when Jones was a leading member of the 'Renewal Group' in Methodism, and first sung at the Sheffield Methodist District Synod in May of that year. It was inspired by a realisation of 'the way in which all the symbols of the exciting modern world had become unrelated to our normal conception of God', and by a complaint from a youth group that the imagery of hymnody was old-fashioned. It was a bold response to...

Lord, thou has scourg'd our guilty land

Lord, thou has scourg'd our guilty land. Joel Barlow* (1754-1812).  Barlow 'corrected and enlarged' Isaac Watts*'s The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied to the Christian State and Worship (1719) at the request of the General Association of Connecticut (Congregational Church), a work published in 1786 as Psalms carefully suited to the Christian Worship in the United States of America, being Dr. Watts's Imitation of the Psalms of David, as improved by Mr....

Jesus, our mighty Lord

Jesus, our mighty Lord. F. Bland Tucker* (1895-1984). This was printed in H40 with a first stanza beginning: Master of eager youth, Controlling, guiding, Lifting our hearts to truth, New power providing; Shepherd of innocence, Thou art our Confidence; To thee, our sure Defence, We bring our praises. The first stanza was omitted and stanza 2 changed from 'Thou art' to 'Jesus' in H82. The reason given was that the imagery seemed 'more congenial to modern thought' than the original...

Brightly gleams our banner

Brightly gleams our banner. Thomas Joseph Potter* (1827-1873). This was printed in The Holy Family Hymns (London, Dublin and Derby, 1860), a Catholic hymnbook for the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family, and later in Crown of Jesus  (1862). A line in verse 1, 'Take our homeward way', suggests that it was intended as a final hymn in an act of worship, although 'See Thy children meet' in verse 2 suggests the gathering for worship. With its emphasis on the Holy Family, the hymn has a clear...

Lord of our growing years

Lord of our growing years. David Mowbray* (1938- ). A favourite of the author's among his own texts, this distinctive and genuinely 'all-age' hymn was written ca. 1977 at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and included in his first collection Kingdom Come: Fifty Hymns for Parish Services. This actually contained 53 texts, and was the first of three such locally produced collections, which had a wider acceptance without being formally published. Mowbray has reduced Shakespeare's 'seven ages of man' to...

Open our eyes, Lord

Open our eyes, Lord. Robert M. Cull* (1949- ). Written in Hawaii in 1975. This one-verse worship song was written to address those who had, in Cull's words, 'closed minds' to the Christian gospel. The music is by Cull himself. It has become very popular, and has appeared in many worship song books in the USA and in Britain. It was also included in one mainstream denominational hymnal in Britain, BPW. JRW

Carol our Christmas

Carol our Christmas. Shirley Erena Murray* (1931-). Written in 1986 as a reaction to Northern hemisphere carols and their imagery of holly and snow which dominated New Zealand Christmas celebrations well into the 20th century, despite the fact that New Zealanders actually celebrate the festival in high summer. This carol joyfully plays with the term 'Antipodean', offering itself as an 'Up-side-down' vision of Christmas where snow is not falling and trees are not bare, a time when the Christ...

Book of books, our people's strength

Book of books, our people's strength. Percy Dearmer* (1867-1936). Written some time before 1925, when it was printed in SofP (and retained in SofPE). In Dearmer's own words, it was 'written for the tune in order to express the modern appreciation of the Bible' (Songs of Praise Discussed, 1933, p. 246). The tune that he had in mind was LIEBSTER JESU (or DESSAU), by Johann Rudolf Ahle*, set normally to Tobias Clausnitzer*'s 'Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier dich und dein Wort anzuhören'*, using the...

Lord of our highest love

Lord of our highest love. Gilbert Young Tickle* (1819-1888).  The earliest printing of this hymn recorded in Hymnary.org. is in The Christian Hymnal (Cincinnati, 1882), published for the Churches of Christ. It was published in the same year in New Christian Hymn and Tune Book (Cincinnati: Fillmore Brothers). In Britain it was almost certainly among the 34 hymns by Tickle in A Collection of Hymns for Churches of Christ (Birmingham, 1888), edited by David King (1819-1894), with Tickle as an...

God who madest earth and heaven

God who madest earth and heaven. Heinrich Albert* (1604-1651), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). Winkworth's translation of Albert's 'Gott des Himmels und der Erden'* was printed as the first of the 'Morning Hymns' in Lyra Germanica I (1855). For the popularity of this hymn in Germany, see the entry on 'Gott des Himmels'. Winkworth translated all seven stanzas of Albert's text very faithfully: Gott des Himmels und der Erden,                   God who madest earth and...

May the grace of Christ our Saviour

May the grace of Christ our Saviour. John Newton* (1725-1807). Olney Hymns (1779) includes this text as a single stanza of eight lines in a group of 'Short Hymns' at the end of Book III, 'On the Rise, Progress, Changes, and Comforts of the Spiritual Life'. It is headed '2 Corinthians xiii. 14'. It is normally divided into two verses. The first paraphrases Paul's blessing on the church in Corinth, turning it into a prayer in the first person plural, while the second develops the idea. The...

For Mary, Mother of our Lord

For Mary, Mother of our Lord. John Raphael Peacey* (1896-1971). First published in 100HfT and thus in A&MNS, with the title 'Mother of the Lord', in seven stanzas. It is based on the account of the Annunciation in Luke 1: 26-38, but includes a reference to Mary's grief at the death of Christ. It concentrates beautifully on the love and sorrow of maternal care, but also refers to Mary's role as 'the second Eve' (from Milton, Paradise Lost V. 387) who begins the world anew. The hymn remained...

In our dear Lord's garden

In our dear Lord's garden. Ella Sophia Armitage* (1841-1931).  Written at Dedham, on the Essex-Suffolk border, in 1881, and published in the same year in Armitage's The Garden of the Lord. It was entitled 'Christ's love for children'. Probably Armitage's fondness for this hymn led to the book's title. It was popular as a children's hymn in the first part of the 20th century, and was printed in MHB and CP. In the metre of 6.5.6.5., it has an affecting simplicity, but its language has not...

To our Redeemer's glorious name

To our Redeemer's glorious name. Anne Steele* (1717-1778). From Steele's Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional (1760), where it was entitled 'Praise to the Redeemer'. It had six stanzas, showing Steele at her most enthusiastic: To our Redeemer's glorious name,   Awake the sacred song! O may his love, (immortal flame!)   Tune every heart and tongue. His love, what mortal thought can reach?   What mortal tongue display? Imagination's utmost stretch   In wonder dies away. Let wonder still with...

Jesus is our Shepherd

Jesus is our Shepherd. Hugh Stowell* (1799-1865).  Many of Hugh Stowell's hymns were written for children. This one is dated 1849 by JJ, p. 1097. It was published in the 12th Edition of his Selection of Psalms & Hymns Suited to the Services of the Church of England (Manchester, 1764). It had four stanzas:  Jesus is our Shepherd,  Wiping every tear; Folded in his bosom,  What have we to fear? Only let us follow  Whither He doth lead, To the thirsty desert  Or the dewy mead. Jesus is...

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place. Thomas Hornblower Gill* (1819-1906). This hymn was originally entitled 'The Hymn of the Waldenses' and was first published in Gill's The Golden Chain of Praise (1868). The Waldenses (or Vaudois), founded by Peter Valdes (Waldo) in the 12th century, were a pre-Reformation Protestant sect who were excommunicated twice, first by Pope Lucius III in 1184 and then by the fourth Lateran Council in 1215. By the 17th century, after centuries of persecution,...

Forward! be our watchword

Forward! be our watchword. Henry Alford* (1810-1871). This is a very long processional hymn of eight stanzas, with twelve lines to each stanza. It was probably one of Alford's last hymns: it was first sung on 6 June 1871, six months after his death in January 1871, at a Festival of Parochial Choirs at Canterbury, where Alford had been Dean. It was published in the Festival Book in that year, together with Alford's own tune. Both were subsequently published in Appendix B to the Life, Journals,...

The flaming banners of our King

The flaming banners of our King. Venantius Fortunatus* (ca. 540- early 6th century), translated by John Webster Grant* (1919-2006). In The Hymnal 1982 Companion (Vol 3A, pp. 327-30), Grant traced alterations to the Latin text, 'Vexilla Regis prodeunt'* up to modern Roman missals used as sources for 37 English translations published by 1907, as noted by JJ (pp. 1219ff), and described the circumstances of its composition. He described its effect through the ages: 'Its strains…confirmed to the...

The glory of our King was seen

The glory of our King was seen. Margaret Cropper* (1886-1980). Companions give the first publication of this hymn as 1961, in Songs for Joy and then in Infant Praise (1964), but we have been unable to verify this. A third stanza was added when the hymn was first published in a hymnbook, in The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971). It was subsequently included in the British URC book, New Church Praise (1975), and then in HP, RS, and other books. It...

Now to heav'n our cry ascending

Now to heav'n our cry ascending. William Edward Hickson* (1803-1870). First published in Hickson's The Singing Master (1836). It was written to fit the Welsh tune AR HYD Y NOS by Hickson, who was a musical educator and provider of moral songs to fit the music: it weaves variations on the thrice-repeated 'God speed the right' in each stanza: Now to heav'n our cry ascending,  God speed the right!In a noble cause contending,  God speed the right!May we live our lives before thee,Like the good and...

God and Father, we adore thee

God and Father, we adore thee. Hugh Falconer* (1859-1931). Written for the hymnbook of the English Presbyterian Church, Church Praise (1907) at the request of the compilers. Falconer, a minister of the EPC, was asked to write a Christmas hymn with reference to 'the family idea' or to 'the forbears who are much in people's minds at this season' (Companion to CH3, 1979, p. 153). It had six stanzas: God and Father, we adore Thee  For the Son, Thine image bright,In whom all Thy holy nature ...

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender. Edith Gilling Cherry* (1872-1897). This remarkable hymn was published in The Master's Touch: and other Poems (n.d., but probably not long after Edith's death), edited by Edith Cherry's mother, Matilda S. Cherry. It was entitled 'We rest on Thee', with a reference to 2 Chronicles 14: 11: And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our...

O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight

O thou in whose presence my soul takes delight. Joseph Swain* (1761-1796). According to JJ  this was published in Swain's  Redemption, a Poem in Five Books (1791). This sounds unlikely, but no copy has been found to check. It was certainly published in Swain's Experimental Essays on Divine Subjects, in verse and prose: and hymns for social worship (1791). It was entitled 'A Description of Christ, by his graces and power. From Solomon's Song.' It had nine 8-line stanzas. It is written in a...

We limit not the truth of God

We limit not the truth of God. George Rawson* (1807-1889). First published in Psalms, Hymns, and passages of Scripture for Christian Worship (1853), the 'Leeds Hymn Book', in five 8-line verses, with a preface containing an account by Edward Winslow of the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers from Leiden for America in 1620. Winslow, later Governor of the colony at Plymouth in Massachusetts, described John Robinson, pastor of the separatist chapel at Leiden, as preaching a farewell sermon to the...

God be with you

God be with you. Thomas A. Dorsey* (1899-1993), Artelia W. Hutchins, and Jeremiah Eames Rankin* (1828-1904). This hymn of benediction by gospel legend Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), often labeled as 'The Father of Gospel Music' in the African American context, is second its popularity following 'Precious Lord, take my hand'* (1932) in the composer's gospel compositions (Kemp, n.p.).  The text of this hymn is similar to 'God be with you till we meet again'* (1880) by American congregational...

O God, Thou art the Father

O God, Thou art the Father. Attributed to St Columba* (521-597), translated by Duncan MacGregor* (1854-1923).  This is a translation of the hymn beginning 'In Te, Christe, credentium miserearis omnium'. Both sections were traditionally attributed to St Columba, but a note in the Trinity College MS casts doubt on his authorship of the first part. For details of the MS, the translation, its original, and its first publication, see the entry on 'Christ is the world's Redeemer'*. This translates...

Brightly beams our Father's mercy

Brightly beams our Father's mercy. Philip P. Bliss* (1838-1876).  First published in The Charm, a collection of Sunday School music (Cincinnati, 1871), with the heading 'Let the Lower Lights be Burning'. Like a number of Gospel hymns, this was based on an anecdote (cf. 'Ho! my comrades, see the signal'*). In this case it was told and moralised by Dwight L. Moody* and versified by Bliss. It concerned a ship attempting to make the harbor at Cleveland during a storm on Lake Erie: 'Are you sure...

All my hope on God is founded

All my hope on God is founded. Joachim Neander* (1650-1680), translated by Robert Bridges* (1844-1930). Joachim Neander's 'Meine Hoffnung stehet feste'* was published in A und Ω. Joachimi Neandri Glaub- und Liebesübung: auffgemuntert durch einfältige Bundes Lieder und Danck-Psalmen (Bremen, 1680) where it was entitled 'Der nach dem Essen Danckende' ('Grace after food'). Bridges's free translation appeared in the Yattendon Hymnal Part III (1898), in five stanzas, with its 1680 tune, labelled...

God of mercy, God of grace

God of mercy, God of grace. Henry Francis Lyte* (1793-1847). First published in Lyte's The Spirit of the Psalms (1834), as a free paraphrase of Psalm 67 (Lyte wrote two versions of Psalm 67, of which this was the second). It was printed in the English Presbyterian book, Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), with the tune HEATHLANDS by Henry Thomas Smart*. Smart was music editor of the book, and probably wrote this tune to fit Lyte's words. The hymn's three stanzas neatly and crisply sum...

God of the strong, God of the weak

God of the strong, God of the weak. Richard Watson Gilder* (1844-1909). Published in 'In the Hights' (1905; so spelt in the edition of Gilder's poems) with the title 'Hymn written for the service in memory of Dr J.L.M. Curry, held by the Southern Education Conference, Richmond, Virginia, April 26, 1903'. It had six stanzas, celebrating the commitment of Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry (1825-1903) to the cause of free education in the southern states. Most hymnbooks print a four-stanza text, omitting...

God of freedom, God of justice

God of freedom, God of justice. Shirley Erena Murray* (1931- ). Described by its author as one of her first 'gap-fillers', this hymn was written in 1980 for Amnesty International's Campaign Against Torture when she could find nothing relevant to sing at a service for prisoners of conscience. It was first published in Murray's New Zealand collection, In Every Corner, Sing: New Hymns to Familiar Tunes in Inclusive Language (Wellington, 1987) where the suggested setting was PICARDY. It has since...

Come to our poor nature's night

See 'Come to our dark nature's night'*.

Earth, rejoice, our Lord is King

Earth, rejoice, our Lord is King. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), Part II, where it was entitled 'To be sung in a Tumult'. It had fourteen 4-line stanzas. It was not included in the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists, but a shorter version, stanzas 1-2 and 9-12, was added in the supplement of 1831, with alterations to the original stanza 12: 1740 (verse 12)1831 (verse 6) Our Messias is come down, Points us to the...

Spirit divine, attend our prayers

Spirit divine, attend our prayers. Andrew Reed* (1787-1862). Reed spent his life as a Congregational Church minister in the East End of London, and this hymn was written to be sung there. It was published anonymously in the Evangelical Magazine (June 1829) with the heading: 'Hymn to the Spirit. Sung on the late Day appointed for Solemn Prayer and Humiliation in the Eastern District of the Metropolis'. The 'late day' was Good Friday, 17 April 1829, a day set aside by the London Board of...

To Him who for our sins was slain

To Him who for our sins was slain.  Arthur Tozer Russell* (1806-1874). From Russell's Psalms and Hymns, partly original, partly selected, for the use of the Church of England (1851). It was written, according to A.B. Grosart in JJ, p. 982, on 24 January of that year. It was included in Roundell Palmer*'s The Book of Praise (1862) and in Church Hymns (1871; Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874). From The Book of Praise it found its way across the Atlantic to Christ in Song , edited by Philip Schaff*...

O God, thou art my God alone

O God, thou art my God alone. James Montgomery* (1771-1854). Published in Montgomery's Songs of Zion (1822) in six 4-line stanzas, originally beginning 'O God, thou art the God alone'. It is based closely on Psalm 63:1-8, but does not observe the order of the stanzas as in the Scottish Psalter. Montgomery omitted it from The Christian Psalmist (GlasgowI, 1825), but its straightforward and skilful rendering of the psalm has been greatly appreciated by hymnbook compilers since that time: O God,...

Our Lord, his passion ended

Our Lord, his passion ended. Francis Crawford Burkitt* (1864-1935). First published in Burkitt's Three Hymns for Whitsuntide (1920). Burkitt, who was a fine musician, had written two hymns for old Dutch tunes, and this one for a tune from a German Roman Catholic book set to a Latin hymn, 'Fortem virili pectore'. It was printed in the Church and School Hymnal (1926), and again in SofPE (1931). It came in to the A&M repertoire in A&MR (1950), when it was given a new tune, NAPHILL, by...

And let our bodies part

And let our bodies part. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Volume II of Charles Wesley's Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), where it was hymn CCXXXIII, entitled 'At Parting'. It was XLIII in the section entitled 'Hymns for Christian Friends'. It was in two parts: Part I had six 8-line stanzas, Part II four stanzas. Part I was printed, with slight alterations, by John Wesley* in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) in 12 four-line stanzas, in the section 'For the...

Our king went forth to Normandy

Our king went forth to Normandy. English, 15th-century, author unknown. This is known as the 'Agincourt hymn'. It was written to celebrate the campaign of Henry V in France, culminating in the victory at Agincourt on St Crispin's Day (25 October) 1415. It had stanzas in English, beginning as above, and 'Burdens' or refrains in Latin, beginning 'Deo gracias, Anglia, redde pro victoria'. Burden I begins, and Burden II ends each stanza, as follows: Deo gracias, Anglia, redde pro Victoria Our...

None is like Jeshurun's God

None is like Jeshurun's God. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), entitled 'Deuteronomy xxxiii. 26, &c', in nine 8-line stanzas. It was included in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), in the section 'For Believers Seeking for Full Redemption', with minor emendations and the omission of the last three stanzas: God's almighty word shall stand, Thine enemies shall fall, Fade away at his...

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord. Julia H. Johnston* (1849-1919). This hymn is sometimes (as in the Companion to UMH) known as 'Greater than our sin' (the refrain begins 'Grace, grace, God's grace/ Marvelous grace, infinite grace', the second line sung by the basses and altos under the melody). It is based on Romans 5: 20b: 'But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.' It was first published in Hymns Tried and True (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1911), edited by Daniel B. Towner*....

We sang our glad Hosannas

We sang our glad Hosannas. Mary Nelson Keithahn* (1934- ). In recent years Palm Sunday observances have been expanded to include the both the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem followed by a transition that points toward the events of Christ's Passion. In five stanzas this hymn, published in 1998, spans the events from Palm Sunday through the resurrection, providing a bridge from the excitement of Palm Sunday to the somber events of Holy Week. It may also be sung effectively on Maundy...

What shall we offer our good Lord

What shall we offer our good Lord. August Gottlieb Spangenberg* (1704-1792), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Spangenberg's hymn, beginning 'Der König ruht, und schauet doch', was written for the 34th birthday of Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf* on 26 May 1734. It was too late for the Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut of 1735, but was printed in an appendix of 1737. Wesley, who knew Spangenberg in Georgia, translated the hymn, beginning 'High on His everlasting throne'. He expanded on...

God of my life, through all my days

God of my life, through all my days. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). First published as no. 71 in Hymns founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (Salop, 1755), edited after Doddridge's death by his friend Job Orton. It was entitled 'Praising God through the whole of our existence, Psalm cxlvi. 2'. The original first line was 'God of my Life, thro' all its Days', but (as with 'O God of Bethel, by whose hand'*) the hymn is usually known by its amended first line. It was in frequent use in...

Ye servants of our glorious King

Ye servants of our glorious King. Hymns Ancient and Modern*, from various sources.  This is a translation of a stanzas from a hymn in the Roman Breviary of 1632, 'Christo profusum sanguinem', a 17th-century version of the martyrs' form of 'Aeterna Christi munera'*. It was used in the First Edition of A&M (1861) and subsequently. According to Frost (1962, p. 516) it consisted of the following stanzas:  stanza 1 by the compilers; stanzas 2 and 3 by Robert Campbell*, from Hymns and...

Our Father, through the coming year

Our Father, through the coming year. William Gaskell* (1805-1884).  According to JJ, p.406, this hymn was one of the many hymns by Gaskell in John Relly Beard*'s A Collection of Hymns for Public and Private Worship (London and Manchester, 1837). JJ also noted that the original printing began 'Father, throughout the coming year...'.  It was not in either of the two principal collections by James Martineau*, Hymns for the Christian Church and Home (1840) and Hymns of Praise and Prayer (1873)....

'Forgive our sins as we forgive'

'Forgive our sins as we forgive'. Rosamond Eleanor Herklots* (1905-1987). Written in June 1966 and printed soon afterwards in the parish magazine of St Mary's Church, Bromley, Kent, this hymn was inspired by digging up weeds in her nephew's garden; she perceived that their deep roots resembled the bitterness and resentment that mar so many human relationships and hinder Christian growth. Since its first appearance it has become widely valued for its perception of the difficulties involved in...

See, Christ was wounded for our sake

See, Christ was wounded for our sake. (William) Brian Foley* (1919-2000). This was one of 14 hymns by Foley in New Catholic Hymnal (1971). It was chosen for WOV, and the 'Companion' to that book, Songs of the People of God (1982) quotes Foley as saying that his hymns were based 'on theology rather than sentiment' (p. 122). Certainly the dramatic pictorialism of stanza 2 discouraged any sentimental view of the cross: Look on his face, come close to him -See, you will find no beauty...

Come to our dark nature's night

Come to our dark nature's night. George Rawson* (1807-1889).  This hymn was printed in Psalms, Hymns, and passages of Scripture for Christian Worship (1853), the 'Leeds Hymn Book', a book in which Rawson assisted the local Congregationalist editors. There were originally nine stanzas, as found in the Primitive Methodist Hymnal (1887, 1889):  Come to our dark nature's nightWith thy blessèd inward light,Holy Ghost, the Infinite, Comforter Divine.  We are sinful; cleanse us, Lord:Sick and...

Light of the world, faint were our weary feet

Light of the world, faint were our weary feet. Laura Ormiston Chant* (1848-1923).  In Appendix II of JJ, this hymn was annotated as follows: 'Written in June 1901, at the request of the Rev. S. Collier, Superintendent of the Central Wesleyan Mission in Manchester' (p.1620). Samuel Collier (1855-1921) was one of the leaders of the Methodist Church at the time (he was President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference in 1913). JJ went on to quote Chant herself, as she remembered that Collier had...

Brief life is here our portion

Brief life is here our portion. Bernard of Cluny* (12th century), translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is a translation of 'Hic breve vivitur, his breve plangitur, hic breve fletur', from the poem by Bernard of Cluny (or Morlaix), De Contemptu Mundi. That poem began 'Hora novissima, tempora pessima sunt, vigilemus'* (later translated by Neale as 'The world is very evil'*), but Neale first worked from an extract by Richard Chenevix Trench (in Sacred Latin Poetry, 1849) beginning...

Father, to Thee we look in all our sorrow

Father, to Thee we look in all our sorrow. Frederick Lucian Hosmer* (1840- 1929).  According to JJ, p. 1650, this was written in 1881 to mark the death of a member of Hosmer's congregation. This must have been during his pastorate at Cleveland, Ohio (1878-92). It was published in The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems, First Series (Boston, 1885), edited by Hosmer with William Channing Gannett*. It had four stanzas:  Father, we look to Thee in all our sorrow, Thou art the fountain whence...

Eternal, spotless Lamb of God

Eternal, spotless Lamb of God. John Wesley* (1703-1791). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), as stanzas 7-9 of a long hymn (nine 8-line verses) entitled 'The Lord's Prayer Paraphrased'.  See 'Father of all, whose powerful voice'* and 'Eternal Son, eternal Love'*. The whole hymn was appended by John Wesley to his sixth sermon on the Sermon on the Mount (see The Works of John Wesley. Vol I, Sermons 1-33, ed. Albert C. Outler, Nashville, Tennessee, 1984). In the 1780 Collection of...

Jesu, our Lenten fast to Thee

Jesu, our Lenten fast to Thee. John W. Hewett* (1824-1886).  This is a translation of the Latin hymn, 'Jesu, quadrigenariae' ('Jesus, of the forty days…'). The translation was printed in Hewett's Verses by a Country Curate (Ashby-de-la-Zouche, 1859), where it was entitled 'A Morning Hymn for Lent'. Hewett attributed the Latin hymn to Hilary of Poitiers* ('S. Hilarius') but this is doubtful. The Latin hymn was found in most Monastic Breviaries, normally for Lent at Vespers or Lauds. The...

Praise and thanksgiving be to our Creator

Praise and thanksgiving be to our Creator. Frank Whiteley* (1914- ) and Harold Francis Yardley* (1911-1990). Encouraged by Stanley L. Osborne*, in the autumn of 1969 Frank Whiteley drafted a hymn text about baptism derived from his research for a Master's thesis at Emmanuel College in Toronto which would be completed the following year under the title 'The Doctrine and Practice of Infant Baptism in the Traditions of the United Church of Canada'(1970). The original hymn consisted of five...

Jesu, who this our Lenten-tide

Jesu, who this our Lenten-tide. Walter Howard Frere* (1863-1938). This is a translation of 'Jesu quadragenariae', a hymn for Lent in the monastic Uses from the 10th century onwards. The original had five stanzas and a doxology ('Presta, Pater, per Filium/ Presta per almum Spiritum'). Frere translated three stanzas for A Plainsong Hymnbook (1932):  Jesu, who this our Lenten-tide Of abstinence hast sanctified, Be with Thy Church in saving power In this her penitential hour. And, as Thou dost...

God of grace and God of glory

God of grace and God of glory. Harry Emerson Fosdick* (1878-1969). This hymn has been called a 'paradigmatic hymn of early twentieth-century USA liberal Christianity' (Young, 1993, p. 367). It was written by Fosdick in 1930 at his summer home at Boothbay Harbour, Maine. It was sung at the opening on 5 October 1930 of the inter-denominational Riverside Church in New York City, where Fosdick was a famous preacher. It was sung again at the dedication service, 8 February 1931. It was printed in...

Eternal Father bless our land

Eternal Father bless our land. Hugh Sherlock* (1905-1998). Written in 1962, this was entitled 'Jamaica, land we love'. It has two stanzas, each ending with the same three lines: Justice, Truth be ours forever, Jamaica, land we love Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love. It was given a tune by Robert Lightbourne, arranged by Mapletoft Poulle. Words and music were chosen as the national anthem by a committee of the Jamaican Parliament, and sung at the independence ceremonies of 1962....

Holy Father, cheer our way

Holy Father, cheer our way. Richard Hayes Robinson* (1842-1892). Written in 1869 when Robinson was curate of Upper Norwood, and printed in Church Hymns (1871, Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874). It was included in the Second Edition of A&M (1875), and in Godfrey Thring's A Church of England Hymn Book (1880). It continued in subsequent editions of A&M until it was omitted by A&MNS. It is found in many 20th-century books, including EH/NEH, SofP and SofPE, BBCHB, and CH3. A version...

Our Savior bowed beneath the wave

Our Savior bowed beneath the wave. Adoniram Judson* (1788-1850). These are the first three stanzas of a hymn by Judson in seven stanzas that first appeared in Thomas Ripley's A Selection of Hymns, for Conference & Prayer Meetings, and Other Occasions, Second Edition (1831) under the title 'Hymn written by Mr. Judson, Missionary; and sung at the baptism of several soldiers, at Maulmein, British Pegu' (Music and Richardson, 2008, p. 170). For the text of the first three stanzas, see the...

God is the refuge of his saints

God is the refuge of his saints. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). From The Psalms of David (1719), Psalm 46, First Part (verses 1-5), with the title, 'The Church's Safety and Triumph among national Desolations'. Though close to the spirit and sense of the psalm, it is a free rendering; though it does not make it obviously Christian, it has the strength and economy of verse achieved by Watts at his best. Methodist books change stanza 5 lines 1-2 from That sacred stream, thine holy word, That all our...

What is our calling's glorious hope

What is our calling's glorious hope. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). This hymn is formed from  the last six stanzas (9-14) of a hymn beginning 'Jesu, Redeemer of Mankind', first published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742). It was preceded by a quotation from Titus 2: 14: 'Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from ALL Iniquity.' It began with a denunciation of 'sinners of a carnal mind': Jesu, Redeemer of Mankind,   How little art Thou known By Sinners of a Carnal Mind   Who claim Thee...

All praise to our redeeming Lord

All praise to our redeeming Lord. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). Entitled 'At Meeting of Friends' and first published in Hymns for those that seek and those that have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ (1747), in three 8-line stanzas. The hymn was reprinted in Hymns for those to whom Christ is All in All (1761). Though John Wesley did not include it in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), it was added in a revised edition of that book in 1800-01 in six...

When our heads are bowed with woe

When our heads are bowed with woe. Henry Hart Milman* (1791-1868). First published in Reginald Heber*'s Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), set as the second hymn for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity. As JJ points out, it deals with the Gospel on the day, the raising of the widow's son at Nain, but 'only with the sad side of that event' (p. 1271).  It was not included by Milman in his Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1837), but it became very popular in...

African hymnody

African hymnody. In this article, African hymnody will be considered under the headings 'Western Africa', 'Eastern Africa' and 'Southern Africa', preceded by a general introduction. Articles on individual countries and authors/composers will be found as separate entries. Introduction 'Music might be considered as one of the best ways to educate Christian people. A beautiful hymn, well understood and lived, has the value of a good sermon' (Ntahokaja, 75). In this quotation, Father Ntahokaja...

God of the sparrow

God of the Sparrow. Jaroslav Vajda* (1919-2008).  This hymn, dated 1983, is one of the most popular American hymns written in the last quarter of the 20th century. It was first published in Hymnal Supplement II (Carol Stream, Illinois, 1987) and first sung at the annual meeting of the Hymn Society of America (now Hymn Society in the United States and Canada*) in Forth Worth, Texas, in July 1987. It was the result of a commission from Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Missouri, 'to compose...

Lord, of thy mercy hear our cry

Lord, of Thy mercy hear our cry.  Emma Toke* (1812-1878). This prayer for righteousness in the nation was first published in the SPCK Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1852), edited by Thomas Vincent Fosbery*. It was not included in its successor, Church Hymns (1871), but remained in use until recent times in Ireland, being found in ICH3 (1919) and ICH4 (1960). Lord, of Thy mercy hear our cry  For this long favour'd land;That now, as in the days gone by,  Her strength may be Thy...

God is in his temple

God is in his temple. William Tidd Matson* (1833-1899). Matson's poem was published in his Lays of Laud, Life & Litany (1891), and in his Poetical Works (1894), with the date 1872. It was printed in Supplemental Hymns (1868), edited by Henry Allon*. It has remained popular in Baptist, Methodist and Congregationalist/URC books. It was written to fit the tune GRONINGEN, ascribed to Joachim Neander*:   God is in his temple,  The Almighty Father;Round his footstool let us gather:  Him with...

Let us break bread together on our knees

Let us break bread together on our knees. African American spiritual*. This widely sung spiritual was formed in the West African Gullah/Geechee slave culture that developed in the coastal areas of South-Eastern colonial America, including St Helena Island, Beaufort, and Charleston, South Carolina shown on this map.       It was first transcribed from oral traditions in three versions:   (1) Words only in The Journal of American Folklore (1925), consisting of three invitatory stanzas...

A Saviour who died our salvation to win

A Saviour who died our salvation to win. Ada Ruth Habershon* (1861-1918). This hymn is dated 1905, one of many written for the evangelistic campaign of Charles M. Alexander* with his teacher Reuben Archer Torrey*. It was sometimes entitled 'Is He Yours?',  taken from the refrain: Is He yours? Is He Yours? Is this Saviour, who loves you, yours? Another title was 'The Pilot Song', from stanza 3, which stands out from the other three more traditional stanzas, which celebrate 'Saviour',...

O God of mercy, God of might

O God of mercy, God of might. Godfrey Thring* (1823-1903). Written in 1887, and published in A Church of England Hymn Book (1880). It should not be confused with hymns by other authors with the same opening. Many different tunes are used. The hymn follows Thring's favoured pattern of stanzas consisting of three eight-syllable rhymed lines followed by a shorter final line; the final lines all end with the same word, 'thee', giving unity to the whole. In stanza five some hymnals print 'when'...

O God of all grace

O God of all grace. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), with the title 'The Same', indicating that it was one (No. 22) of 43 'Hymns for Believers'. It had twenty stanzas in the metre of 5.5.11./12, beginning 'O Saviour, whose Blood/ For Sinners hath flow'd'. It was not included in the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists, but was found in Wesleyan books of a later date, including 'Wesley's Hymns', in eleven 3-line...

God of grace and God of laughter

God of grace and God of laughter. Carl P. Daw, Jr.* (1944- ). This hymn, with its unusual but effective first line, was written for the tenth anniversary of the Northeast Connecticut Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in 1987, when Daw was working as vicar-chaplain at the University of Connecticut. It was printed in Daw's A Year of Grace (Carol Stream, 1990). It was given a tune by Cameron Johnson, a member of the Chapter, but it can be sung to any of the well known tunes in the...

Glory be to God on high

Glory be to God on high. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord (1744), in four 8-line stanzas. It was not included in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), but appeared in the 1831 Supplement to that book and in subsequent Methodist hymnbooks. Its use outside Methodism has not been extensive, though it found a place in A&MCP. The opening couplet recalls the song of the angels (Luke 2:14) and...

Praise God for this holy ground

Praise God for this holy ground. John Bell* (1949– ).  This five-stanza hymn with refrain is a litany of praise to God. Four of the five stanzas employ anaphora, repeating 'Praise God' at the beginning of each. A jubilant refrain, 'Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! God's goodness is eternal', follows. First published in One Is the Body: Songs of Unity and Diversity (Glasgow/Chicago, 2002), the hymn appears in three other collections: the Canadian More Voices (2007), and in Worship and Song...

Spirit of God, that moved of old

Spirit of God, that moved of old. Cecil Frances Alexander* (1818-1895). First published in Hymns for Public Worship (1852, 1855), edited by Thomas Vincent Fosbery* for the SPCK (it is possible that Fosbery, born in Ireland, had a particular interest in Irish authors: cf. Emma Toke*). It had four stanzas. Taylor (1989, p. 172) notes that it was then printed in Alexander's Hymns Descriptive and Devotional (1858), with an additional stanza (stanza 3 in the following text; this stanza has not been...

All glory to God in the sky

All glory to God in the sky. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1744), in five 8-line stanzas, and reprinted in full in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) and in subsequent Wesleyan Methodist hymnbooks. Since the Methodist Hymn Book (1904), the final stanza has been omitted: No horrid alarum of war Shall break our eternal repose; No sound of the trumpet is there. Where Jesus's...

Accept, O Lord, our Alms, though small

Accept, O Lord, our Alms, though small. Wilson Carlile* (1847-1942). This was printed by Lady Victoria Carbery* in the Church Hymnal for the Christian Year (1917, retained in the 1920 edition). It was included in the 'Introduction', in a section 'Hymns for the Alms and Oblations'. It was preceded by a quotation from 1 Peter 2: 5: 'Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.' It also referred...

Lord, while afar our brothers fight

Lord, while afar our brothers fight. Somerset Lowry* (1855-1932). Written in 1899, and published in a leaflet form in 1900. It reflected the deep concern in Britain over the South African war of 1899-1902, with particular reference to the battle of Colenso (15 December 1899), which was a disaster for the British forces. A day of national prayer was ordered to take place a few weeks later, and Lowry preached on that occasion. His was one of three sermons published in Three plain sermons for the...

We are not our own. Earth forms us

We are not our own. Earth forms us. Brian Arthur Wren* (1936- ). This text was commissioned by the Liturgical Studies Program of Drew University, New Jersey, USA. It was written to a melody composed by the author and finished on 4 September 1987. It was published in Wren's Bring Many Names (1989). Part of the note to this hymn says: 'The writing included one false start and numerous revisions. The melody (named from the village where I live [YARNTON]), came at an early stage, and was a useful...

Lamp of our feet, whereby we trace

Lamp of our feet, whereby we trace. Bernard Barton* (1784-1849). First published in Bernard and Lucy Barton's The Reliquary… with a Prefatory Appeal for Poetry and Poets (1836), in eleven stanzas. It is based on Psalm 119: 105: 'Thy word is a lamp unto my feet'. The opening is sometimes made to seem less old-fashioned by printing 'Lamp of our feet, by which we trace'. In the full text in the Selection published by his daughter Lucy after Barton's death it was entitled 'The Bible', and given a...

Come, let us join our friends above

Come let us join our friends above. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Funeral Hymns (1759) in five 8-line stanzas, this hymn has been subjected to considerable textual revision and does not appear in any hymnbook in its full, original form, which can be found in Frank Baker's Representative Verse of Charles Wesley (1962), pp. 131ff. The least drastic amendment follows the example of MHB in retaining most of the original text, omitting only verses 3b and 4a: His militant,...

O Christ our Joy, gone up on high

O Christ our joy, gone up on high.  David Thomas Morgan* (1809-1886). From Morgan's Hymns of the Latin Church (privately printed, 1871). It was a translation of the Latin verses beginning 'Tu Christe nostrum gaudium'*, which formed the second part of 'Aeterne Rex altissime'*. Although Morgan's book was privately printed, it must have come to the attention of the compilers of the Second Edition of A&M, because it was included there for Ascensiontide, before being reprinted in Morgan's...

Jesu, to Thee our Hearts we lift

Jesu, to Thee our Hearts we lift. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Book II of Charles Wesley's Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), published in his own name, with his brother's approval. It was number 45 of a large section entitled 'Hymns for Christian Friends'. It had six stanzas in 1749: Jesu, to Thee our Hearts we lift,   Our Hearts which now with Love o'erflow, With Thanks for thy continued Gift,   That still thy pretious Name we know, Retain the Sense of Sin forgiven, And wait for all our...

The voice of God is calling

The voice of God is calling. John Haynes Holmes* (1879-1964).  Holmes' text was commissioned in early 1913 by The Young People's Religious Union of Boston, Massachusetts [Unitarian]. It was composed on board the S. S. Laconia during his voyage home from England. Holmes describes writing the hymn in his 'Introduction' to his Collected Hymns (p.18):    .  .  . here I was on a swift ship headed for New York, and not a line of my hymn written. I had tried my hand at composition several times...

Father of Love, our Guide and Friend

Father of love, our Guide and Friend. William Josiah Irons* (1812-1883). According to JJ, p. 370, this was written 'for a large Confirmation at Brompton, in 1844'. It was published in Richard T. Lowe's Hymns for the Christian Seasons, and other occasions (Gainsburgh [Gainsborough], 1854) and in the hymn section of the Appendix to the Brompton Metrical Psalter (1861). Irons later published it in Hymns for the Church (1873) and Psalms and Hymns for the Church (1875). It was then printed in...

Lord, through this Holy Week of our salvation

Lord, through this Holy Week of our salvation. William Henry Draper* (1855-1933). First published in Hymns for Holy Week: being translations from Hymns from the Greek Church. With original hymns, and a hymn by Bishop Ken, edited by Draper with John Varley Roberts, of Magdalen College, Oxford (London and New York, 1898). It was included in A&M (1904), and in A&MS; it was retained in A&MR, but omitted from A&MNS . It had five stanzas: Lord, through this Holy Week of our...

Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire

Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), with the title 'Before Reading the Scriptures', as the third of three hymns addressed in turn to each Person of the Trinity. In its original form, consisting of four 4-line stanzas, the hymn has continued to be widely used, both within Methodism and by many other churches. There is manuscript evidence that two textual amendments, which were incorporated into John Wesley's A...

Happy are they, they that love God

Happy are they, they that love God. Robert Bridges* (1844-1930). From Bridges's Yattendon Hymnal*, Part II (1897). It is a translation of a hymn by the French Latin writer Charles Coffin* beginning O quam juvat Fratres, Deus unum quibus Christus caput vitale robur sufficit uno moreri spiritu. The hymn was published in the Parisian Breviary (1736) and in Coffin's Hymni Sacri (1736). It had been translated by John Chandler* in his Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837) as 'O Lord, how joyful 'tis...

O God, the Rock of Ages

O God, the Rock of Ages. Edward Henry Bickersteth* (1825-1906). It is noted in JJ that Bickersteth himself gave two dates for the composition of this hymn, 1860 and 1862 (p. 832). It is not possible to know which is correct. It was published in Bickersteth's The Two Brothers, and other poems (1871), and quickly taken up by the Presbyterian Church in England in its Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867). It was retained in the Presbyterian Church of England (the name changed in 1876) in...

Healer divine, O hear our prayer

See 'Heal us, Immanuel, hear our prayer'*

Come let us join our cheerful songs

Come let us join our cheerful songs. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This appeared in Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book I, 'Collected from the Holy Scriptures', with the title, 'Christ Jesus the Lamb of God, Worshipped by all the Creation; Rev. 5.11, 12, 13.' It skilfully, and freely, paraphrases these verses from Revelation, but instead of straightforwardly following John's vision, Watts invites us to join the angelic chorus, as they express their single joy in their thousands of voices. Many...

Our children, Lord, in faith and prayer

Our children, Lord, in faith and prayer. Thomas Haweis* (1734-1820). This charming hymn for Baptism is from the enlarged edition of Haweis's Carmina Christo; or, Hymns to the Saviour (1808). It had three stanzas, printed here because subsequent texts have differed considerably: Our children, Lord, in faith and prayer, We now devote to Thee; Let them Thy covenant mercies share, And Thy salvation see. Such helpless babes didst Thou embrace While dwelling here below; To us...

Away with our fears, the glad morning appears

Away with our fears,/ the glad morning appears. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), where it had 14 stanzas. It was entitled 'On his Birth-day', and began with the personal 'Away with my Fears'. In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists it appeared in the section 'For Believers Rejoicing', shortened to 12 stanzas. The omitted stanzas were 2 and 8: 2. No grievous Alloy Shall diminish the Joy I to Day from my Maker...

God sends us the Spirit

God sends us the Spirit. Tom Colvin* (1925-2000). Written in Ghana during Colvin's period of missionary service, 1959-1964, and set to the melody of a Gonja folk song originally in praise of the tribe and its past leaders. The text was written, according to the author, for 'churches, particularly new churches, where the Spirit is experienced as a powerful presence'. It is included in several standard collections, and captures both the intimacy and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit....

Come, let us anew our journey pursue

Come, let us anew/ Our journey pursue. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns for New Year's Day (1750) in three 8-line stanzas, this hymn has remained in use unaltered, save that since the Supplement of 1831 to A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists it was divided into six stanzas and 'may' was substituted for 'might' in line 18. The hymn draws together a number of biblical images and allusions. The dominant passage is Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable...

O word of pity, for our pardon pleading

O word of pity, for our pardon pleading. Ada Rundall Greenaway* (1867-1931) Hymns Ancient and Modern, Historical Edition (1909) notes, referring to A&M (1904), that this hymn 'is here published for the first time' (p. 183); but whether or not it was written for the 1904 edition is not clear (though the copyright, 1904, was held by the Proprietors of A&M). It was given a remarkable tune by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry*, one of the members of the music committee. He called the tune,...

Come, let us with our Lord arise

Come, let us with our Lord arise. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns for Children (1763), entitled 'For the Lord's Day', in four 6-line verses. The hymn was not included in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), but it appeared in the later edition known as 'Wesley's Hymns' (1876), in MHB and in HP. It has also been used in a number of Anglican and Free Church hymnbooks, including CP and A&MCP. The full original text, which has rarely...

Give to us laughter, O Source of our life

Give to us laughter, O Source of our life. Walter Farquharson* (1936- ). First published in Praise to the Lord! 12 Modern Hymns with Contemporary Music (Oakville, Ontario, 1974), a production of Farquharson in collaboration with Ron Klusmeier*. This hymn was described by Erik Routley* in A Panorama of Christian Hymnody (1979). It was one of two hymns by Farquharson cited by Routley for their references to Canadian landscape: 'joining with stars and with bright northern lights,/ laughing and...

What would we give to our beloved

What would we give to our beloved. Elizabeth Barrett Browning* ( 1806-1861).  This consists of stanzas taken from 'The Sleep', a poem of nine 6-line stanzas published by E.B. Barrett in 1838 in a collection entitled The Seraphim, and other poems (this was before she married Robert Browning*). The stanzas that make up this hymn were 2, 4, 6, and 9. The poem was prefaced by '“He giveth His beloved sleep:” - Psalm cxxvii. 2.':  What would we give to our beloved?The hero's heart to be unmoved,The...

How high Thou art! our songs can own

How high Thou art! our songs can own. Elizabeth Barrett Browning* (1806-1861).  This is one of the four hymns printed by Elizabeth Barrett (as she then was) in The Seraphim, and other poems (1838) (cf. 'God named Love, whose fount Thou art'*). This was 'Hymn II', entitled 'The Mediator'. It was prefaced by 'As the greatest of all sacrifices was required, we may be assured that no other would have sufficed.' - BOYD's Essay on the Atonement.' This refers to Hugh Stuart Boyd's An Essay on the...

O Lord, enlarge our scanty thought

O Lord, enlarge our scanty thought. Moravian authors, translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This is a shortened version of selected stanzas from four Moravian hymns, found by Wesley in the 'Anhang' (Supplement) to Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1737/1738). The hymns are all in 6-line stanzas: Stanzas 1-2 are from Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf*'s 'Ach! mein verwundter fürste ('I thirst, Thou wounded Lamb of God'): Stanzas 3-6 are from Johann Nitschmann*'s 'Du blutiger Versöhner'...

You, living Christ, our eyes behold

You, living Christ, our eyes behold. Edmund Robert Morgan* (1888-1979), modernized by John Whitridge Wilson* (1905-1992). According to Frost (1962, p. 360) Bishop Morgan's text was written for the Winchester Hymn Supplement (1922). It was almost certainly written during the years that Morgan (who later became Bishop of Southampton and then of Truro) was chaplain to the Bishop of Winchester (1919-23). It was originally in the customary second person singular: it appeared in this form in...

Our earth we now lament to see

Our earth we now lament to see. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).                                  This was 'Hymn II' in Hymns of Intercession for All Mankind (1758). It was entitled 'For Peace'. The hymns are an extraordinary demonstration of Methodist loyalty in time of war, with Hymn X entitled 'For His Majesty King George', Hymn XI 'For the Prince of Wales', followed by no fewer than four hymns 'For the King of Prussia'. Others are 'For the Magistrates', 'For the Parliament', 'For the Army',...

Heal us, Immanuel, hear our prayer

Heal us, Immanuel, hear our prayer. William Cowper* (1731-1800). First printed in Olney Hymns (1779), with the title 'Jehovah-Rophi, I am the Lord that healeth thee. Chap. xv.' [of Exodus]. 'Jehovah-Rophi' means 'The God who heals me', but Cowper gives the Hebrew a New Testament significance by using the word 'Emmanuel' and referring to the stories in Mark 5 and Mark 9. The hymn had six stanzas. Cowper's first line was 'Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are'. The alteration to 'hear our prayer'...

God, who art the Lord of Harvest

God, who art the Lord of Harvest (Prayer for a Labor Force).  D. Elton Trueblood* (1900-1994). This hymn is also known by its title, 'Prayer for a Labor Force'. For more than eleven years, Trueblood wrote a monthly column entitled 'Plain Speech' for Quaker Life.  In the column 'Hymns for Today', (April 1968, vol/series 8, issue 4, p. 118), he notes that 'The period when Quakers refused to sing ended a hundred years ago…  It must have been hard for our ancestors to neglect “And when they had...

Before the throne of God above

Before the throne of God above. Charitie Lees De Chenez* (1841-1923). According to JJ, p. 109, this was written in 1863 and published in Within the Veil, by C.L.S. (1867); 'C.L.S.' stands for Charitie Lees Smith, her maiden name. It was entitled 'The Advocate'. Before that it had been included by Charles Haddon Spurgeon* in Our Own Hymn Book (1866), so it must have been published elsewhere, probably in leaflet form. It crossed the Atlantic very quickly: JJ noted its appearance in Laudes...

To God with heart and cheerful voice

To God with heart and cheerful voice. George Wither* (1588-1667). This hymn appeared in Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623), for Ascension Day, and, slightly altered, in Haleluiah, or Britans second Remembrancer (1641), where it is hymn 37 in the section, 'Hymns Temporary'. It was included in SofP in the 1623 text, omitting stanza 2: The human nature, which of late Beneath the angels was, Now raisèd from that meaner state, Above them hath a place. And at man's feet all creatures...

Lord of the church, we pray for our renewing

Lord of the church, we pray for our renewing. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). This text was written as one of its author's self-imposed holiday assignments at Ruan Minor, Cornwall, in August 1976. But it drew on the National Evangelical Anglican Congress (NEAC1) held at Keele, Staffordshire, nine years earlier, the watchword of which was 'Christ over all' — a phrase setting the scene in the hymn's second line and summing it up in the final one. As well as the four words which open all three...

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire. John Cosin* (1595-1672). This is probably the best known of the many English translations of the medieval Latin hymn 'Veni creator spiritus'*. It was first printed in Cosin's A Collection of Private Devotions in the Practice of the Ancient Church (1627), where it was assigned to the Third Hour, at which the Holy Ghost was traditionally thought to have descended at Pentecost. It may have been written for the coronation of King Charles I in 1625, at which...

“A little while,” - our Lord shall come

  “A little while,” - our Lord shall come. James George Deck* (1807-1884).  This hymn was first published in the Appendix to the 1841 edition of the Brethren book, Hymns for the Poor of the Flock (JJ, p. 3). It was prefaced by ' “A little while, and ye shall see me.” – John xvi. 16.' It had four 6-line stanzas:  “A little while,” – our Lord shall come, And we shall wander here no more;He'll take us to our Father's Home, Where He, for us, has gone before,To dwell with Him, to see his...

Lighten the darkness of our life's long night

Lighten the darkness of our life's long night. Frances Mary Owen* (1842-1883). First published in Trefoil: Verses by Three (1868), a book of poems by Frances Mary Synge, later Owen (as above) and two others, Frances E. Steele-Graves and 'Miss E. Synge'. It starts with the Third Collect at Evening Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer ('Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night'),  but then works variations upon it...

O God of truth, O Lord of might

O God of truth, O Lord of might. Latin, school of Ambrose of Milan*, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is a translation of the Latin 'Rector potens, verax Deus'*, long associated with the canonical hour of Sext, the time of the mid-day meal under the 'ignibus meridiem' ('noon-day's fiery beams'). Neale's translation appeared in The Hymnal Noted Part I (1851), and in a much altered form in the First Edition of A&M: Neale, 1851A&M, 1861 O God of truth, O Lord...

O God, my God, my All Thou art

O God, my God, my All Thou art. Spanish, translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This hymn is unusual among the translations of John Wesley because it comes from a Spanish original rather than a German one. It was printed in Wesley's 1738 Collection of Psalms and Hymns, the book published after his return to Britain from Georgia, with the title 'Psalm LXIII. From the Spanish.' In Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739) it was sandwiched between better known translations from the German: it was preceded...

When God would prove his love

When God would prove his love. John Murray* (ca. 1740-1815). This was the second of five hymns first published in the 1782 edition of Christian Hymns, Poems and Sacred Songs, Sacred to the Praise of God, Our Saviour, compiled by English Universalist James Relly and his brother John Relly.  The book was first published in London in 1754, and the 1782 edition was published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Noah Parker (1734-1787), a convert of Murray's and preacher in Portsmouth (Brewster, pp....

Come, Lord, to our souls come down

Come, Lord, to our souls come down. Howard Charles Adie Gaunt* (1902-83). This hymn was first published in 100HfT (1969). It was written to be sung between the Epistle and the Gospel at Holy Communion, and is therefore short: it is a hymn of preparation. In its first printing, verse 3 lines 3-4 were: Make us, Lord, by your own Word, More and more believing. Both HP and RS altered these lines, concerned that 'more and more' might mean quantity rather than depth: HPRS Stir us,...

O Christ our joy, to whom is given

O Christ our joy, to whom is given. Laurence Housman* (1865-1959). This is a translation of an early Latin hymn 'Tu Christe nostrum gaudium'*, itself the second part, for use at Lauds, of the hymn beginning 'Aeterne Rex altissime'* (other translations of 'Aeterne Rex altissime' include that by James Russell Woodford* ('Christ, above all glory seated'*) and J.M. Neale*'s 'Eternal Monarch, King most high'*). The hymn celebrates the Ascension, asking for help in this present life, and looking...

Around the throne of God in heaven

Around the throne of God in heaven. Anne Shepherd* (1809-1857). From Hymns adapted to the Comprehension of Young Minds (date unknown; Second Edition, 1836). It was very popular in the 19th century, and appeared in many books for children (see, for example, the collections of John Burton (II)*). Free church books tended to use it in preference to 'Around the throne of God a band'* by John Mason Neale*. It survived into the 20th century in RCH, MHB, and the Song Book of the Salvation Army (1953...

Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest

Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest. George Wallace Briggs* (1875-1959). Published in SofPE (1931). This fine hymn for Holy Communion begins and ends with the experience of the two disciples at Emmaus (Luke 24: 28ff), though stanza 2 refers to the Last Supper. In its first printing, stanza 1 line 4 was altered to 'In this our sacrament of bread and wine' at the request of Percy Dearmer*. Briggs recalled that Dearmer 'was not prepared — at that stage of his life, for his doctrinal...

God who created me

God who created me. Henry Charles Beeching* (1859-1919).  This exuberant hymn comes from Beeching's In a Garden, and other Poems (1895). It seems to have been used as a hymn first in the Sunday School Hymnary (1905), edited by Carey Bonner*, and subsequently in the Boys' Brigade Hymnal (1922), the 1919 edition of The Public School Hymn Book, edited by Geoffrey Shaw, SofP (1925), RCH (1927) and SofPE (1931). In the USA it appealed to H. Augustine Smith*, who included it in the American Student...

Eternal God, we look to Thee

Eternal God, we look to Thee. James Merrick* (1720-1769). From Merrick's Poems, on Sacred Subjects (Oxford, 1763), where it was entitled 'The Ignorance of Man'. It had eight 4-line stanzas, beginning: Behold yon new-born Infant, griev'd   With hunger, thirst, and pain; That asks to have the wants reliev'd,   It knows not to explain. Merrick goes on to reflect that in his relationship to God he is an infant, 'though long in years mature', not knowing the source of his distress or his cure....

Would you bless our homes and families

Would you bless our homes and families. Walter Farquharson* (1936- ). The hymn reflects the writer's career as a 'worker-priest'. Teaching English in the community's high school while pastoring at Saltcoats United Church, Farquharson observed family and community relationships from two perspectives. The hymn text prays: 'in our world of stress and tension teach us love that conquers fear'. Erik Routley* commented: 'His exposition of faith in relation to the stress of family life … is a hymn on...

Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed

Our blest Redeemer, ere he breathed. Harriet Auber* (1773-1862). From The Spirit of the Psalms: or, a compressed version of selected portions of the Psalms of David, adapted to Christian worship (1829), where it is found among the hymns that follow the psalms. It was the first of two hymns for Whitsunday. It became widely known after its inclusion in the First Edition of A&M, where it is found among the 'General Hymns'. It was set in A&M to ST CUTHBERT, by John Bacchus Dykes*, for the...

An upper room did our Lord prepare

An upper room did our Lord prepare. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). Written in 1973, and first published in Hymns for Celebration (Royal School of Church Music, 1974). It was written following a request from John Wilson* for a hymn text for a folk tune, which he called FOLKSONG, collected by Cecil Sharp* in 1905, with a metre of 9.8.9.8 (later books have called this tune O WALY WALY). The hymn has appeared in Australian, Canadian and British hymnals, some editors changing the metre to L.M....

They'll know we are Christians by our love

They'll know we are Christians by our love. Peter Scholtes* (1938-2009). Written in 1966, this was first published in Hymnal for Young Christians (1966). It is sometimes known as 'We are One in the Spirit', from the first line, 'We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord'. It is based on John 13: 35. It appeared in a recording, We are One in the Spirit (1968), produced by Scholtes with the choir of St Brendan's Church, Chicago, together with local singers and instrumentalists. It later...

High let us swell our tuneful notes

High let us swell our tuneful notes. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). First published in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, the posthumous collection of Doddridge's hymns edited by his friend Job Orton (1755). It was headed 'The Angels Song at Christ's Birth. Luke ii. 13, 14.' It had five 4-line verses. It was included in some later editions of the Supplement to Tate* and Brady*'s New Version of the Psalms of David (see New Version, Supplement*), with slight alterations. In...

Soon will our Saviour from heaven appear

Soon will our Saviour from heaven appear. Ada Ruth Habershon* (1861-1918). This hymn is dated 1905, during the period when Habershon was writing many hymns for the evangelical campaign of Charles M. Alexander* and his teacher Reuben Archer Torrey*. It was frequently given the title 'Oh, What a Change', from the refrain that emphasises the message of the hymn, which is that at the Second Coming 'all will be changed' (from 1 Corinthians 15:51): loneliness to reunion, darkness to light, storms to...

To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise

To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise. William Chatterton Dix* (1837-1898). In 1862 the Convocation of Canterbury issued a form of service for harvest thanksgiving. This harvest hymn was written shortly afterwards, in 1863. It was one of six hymns added to the 1864 edition of Hymns for the Services of the Church, and for Private Devotion, the hymn book of St Raphael's Church, Bristol, where Dix worshipped as a youth. It was quickly adopted by several major collections, including The People's...

God of Nations at thy feet

God of Nations at thy feet. Thomas Bracken (1843-1898). New Zealand's second national anthem, of equal official standing with its first, 'God Save the Queen', is a hymn written in 1876 by Thomas Bracken, Irish-born journalist, poet and parliamentarian. The text was published in a weekly journal under the title 'National hymn' together with a competition to compose a suitable melody. The winner was John Joseph Woods (1849-1932), an Otago schoolteacher. In 1940, at the time of New Zealand's...

Christ is our light! The bright and morning star

Christ is our light! The bright and morning star. Leith Fisher* (1941-2009).  This hymn was written for the first Sunday after the Epiphany, which also marks the Baptism of Christ. It was written while Fisher was minister of the Old Parish Church of Falkirk (1979-90). On being invited back to Falkirk from his new parish of Wellington in Glasgow (1990-2006) to conduct a wedding, the author added a third stanza, based on the wedding at Cana (John 2: 1-11). The first stanza refers to 'the bright...

If thou but suffer God to guide thee

If thou but suffer God to guide thee. Georg Neumark* (1621-1681), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). The German text, 'Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten'* was written by Neumark in 1641 or 1642 as a hymn of consolation and thanksgiving after he had been appointed tutor to the children of a judge in Kiel, following a period of poverty and depression. It was published in Neumark's Fortgepflanzter Musikalisch-poetischer Lustwald ('A musical and poetic pleasant spreading wood', Jena,...

Blest be the everlasting God

Blest be the everlasting God. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). From Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book I, where it had the title, 'Hope of Heaven by the Resurrection of Christ, I Pet. i. 3, 4, 5.' It had five stanzas. Its closeness to the biblical passage is indicated by its inclusion in the 1745 draft of Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, its authorship apparently unacknowledged. When that book was revised and approved in 1781, verse 3, which departs from the New Testament passage, was...

Up to the throne of God is borne

Up to the throne of God is borne. William Wordsworth* (1770-1850). This was printed in a major six-volume collection of Wordsworth's Poetical Works published in 1836, Volume V, in a section entitled 'Poems of Sentiment and Reflection'. It was entitled 'The Labourer's Noon-day Hymn', and dated 1834. It had eight 4-line stanzas: Up to the throne of God is borne The voice of praise at early morn, And he accepts the punctual hymn Sung as the light of day grows dim. Nor will he turn his ear aside...

Break, day of God, O break

Break, day of God, O break. Henry Burton* (1840-1930). According to Telford, annotating the 1904 Wesleyan Methodist Hymn Book, this was written on Christmas Eve 1900 at Blundellsands, near Liverpool: stanza 1 was written on a railway bridge, the remainder at Burton's home (Telford, 1906, p. 165). It was later printed in Burton's Songs of the Highway (1924). It had four stanzas:   Break, day of God, O break,   Sweet light of heavenly skies! I all for thee forsake, And from my dead self rise: O...

Servant of God, well done

Servant of God, well done. James Montgomery (1771-1854). First published in Montgomery's Greenland, and other poems (1819), entitled 'The Christian Soldier'. This was followed by 'Occasioned by the sudden death of the Reverend Thomas Taylor; after having declared, in his last Sermon, on a preceding evening, that he hoped to die as an old soldier of Jesus Christ, with his sword in his hand.' The echo of Mr Valiant-for-Truth's farewell in Part II of The Pilgrim's Progress is clear. Taylor was a...

There's a wideness in God's mercy

There's a wideness in God's mercy. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). See 'Souls of men! why will ye scatter'*. This hymn begins with the fourth verse of Faber's hymn. It has become much more popular than the version beginning with the first three verses: Souls of men! Why will ye scatter Like a crowd of frightened sheep? Foolish hearts! Why will ye wander From a love so true and deep? Was there ever kindest shepherd Half so gentle, half so sweet, As the Saviour who...

In the Name of God the Father

In the Name of God the Father. John W. Hewett* (1824-1886). This hymn was described by JJ , p. 520, as in 'C.U.'(common use). It was the first hymn in the Introduction section of The Church Hymnal for the Christian Year (1917), edited by Lady Victoria Carbery*, who dated it 1867: In the Name of God the Father,   In the Name of God the Son, In the Name of God the Spirit,   One in Three and Three in One.  In the Name which highest Angels  Speak not ere they veil their face,Crying “Holy, Holy,...

Only-begotten, Word of God eternal

Only-begotten, Word of God eternal. Latin, 11th century, translated by Maxwell Julius Blacker* (1822-1888). Written in 1884 for St Barnabas', Pimlico, this hymn is found in BBCHB, the Irish CH4 (1960) and NEH. It is a translation of 'Christe cunctorum Dominator alme', an anonymous hymn. Its usefulness as a hymn for a Dedication Festival (especially as a Processional hymn) has ensured its survival. All seven stanzas are printed in NEH:   Only-begotten, Word of God eternal,Lord of Creation,...

There in God's garden stands the Tree of Wisdom

There in God's garden stands the Tree of Wisdom. Erik Routley* (1917-1982). Routley wrote this hymn, which is entitled 'The Tree of Life' as part of his editorial work on Cantate Domino (1974, full music 1980), the World Council of Churches' hymnal. The Hungarian hymn 'Paradicsomnak te szép élö Fája' ('You beautiful living tree of Paradise') by Pécselyi Király Imre (c.1585-c.1641) was at that time, in Routley's own words, 'just about all that is yet available from Hungarian Protestantism' (A...

O Spirit of the living God

O Spirit of the living God. James Montgomery* (1771-1854). Written for a meeting of the Auxiliary Missionary Society for the West Riding of Yorkshire held at Salem Chapel [Congregational], Leeds, on 4 June 1823, and printed on a leaflet. The 'Auxiliary' societies were supporting branches of the London Missionary Society, an organisation supported chiefly by Congregationalists. It was printed in the Evangelical Magazine (August 1823), and, with revisions, in The Christian Psalmist (1825) under...

This, this is the God we adore

See 'This God is the God we adore'*

God of all-redeeming grace

God of all-redeeming grace. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). This was hymn CXXXIX in Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745), the book in which John Wesley* produced an abridgement of Daniel Brevint's The Christian Sacrament and Sacrifice (1673). In 1745 it appeared in the section entitled 'The Sacrament a Pledge of Heaven'. The text in 1745 was as follows: God of all-redeeming Grace, By thy pard'ning Love compell'd Up toThee our Souls we raise, Up to Thee our Bodies yield. Thou our Sacrifice...

Thine for ever! God of love

Thine for ever! God of love. Mary Fawler Maude* (1819-1913). Written in 1847 for her class in the Sunday School at Newport, Isle of Wight, where her husband was curate. It was printed at the beginning of Twelve Letters on Confirmation 'by a Sunday School Teacher' (1848). It was included in her privately printed Memorials of Past Years (1852): Thine for ever! God of love,Hear us from Thy throne above;Thine for ever may we beHere and in eternity. Thine for ever! O, how blestThey who find in...

God of my life, to thee I call

God of my life, to thee I call. William Cowper* (1731-1800). First printed in Book III of Olney Hymns in six stanzas, headed 'Looking upwards in a storm'. Hymns (1852), produced by the SPCK, substituted 'we' for 'I' throughout to make the first line 'God of our life, to Thee we call'. and printed only the first two stanzas and a third from an unknown source. The Anglican Hymn Book (1868) used 'I' and altered the first line to 'My God, my life, to thee I call'. A&M (1861) followed Hymns in...

Being of beings, God of love

Being of beings, God of love. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), entitled 'Grace after Meat', in five 4-line stanzas. Though it was not included in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), it appeared in the supplements, and in 'Wesley's Hymns' in 1876. It was in all 20th- and 21st century Methodist hymnbooks. The full, original text can be found in HP, except that 'pant' in stanza 2, line 1, has been replaced by...

Thou God of truth and love

Thou God of truth and love. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), Volume II, in seven 6-line stanzas, where it was No 13 of a series of 'Hymns for Christian Friends'. It was originally written as a love poem for Sarah Gwynne, shortly before her marriage to Charles Wesley. It was altered by John Wesley* to make it suitable for general use, the word 'both' being replaced by 'we' or 'all' in a number of places. With these and a few other minor textual...

God the sculptor of the mountains

God the sculptor of the mountains. John Thornburg* (1954- ).  'God the sculptor' is John Thornburg's most published hymn, written early in his hymn-writing career. Thornburg's alma mater, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University*, commissioned the hymn in honor of James E. Kirby upon his retirement as Dean of the School of Theology in 1993. The hymn was first printed and sung at the School's diploma ceremony in May 1993. The author comments:  I got the commission just...

O Word of God above

O Word of God above. Isaac Williams* (1802-1865). First published in the publication that was sympathetic to Tractarian views and to the Oxford Movement*, the British Magazine, in July 1837. It was then included in Williams's  Hymns translated from the Parisian Breviary (1839). It was a translation of a hymn by a Jesuit, Charles Guiet (1601-1664), beginning 'Patris aeterni soboles coaeva' ('Issue of the eternal Father') published in a Paris Breviary of 1680 and in later editions. In 1839...

I waited for the Lord my God

I waited for the Lord my God. Scottish Psalter, 1650. This metrical version of Psalm 40 has 17 stanzas in The Psalms of David in Metre of 1781 and The Scottish Psalter, 1929, but the text that is customarily used in worship is from stanzas 1-4: I waited for the Lord my God,   and patiently did bear; At length to me he did incline   My voice and cry to hear. He took me from a fearful pit,   and from the miry clay, And on a rock he set my feet,   establishing my way. He put a new song in my...

Father God in heaven

Father God in heaven. James Edward Seddon* (1915-1983). This is a modern trope on the Lord's Prayer, in which each stanza consists of a fragment of text interspersed with phrases of the prayer. Each stanza ends with the refrain 'O Lord, hear our prayer'. It appears in several Jubilate Group* books, including HFTC (1982) and Sing Glory (1999). It is also found in BPW and Worship Songs, Ancient and Modern (1992). It is associated with the tune KUM BA YAH. Emma Hornby

Now lives the Lamb of God

Now lives the Lamb of God. David Mowbray* (1938- ). Written for Easter 1981 at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, when Mowbray was rector, this is a metrical paraphrase of 'The Easter Anthems'. The chain of Scripture verses from 1 Corinthians 5 and 15 and Romans 6, as originally arranged in 1549 by Thomas Cranmer ('Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast'), is prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer to be 'sung or said' on Easter Day as a morning canticle instead of...

High in the heavens, eternal God

High in the heavens, eternal God. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This close yet free paraphrase of Psalm 36, verses 5- 9, appeared in The Psalms of David (1719), entitled 'The Perfections and Providences of God; or, General Providence and Special Grace'. In one of the Supplements to A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) the compilers excluded Watts's stanza 5, which is found in CP . In 1719 it was: High in the Heavens, Eternal God,  Thy Goodness in full Glory...

God of eternity, Lord of the ages

God of eternity, Lord of the ages. Ernest Northcroft Merrington (1876-1953). This was the first, and for many years the only Australian hymn to gain international recognition. It was written in 1912 for the Jubilee of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Brisbane, where Merrington was the minister. He wrote of his hymn: 'The main thought in my heart was of thankfulness to the Giver of all good for the splendid services rendered in the [British] Colonies of our blood and creed, and thankfulness for...

Lord God the Holy Ghost

Lord God the Holy Ghost. James Montgomery* (1771-1854). First printed in the 8th Edition of Thomas Cotterill*'s Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use (1819) in three 8-line stanzas. It was entitled 'Whit Sunday', and in its short compass it mentions many of the attributes of the Holy Spirit: power, grace, the rushing wind, the tongues of fire, light, truth, and the spirit of adoption. It was reprinted with alterations in Montgomery's The Christian Psalmist (Glasgow, 1825)...

The Church of God a kingdom is

The Church of God a kingdom is. Lionel Boulton Campbell Lockhart Muirhead* (1845-1925). Written for Muirhead's friend Robert Bridges*, and included in Part III of the Yattendon Hymnal* (1898). It was included in EH, and subsequently in the Standard Edition of A&M (1922) and in SofP. It is now a well-known item in Church of England books (A&MR, A&MNS, A&MCP, NEH), and it is found in BBCHB and in the Roman Catholic Parish Hymn Book (1968). In the USA it was printed in H40, and it...

The love of God is greater far

The love of God is greater far. Frederick Martin Lehman* (1868-1953). According to Hymnary.org. and the Cyber Hymnal, this hymn dates from 1917, although stanza 3 is taken from a text that is much older. The first two stanzas, and the refrain, are by Lehman: The love of God is greater far   Than tongue or pen can ever tell; It goes beyond the highest star,   And reaches to the lowest hell; The guilty pair, bowed down with care,   God gave His Son to win; His erring child he reconciled,   And...

The Saints of God! their conflict past

The Saints of God! their conflict past. William Dalrymple Maclagan* (1826-1910).  Written in 1869, this hymn was first published in a Church of England periodical, Church Bells (1870), and immediately afterwards in the SPCK Church Hymns (1871, Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874). It was included in the Second Edition of A&M (1875) as a hymn for All Saints' Day. It had five stanzas:  The Saints of God! their conflict past,And life's long battle won at last,No more they need the shield or...

Spirit of the living God

Spirit of the living God. Daniel Iverson* (1890-1977). This one-verse song was written and composed in February 1926, after Iverson had been inspired by an address on the Holy Spirit at Orlando, Florida. It was printed in leaflet form, and then, without permission, in Revival Songs (Dallas, 1929) edited by Robert H. Coleman*. In 1937 Baylus B. McKinney* included that version with slight changes under his name as arranger in his Songs of Victory. This version entered the 1956 Baptist Hymnal and...

Of all the thoughts of God, that are

  Of all the thoughts of God, that are. Elizabeth Barrett Browning* (1806-1861).  This consists of stanzas taken from 'The Sleep', a poem of nine 6-line stanzas published by E.B. Barrett in 1838 in a collection entitled The Seraphim, and other poems (this was before she married Robert Browning*). The stanzas that make up this hymn were 1, 6, and 9, prefaced by '“He giveth His beloved sleep:” - Psalm cxxvii. 2.':  Of all the thoughts of God that are Borne inward into souls afar, Along the...

Ye servants of a martyr'd God

Ye servants of a martyr'd God. Robert Campbell* (1814-1868). This is Campbell's translation of the martyrs' form of 'Aeterna Christi munera'*, continuing 'Et martyrum victorias', possibly by Ambrose of Milan* (339/40-397). It was published in Campbell's Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane (Edinburgh, 1850). It was used by the compilers of A&M (1904) to make a hymn that began like other translations 'The...

O God of earth and altar

O God of earth and altar. Gilbert Keith Chesterton* (1874-1936). First published in EH (1906), and subsequently included in many hymnals. It has often been stated that it appeared in the Christian Social Union magazine The Commonwealth, but this is not so (see Bernard Massey, 'O God of earth and altar. A Cautionary Tale', Bulletin of the Hymn Society, 220, July 1999, pp. 240-1). The story that Chesterton wrote it for the tune AURELIA, which he thought 'the typical tune for hymns', is a...

Alone with none but thee, my God

Alone with none but thee, my God. St Columba* (521-597), translated by Duncan MacGregor* (1854-1923).  This was first published in Saint Columba. A Record and a Tribute. To which are added the Altus and some other remains, with offices for the thirteen hundredth anniversary of his death (from ancient sources)(Edinburgh and Aberdeen, 1897), one of the first fruits of MacGregor's scholarly interest in the early Celtic church.It had four stanzas:    Alone with none but thee, my God, I journey...

We all believe in One true God

We all believe in One true God. Tobias Clausnitzer* (1619-1684), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). This is Winkworth's translation of Clausnitzer's hymn for Trinity Sunday, 'Wir glauben all' an einen Gott'*, made for The Chorale Book for England (1863): We all believe in One true God,  Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,Strong Deliv'rer in our need,  Praised by all the heav'nly host,By whose mighty power alone  All is made, and wrought, and done. And we believe in Jesus Christ, Son...

Leave God to order all thy ways

Leave God to order all thy ways. Georg Neumark* (1621-1681), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). This is the first of two translations made by Catherine Winkworth of the hymn by Neumark beginning 'Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten'*. For details of the German text see 'If thou but suffer God to guide thee'*. This translation was made for Lyra Germanica, First Series (1855). The usual printing in hymn books is of stanzas 1, 3 and 7, omitting: 2. What can these anxious cares...

Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God. Matthew Bridges* (1800-1894). From Bridges's Hymns of the Heart, for the use of Catholics (1848), where it was entitled 'Ecce Agnus Dei' (many of the hymns in that collection had Latin titles). It had seven 7-line stanzas, based on John 1: 29. Because, as JJ pointed out (p.129), the hymn is rarely printed in this form, the original text is printed here:   Behold the Lamb! Oh! Thou for sinners slain, - Let it not be in vain,   That Thou hast died: Thee for my Saviour...

Glory to thee my God, this night

Glory to thee my God, this night. Thomas Ken* (1637-1711) This evening hymn shares its origins with the morning hymn, 'Awake, my soul, and with the sun'*, and its early history is described under that heading. Like the morning hymn, it exists in a pamphlet, A Morning and Evening Hymn, Formerly made by a Reverend Bishop of 1692, as follows: All Praise to thee, my God, this Night; For all the blessings of the Light. Keep me, O keep me, King of Kings Under thine own Almighty...

I once was a stranger to grace and to God

I once was a stranger to grace and to God. Robert Murray McCheyne* (1813-1843). This hymn is sometimes known as 'Jehovah Tsidkenu'. It is dated 18 November 1834, and was first published in the Scottish Christian Herald (March 1836) (JJ, p. 557). It was then published in Songs of Zion to cheer and guide Pilgrims on their way to the Heavenly Jerusalem (Edinburgh, 1841), and (with the following words added) 'By the late Rev. R.M. McCheyne' (Dundee, 1843); and then in Memoir and Remains of the Rev...

Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, dear Saint of our isle

Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, dear Saint of our isle. Sister Agnes, 19th century. Published in Henri Friedrich Hemy*'s Easy Hymn Tunes with the words in full, adapted for Catholic Schools (1851), where it attributed to Sister Agnes, 'of the Convent of Charleville, Co. Cork'. This was the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy, founded in 1831. The hymn appeared in Suffield and Palmer's Crown of Jesus (1862), and in many later books, including Albert Edmonds Tozer*'s Catholic Hymns: original and...

The Son of God goes forth to war

The Son of God goes forth to war. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826). First published with the title 'St Stephen's Day' in Heber's Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827) in eight 4-line stanzas, of which stanzas 3 and 4 refer specifically to the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7), followed by other Christian martyrs: The Son of God goes forth to war  A kingly crown to gain;His blood-red banner streams afar:  Wh follows in his train?Who best can drink his cup of woe, ...

Great God, thy penetrating eye

Great God, thy penetrating eye. Elizabeth Scott* (1708–1776). This hymn appears in Scott's manuscript collection (see 'Hymns and Poems by Elizabeth Scott'*). In a modern numbering of those 90 hymns and poems, this one is indexed as H14. A transcription of H14 showing Scott's heading, spelling, punctuation, and capitalisations follows, preceded by a moral precept:  A Consciousness of God as Omniscient &Almighty the grand Incipient to aReligious Life & to vigorous EndeavoursAfter...

Wind of God, dynamic Spirit

Wind of God, dynamic Spirit. Michael Saward (1932-2015) This hymn on the Holy Spirit was originally written in May 1966 as a one-stanza hymn for a 'People's Service' on BBC Radio 2 on Whitsunday 1966. Saward added two further stanzas in November 1968, 'Voice of God, prophetic Spirit', and 'Fire of God, titanic Spirit'. It appeared as 'Fire of God, titanic Spirit' in Youth Praise 2 (1969). The word 'titanic' was later changed to 'volcanic', to meet objections from Saward's Jubilate...

O for a humbler walk with God

O for a humbler walk with God. Edward Harland* (1810-1890). This hymn was published in Harland's Church Psalter and Hymnal (1855), in four stanzas. It is obviously a variant on 'O for a closer walk with God'*, by William Cowper*, which is also found in the 1855 book. It is printed close to Harland's adaptation, as though Harland was not afraid to draw attention to the provenance of his hymn: O for a humbler walk with God! Lord bend this stubborn heart of mine, Subdue each rising, rebel...

Around the throne of God a band

Around the throne of God a band. John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). First published in Neale's Hymns for Children, Second Series (1842) as a hymn for Michaelmas Day, in nine verses, the last of which was Thomas Ken*'s doxology ('Praise God, from whom all blessings flow'). Hymnbooks which have used it (A&M Second Edition, 1875, EH, SofP) have shortened to four verses. The hymn was always in competition with 'Around the throne of God in heaven'* by Anne Shepherd*, and in more recent times the...

The God of love my shepherd is

The God of love my shepherd is. George Herbert* (1593-1633). This metrical version of Psalm 23 was first published in The Temple (Cambridge, 1633) just after Herbert's death. It is the only paraphrase of a psalm in the collection. Herbert clearly recalls the version of Psalm 23 by William Whittingham* in The Whole Booke of Psalmes (1562) which begins 'The Lord is only my support,/And he that doth me feed,/How can I then lack any thing/Whereof I stand in need?' It is notable that Herbert's...

Fire of God, undying flame

Fire of God, undying flame. Albert Frederick Bayly* (1901-1984). Written in 1947 as 'Fire of God, thou sacred flame', 'to voice the more powerful aspects of the Holy Spirit', recalling that it is manifest as fire, breath, strength, truth and love. It was published in Rejoice 0 People (1950), the author's first collection of hymns. He made slight changes in the language before its reprint in his Rejoice Together (1982). It has also been published in The New Century Hymn (1995) for the United...

Glory be to God the Father

Glory be to God the Father. Horatius Bonar* (1808-1889). Written for the hymnbook of the English Presbyterian Church, Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), although Bonar had also printed it in his Hymns of Faith and Hope, Third Series (1866). It was entitled 'Praise': Glory be to God the Father,  Glory be to God the Son,Glory be to God the Spirit, -  Great Jehovah, Three in One!    Glory, glory  While unending ages run! It had four stanzas, beginning Glory be to Him who loved...

God with humanity made one

God with humanity made one. David Fox* (1956-2008). Written in 1986, this hymn is found in RS in the 'healing and reconciliation' section. It attracted the attention of the compilers of A&MCP, who shortened it, presumably with the author's agreement, by combining stanza 5 lines 1-2 with stanza 4 lines 3-4. The original stanzas were: Through us God calls the world again, and constantly his love remains with arms outstretched, to heal and bless the refugees of emptiness. Where race or...

Nothing is lost on the breath of God

Nothing is lost on the breath of God. Colin Gibson* (1933-). Written in 1994 as a response to the death from cystic fibrosis of a young man of nineteen, and dedicated to his devoted mother, this hymn addresses the profound sense of loss that follows any such traumatic experience. It was first published in the local hymn book supplement of the Mornington Methodist Church, Dunedin, in Hope Publishing's Supplement 96, then in Colin Gibson's 1998 American collection Songs for a Rainbow People, the...

Nearer, my God, to thee

Nearer, my God, to thee. Sarah Flower Adams* (1805-48). Written in 1840, and published in Hymns and Anthems (1841), a book for the use of the Unitarian congregation of William Johnson Fox* at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, London (available online). The hymn was included in the SPCK Hymns for Public Worship (1852); and in the First Edition of A&M (1861), in four stanzas, omitting the last ('Or if on joyful wing'). It is based on the story of Jacob's dream (Genesis 28:10-22), and presents a...

God, who made the earth

God, who made the earth. Sarah Betts Rhodes* (1829-1904). This hymn was printed in The Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book (1879) with the signature 'S'. It was not in SofP, but Evelyn Sharpe wrote a tune for it, PLATT'S LANE, which was in Songs of Praise for Boys and Girls (1930) and other SofP books. It was included in SofPE, with this tune, and in CP with a tune, BEECHWOOD, by Josiah Booth (1852-1929) written for these words in The Congregational Sunday School Hymnal (1891). Another tune for...

The great love of God

The great love of God. Daniel Thambyrajah Niles* (1908-1970). Published in the EACC Hymnal (1963), with the note 'the Thai original is a chorus, which here is the first verse'. That first verse was written by Charoen Vijaya, of Bangkok, and set to music by him to a tune that he called THAILAND. Niles translated the chorus and added three verses to make what has become his best known hymn outside East Asia. He entitled it 'The Love of God in Jesus'. It is found in CH3, WOV, HP, and RS. It is...

God moves in a mysterious way

God moves in a mysterious way. William Cowper* (1731-1800). This hymn appeared in John Newton's Twenty-six Letters on Religious Subjects; to which are added Hymns, etc. by Omicron (1774) and in the Gospel Magazine (1774) before publication in Book III of Olney Hymns (1779). It was entitled 'Light shining out of darkness'. In the First Edition of A&M (1861) it is headed by a reference to John 13:7 (footnoted to the last stanza in Olney Hymns) although Genesis 40:8 is alluded to more...

O for a closer walk with God

O for a closer walk with God. William Cowper* (1731-1800). First printed in Richard Conyers*'s Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1772) and then in Augustus Montague Toplady*'s Toplady's Psalms and Hymns (1776) before publication in Olney Hymns (1779). It refers to Genesis 5: 24. It was written in December 1769 when Cowper's friend, Mary Unwin, was seriously ill, and probably reflects his fear for the outcome and his struggle to submit to the will of God. It was printed in the SPCK Hymns for...

God reveals his presence

God reveals his presence. Gerhard Tersteegen* (1697-1769), translated by Frederick William Foster* and John Miller (1756-1790). This is a translation of part of Tersteegen's 'Gott ist gegenwärtig'* (verses 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 of an eight-verse hymn). It was printed in the British Moravian Hymn Book (1789), and has remained in Moravian books until the present, though in shortened form (four verses in 1914). It follows Tersteegen's metre, and is close to the original: thus verse 2, beginning 'Gott...

Rise in the strength of God

Rise in the strength of God. Ada Rundall Greenaway* (1861-1937). Greenaway wrote hymns for Mowbray, the religious publishing house, which were used by them for Calendars and Christmas Cards. According to Frost (1962), this one was written for a Calendar in 1908, and re-used for a card in 1918 and 1920: Rise in the strength of God,   And face life's uphill way: The steps which other feet have trod   You tread to-day. Press onward, upward still,   To win your way at last, With better hope and...

Breathe on me, breath of God

Breathe on me, breath of God. Edwin Hatch* (1835-1889). This hymn began life as a poem in Hatch's privately printed volume, Between Doubt and Prayer (1878). It was later published by his widow in Towards Fields of Light (1890), entitled 'Spiritus Dei'; it had earlier been included in Henry Allon*'s The Congregational Psalmist Hymnal (1886). It was not in EH: it became widely known in Britain after its inclusion in A&M (1904). It has remained in A&M books since that time. It had four...

God of unexampled grace

God of unexampled grace. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745) in nine 8-line stanzas, in the section entitled 'As it [the Sacrament] is a Memorial of the Sufferings and Death of Christ'. Though it was not included in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), it appeared in the 1831 Supplement, divided into two hymns. The first, consisting of stanzas 1-3 of the original, had earlier been included by...

O bless the God of Israel

O bless the God of Israel. Michael Arnold Perry* (1942-1996). A text which has undergone many revisions and thus appears in various forms is this paraphrased Benedictus*, the song or prophecy of Zechariah (RSV) in Luke 1. Being set as a canticle following the New Testament reading at Morning Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, it was on the agenda of new writing for the group preparing Psalm Praise from 1969 onwards. But Perry, then a curate at Bitterne, Southampton, had already sent his text...

Glory and praise to God

Glory and praise to God. Bryn Austin Rees* (1911-1983). First published in HP, which appeared in the year of the author's death. In its manuscript form it was entitled 'Infant Dedication'. It subsequently appeared in RS. According to the Companion to RS (1999), p. 570, the hymn is specifically about dedication rather than Infant Baptism, though it could clearly be used for both purposes. Its three verses represent the Holy Trinity very appropriately in this context. They begin: Glory and...

The Son of God proclaim

The Son of God proclaim. Basil Ernest Bridge* (1927-2021). Written in 1962, this is Bridge's earliest and most widely acclaimed text. It won first prize in the 1962 Free Church Choir Union hymn competition, and was subsequently published in the Rodborough Hymnal (1964), a book for Rodborough Tabernacle Congregational Church, Gloucestershire. It has since appeared in many books in many countries, including North America ( VU , Rejoice in the Lord) and Australia (TIS). The opening line was used...

Great God, who, hid from mortal sight

Great God, who, hid from mortal sight. Charles Coffin* (1676-1749), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876). This is a translation from the Paris Breviary of 1736 of a hymn by Charles Coffin* beginning 'O luce qui mortalibus', found also in Coffin's Hymni Sacri (1736). It was designated for Vespers on Sunday from Trinity to Advent. It was printed in the Latin text among the 'Hymni Ecclesiastici' in Chandler's Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837), with a translation beginning: Oh! luce qui...

Longing for light, we wait in darkness ('Christ, be our light')

Longing for light, we wait in darkness ('Christ, be our light'). Bernadette Farrell* (1957- ).  This hymn is frequently known as 'Christ, be our light', from the first line of the refrain. It was published in 1993 by the Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) in Portland, Oregon. Since its first publication, with Farrell's own tune, it has become widely known and much loved in many countries. It has appeared in subsequent OCP books, including Journeysongs (2003), Glory and Praise (2015) and One in Faith...

God be in my head

God be in my head. 15th century, author and provenance unknown. The first trace of this very moving verse is in a French text dating from ca. 1490: Jesus soit en ma teste et mon entendement. Jesus soit en mes yeulx et mon regardement. Jesus soit en ma bouche et mon parlement. Jesus soit en mon cueur et en mon pensement. Jesus soit en ma vie et mon trespassement. Amen. The English text is found in a Book of Hours printed by Robert Pynson at London, Hore beate marie/virginis ad vsum in/signis ac...

O splendour of God's glory bright

O splendour of God's glory bright. Ambrose of Milan* (339/340-397), translated by Robert Bridges* (1844-1930). This is a translation of the Latin hymn 'Splendor paternae gloriae'*, by St Ambrose, used as the office hymn for Lauds in the early monastic cycles. In this translation, the hymn has continued to be popular in a wide range of British books, and it is also found in the American H40 and H82. In the Historical Edition of A&M (1909), Walter Howard Frere* pointed out that Ambrose used...

God who spoke in the beginning

God who spoke in the beginning. Frederik Herman Kaan* (1929-2009). First published in the author's Pilgrim Praise (1968), where it was the first hymn in the book and was entitled 'The first and final word'. It was taken up immediately by the Methodist supplement Hymns and Songs (1969), and became more widely known by being included in MHfT in 1980. It received some textual alteration in The Hymn Texts of Fred Kaan (1985) and a further alteration in RS. The hymn is based in part on the Hebrew...

O Word of God incarnate

O Word of God incarnate. William Walsham How* (1823-1897). Originally published in the 1867 supplement to How and Morrell's Psalms and Hymns (1854, enlarged 1864), and then in Church Hymns (1871), this hymn uses imagery from Psalm 119:105 ('Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path'). The imagery of light and radiance is used throughout the hymn to contrast with the darkness of the world.  In some hymnals, the title is changed to 'O Christ the Word incarnate'. This avoids any...

Trumpet of God, sound high

Trumpet of God, sound high. Arnold Brooks* (1870-1933). First published in the Foreign Mission Chronicle (October 1900), a magazine of the Scottish Episcopal Church, of which Brooks was a priest. It was written at the request of the editor, E.C. Dawson. It was revised for publication in A&M (1904), where it had three stanzas. Verse 1 applies the trumpet image from the fall of Jericho (Joshua 6: 1-20) to the mission field, in which 'the fencèd cities' are to fall 'at the blast of the Gospel...

We are marching in the light of God

We are marching in the light of God. South African Freedom song, translated by Anders Nyberg* (1955- ). In 1978 Nyberg led a Swedish worship group called 'Fjedur' to South Africa, then under an apartheid regime. After the return to Sweden, ca. 1980, 'Fjedur' published the freedom songs of the black churches (see South African freedom songs*). These were then edited by Nyberg, who provided English translations, and published with the title Freedom is Coming (Church of Sweden Mission, 1984)....

Praise to God, immortal praise

Praise to God, immortal praise. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1743-1825). First published in William Enfield*'s Hymns for Public Worship (Warrington, 1772), with the title 'Praise to God in Prosperity and Adversity', and then in Barbauld's Poems (1773). It is based on Habbakuk 3: 17-18 (the same text that inspired Cowper*'s 'Sometimes a light surprises'*). This text was used for a hymn by the Revd John Seddon, rector of Warrington Academy, in 1769, and Barbauld's hymn may have been written in...

O Son of Man, our hero strong and tender

O Son of Man, our hero strong and tender*. Frank Fletcher* (1870-1954). Written for the chapel at Charterhouse School, where Fletcher was headmaster from 1911 to 1935. This is the best known of the hymns that appeared in the Clarendon Hymn Book* (1936), a book with a strong Charterhouse element. It had been written ca. 1924 and had appeared before The Clarendon Hymn Book in SofP, SofPE, and RCH. It continued to be popular, perhaps because it was written to correct the portrayal of Jesus as...

Blessed be the God of Israel

Blessed be the God of Israel. Carl P. Daw, Jr.* (1944- ). Written in 1985 for an Advent hymn competition of the Hymn Society of America. It is a paraphrase of the Benedictus* from Luke 1: 68-79, the song that marvellously breaks the silence of Zecharias, or Zechariah, as he contemplates his son John, who will become St John the Baptist ('My child, as prophet of the Lord/ you will prepare the way', verse 3 lines 1-2). Other texts employed include Isaiah 11: 1 ('a Branch from David's tree') and...

God is love, his the care

God is love, his the care. Percy Dearmer* (1867-1936). Written for SofP (1925) and placed there in the section 'For Children', with a note 'Also for adults'. It was attributed to 'S.P.', one of Dearmer's many coded pseudonyms (in SofPE it appears with another, 'A.F.', and in the 'General' section). It was printed in Songs of Praise for Boys and Girls (1929), and in many other hymn books for children. Dearmer said that it was 'devised to convey if possible some fundamental theology in a simple...

Sing glory to God the Father

Sing glory to God the Father. Michael Saward* (1932-2015). This is the opening and 'title' hymn in Sing Glory (1999), written specifically for the tune named TE DEUM from the music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634-1704). In his collection Christ Triumphant and other hymns (2006) the author writes: 'For many years I had wanted to write a hymn on this marvellous music from the era of Louis XIV and the decision by the Editors of Jubilate Hymns* to publish Sing Glory gave me the excuse to write a...

This child from God above

This child from God above. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). As a contribution to the texts available for the baptism of a child, some of the older approaches to which now seem dated and are rarely sung, these words offer a four-verse Short Metre hymn of profound simplicity. It was written at Ruan Minor, Cornwall, in April 1974; in the author's words it 'reflects the view that (as with circumcision, the sign of the old covenant), baptism with water in the threefold Name is the appointed means...

We believe in God the Father

We believe in God the Father. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). Among several metrical versions of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds which became available in the late 20th century, this paraphrase of the former was written at Ruan Minor, Cornwall, in August 1989 and is closer than most to its 4th-century Latin original. Its English-language model was the form endorsed by the International Consultation on English Texts as used in the Church of England's Alternative Service Book 1980, its most...

God is my strong salvation

God is my strong salvation. James Montgomery* (1771-1854). Written in May 1822 and published in Montgomery's Songs of Zion (1822) in two 8-line verses, as 'Psalm XXVII, No 1.' It was printed subsequently in his Original Hymns (1853) with the title 'Trust in the Lord'. It has become standardized in four 4-line stanzas, generally unaltered except for stanza 3 line 3, where 'His truth be thine affiance' ('trust') has sometimes been altered to avoid the archaism to 'His truth is your assurance'(as...

Sing God's Glory (2001)

Sing God's Glory (2001). This is the title of a new and enlarged edition of Sing His Glory (1997), sub-titled 'Hymns for Sundays and Holy Days, Years A, B & C': the new title recognises the claims of the feminist movement in Britain, and the sub-title is an accurate description of the contents.  The Revised Common Lectionary was authorised for use in the Church of England from Advent 1997, and this compilation is described as 'one companion to the Revised Common Lectionary in the form in...

Son of God, eternal Saviour

Son of God, eternal Saviour. Somerset Lowry* (1855-1932). Written in 1893, and printed in a Christian journal, Goodwill, in 1894, and then in the Christian Social Union Hymn Book (1895). It had six 8-line stanzas. It was included in A&M (1904), with the omission of stanza 5 (which is one of the verses that would have particularly appealed to the Christian Social Union): Dark the path that lies behind us, Strewn with wrecks and stained with blood; But before us gleams the vision ...

God is working his purpose out

God is working his purpose out. Arthur Campbell Ainger* (1841-1919). Published in leaflet form by a printer at Eton in 1894, probably for use at Eton College, where Ainger was a classics master. It was then published in the Church Missionary Society's Hymn Book (1899), and in the SPCK's Church Hymns (1903). It became widely known when it was included in both A&M (1904) and EH (1906). It was dedicated to Edward White Benson*, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 to 1896, whose son A. C....

Workman of God! O lose not heart

Workman of God! O lose not heart. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). The hymn that begins with this line is a selection of verses from a hymn of 19 stanzas in Faber's Jesus and Mary: or, Catholic Hymns for Singing and Reading (1849). The hymn was entitled 'The Right Must Win'. It began 'Oh it is hard to work for God', and this has been used as the first line of the hymn in some books (with 'O' rather than 'Oh'), such as the Scottish Church Hymnary (1898) and BCH (1933). Most modern books...

God, who stretched the spangled heavens

God, who stretched the spangled heavens. Catherine Cameron* (1927- ). Written ca. 1967 for the tune AUSTRIA. It was published in Contemporary Worship 1 (1969), the first volume of an inter-Lutheran series of hymn and worship samplers issued in preparation for the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). Cameron revised the language for LBW, where the hymn was shortened to three verses, and this version appeared in the joint hymnal of the Anglican Church and the United Church of Canada, The Hymn Book...

Wherewith, O God, shall I draw near

Wherewith, O God, shall I draw near. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), in thirteen stanzas, headed 'Micah vi. 6, &c.' It was the hymn that concluded Part I of that book. It was included in a shorter form of ten stanzas by John Wesley* in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), in the section 'For Mourners convinced of Sin'. He conflated stanzas 2 and 3 into one quatrain:                        ...

In praise of God meet duty and delight

In praise of God meet duty and delight. Erik Routley* (1917-1982). Written in 1976, this is one of only three hymns for which Routley wrote both text and tune (SHERIDAN). It was commissioned by the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, and first performed at the dedication of a new organ on 14 November 1976. Stanzas 2 and 3 were reversed and line 3 in stanza 3 was altered to 'voice and mind' rather than 'voice and sound', on that occasion only and in the anthem version (in...

O Heart of Jesus, Heart of God

O Heart of Jesus, Heart of God. Georgiana Fullerton* (1812-1895). Published in Fullerton's The Gold-Digger and other verses (1872), and then in The Parochial Hymn Book (1880). It was included by Albert Edmonds Tozer* in his Catholic Hymns: Original and Translated (1898). It had nine verses. It was in the section entitled 'The Sacred Heart' in the Westminster Hymnal (1912). It is a passionate expression of trust in the mercy of Christ, with a powerful use of adjectives: The poorest, saddest...

God the all-terrible! King, who ordainest

God the all-terrible! King, who ordainest. Henry Fothergill Chorley* (1808-1872). Chorley's career as a musical journalist put him in touch with John Pike Hullah*, for whom this hymn was written in order to find words for RUSSIAN HYMN or RUSSIAN ANTHEM), the recently composed (1833) National Anthem of Russia. It was published in Hullah's Part Music (1842), entitled 'In Time of War', and later in Edward Henry Bickersteth*'s Psalms and Hymns (n.d., but ca. 1858). Chorley's hymn begins with a...

I worship Thee, sweet will of God

I worship Thee, sweet will of God. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). First published in Jesus and Mary: or Catholic Hymns (1849), where it was entitled 'The Will of God'. It was then published in Faber's Hymns (1962). It had fourteen 4-line stanzas. Hymnbooks have normally shortened the hymn, normally to five or six stanzas. It was in six stanzas in the Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes (New York, 1855), edited by Henry Ward Beecher*, which began with two stanzas identical to those in...

Father of peace, and God of love

Father of peace, and God of love. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). Published posthumously by Doddridge's friend Job Orton as no. 325 in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (1755) under the heading 'The Christian perfected by divine Grace through Christ'. It is based on Hebrews 13: 20-21. The original wording of stanza 2 emphasized Puritan covenant theology, albeit with a false rhyme: We triumph in that shepherd's name, Still watchful for our good; Who brought th'eternal...

O day of God, draw nigh

O day of God, draw nigh. Robert Balgarnie Young Scott* (1899-1987). A prayer for peace written in 1937 for the Fellowship for a Christian Social Order, this has become Scott's most widely circulated hymn. It was included in Hymns for Worship (1939), and was linked in H40 with BELLWOODS by the Canadian composer James Hopkirk. Its stanzas reflect deep apprehension ('Bring to our troubled minds, / uncertain and afraid'), and express the writer's poignant longing for peace ('Bring to our world of...

O Christ the same, through all our story's pages

O Christ the same, through all our story's pages. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). The occasion for this text, written to be useful at other events (cf. 'Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided'*), was the opening of new premises for the Cambridge University Mission in what was then Jamaica Road, South East London, in November 1972. Given plenty of notice, the words were written over a year earlier, at Sevenoaks, Kent, in September 1971. The author had lived in a small flat at the...

What shall I render to my God (Watts)

What shall I render to my God (Watts). Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). From The Psalms of David imitated in the Language of the New Testament (1719), where it is a metrical version of the second part of Psalm 116, beginning at verse 12. It was headed 'Vows made in Trouble paid in the Church; or, Publick Thanks for Private Deliverance'. It was later imitated by Charles Wesley* in a hymn with the same first line. Watts's text was as follows in 1719: What shall I render to my God   For all his...

Strong Son of God, immortal love

Strong Son of God, immortal love. Alfred Tennyson* (1809-1892). Tennyson wrote In Memoriam A.H.H. over many years, following the tragic death of Arthur Henry Hallam in 1833. It was published in 1850, prefaced by an untitled poem in the same metre (rhyming ABBA) of 11 stanzas, beginning with this stanza and dated 1849. It was therefore written after the rest of the poem, and marks a change from the grief of the early sections to an acceptance of bereavement and a turning to Christ in faith,...

Dear Lord, to you again our gifts we bring

Dear Lord, to you again our gifts we bring. Howard Charles Adie Gaunt* (1902-1983). This communion hymn was first published in 100HfT (1969) It takes as its model the 'four-fold' shape of the Eucharist ('He took', 'He blessed', 'He broke', 'He gave'). The Companion to RS (1999) quotes Cyril Taylor* as describing it as 'heavy going, because the thought is tight-packed': Taylor went on to suggest that a choir could sing the first four lines of each verse, leaving the congregation to sing the...

Lord of all good, our gifts we bring to Thee

Lord of all good, our gifts we bring to Thee. Albert Frederick Bayly* (1901-1984). Written in 1962 for Eccleston Congregational Church, St Helens, Lancashire (now Merseyside) Christmas Fair. It was published in Again I Say Rejoice (1967), and received wider recognition by being printed in 100HfT (1969) and CH3 (1973, verses 1 and 3 only). It is a hymn that paraphrases the prayer at the offertory: it is found in HP and RS, among others. Valerie Ruddle

Great God, this sacred day of Thine

Great God, this sacred day of Thine. Anne Steele* (1716-1778). First published in John Ash* and Caleb Evans*'s Collection of Hymns adapted to Public Worship (Bristol, 1769). It was entitled 'Hymn for the Lord's Day Morning'. It had four stanzas. The following text is from the Third Edition of 1778:  Great God, this sacred Day of Thine, Demands our Soul's collected Powers: May we employ in Work divine, These solemn, these devoted Hours! O may our Souls, adoring, own, The Grace, which calls...

God, that madest earth and heaven

God, that madest earth and heaven. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826) and Richard Whately* (1787-1863). The first stanza of this hymn comes from Heber's Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), with the title 'Evening Hymn': God, that madest earth and heaven,  Darkness and light;Who the day for toil hast given,  For rest the night;May Thine angel-guards defend us,Slumber sweet Thy mercy send us,Holy dreams and hopes attend us,  This livelong night. The words were...

Immortal, invisible, God only wise

Immortal, invisible, God only wise. Walter Chalmers Smith* (1824-1908). First published in Smith's Hymns of Christ and the Christian Life (1867), in the third section, 'Hymns of the Holy Trinity'. It had six stanzas. This text differs considerably from the one found in most modern hymnbooks, apart from the resounding first stanza. The hymn was published in a revised form in William Garrett Horder*'s Congregational Hymns (1884) and in his Worship-Song (1905), and thereafter in EH, after which...

O God, the world's sustaining force

See 'O God, Creation's secret Force'*

O it is hard to work for God

See 'Workman of God! O lose not heart'*

In our day of thanksgiving one psalm let us offer

In our day of thanksgiving one psalm let us offer. William Henry Draper* (1855-1933). Written in 1894 for the restoration of the Holy Cross, the Abbey Church at Shrewsbury, of which Draper was vicar from 1889 to 1899. It was printed on a leaflet with the title 'Remembrance of Past Worshippers'. Draper then included it in the book that he produced for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, The Victoria Book of Hymns arranged in order for use at Morning and Evening Prayer on the twentieth of...

Praise Him, praise Him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer

Praise Him, praise Him! Jesus, our blessed redeemer. Fanny Crosby* (1820-1915). Written as a tribute to William Batchelder Bradbury* (d. 1868), who had encouraged Crosby to write hymns. It was published in Bright Jewels for the Sunday School (1869), edited by Robert Lowry*, William Howard Doane*, and others, including Chester Allen, who wrote the tune. It had three 8-line stanzas. It was printed with a psalm-like refrain in Ira D. Sankey*'s Sacred Songs and Solos: Praise him, praise him! Tell...

Sent forth by God's blessing

Sent forth by God's blessing. Omer Westendorf* (1916-1997). Published in the People's Mass Book, which consisted of 'Hymns, Psalms, Masses, and Bible Services for participation of the faithful at Mass and other services according to the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy' (Cincinnati: World Library of Sacred Music, Inc., 1964). It was published, like some other hymns by Westendorf, under the pseudonym of 'J. Clifford Evers'. It was a two-verse hymn, designated as a...

O God beyond all praising

O God beyond all praising. Michael Arnold Perry* (1942-1996). Like 'Bring to the Lord a glad new song'*, this later text, written in 1981 at Bitterne, Southampton, provides new words to a favourite tune. THAXTED, hitherto wedded to a text which is often judged as questionable for Christian worship, was offered by Gustav Holst* from the 'Jupiter' movement in his suite The Planets (1914-1916) to Cecil Spring Rice* for his 'I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above'* (1918). Perry is...

Now God be with us, for the night is closing

Now God be with us, for the night is closing. Petrus Herbert* (ca. 1530-1571), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). Herbert's hymn is dated 1566 in EG, from the book printed at Eibenschütz in that year (see the entry on ' Die Nacht ist kommen drin wir ruhen sollen'*). Winkworth's translation was printed in The Chorale Book for England (1863), and later in her Christian Singers of Germany (1869), in six stanzas: Now God be with us, for the night is closing, The light and darkness...

O God, unseen but very near

O God, unseen but very near.  See 'O God, unseen yet ever near'*.

Praise to God Who reigns above

Praise to God Who reigns above. Richard Meux Benson* (1824-1915) This hymn for the Feast of St Michael and all Angels was submitted to the First Edition of A&M  (1861), and printed there (according to JJ, p. 904) with alterations. JJ notes that the original text was restored in the Second Edition of A&M (1875), though 'still abbreviated'. The principal alteration is to stanza 3:                         1861                                                                  1875 Angel...

God everlasting, wonderful and holy

God everlasting, wonderful and holy. Harold Riley* (1903-2003).  This was written before 1968, when it appeared in the Catholic hymnal The Parish Hymn Book. It was subsequently included in English Praise (1975) before being included in MHfT (1980) and thus in A&MNS. It was headed 'To the altar of God': its four stanzas explore the liturgical custom in many churches of reverencing the altar. They are wonderfully compact and meaningful: they describe adoration (stanza 1), thankfulness...

God of the prophets, bless the prophets' sons

God of the prophets, bless the prophets' sons. Denis Wortman* (1835-1922). Written in 1860 to celebrate the centenary of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Jersey, when Wortman was a student there. It was written on behalf of the graduating class of 1860. It was included in the Protestant Episcopal Church Hymnal (1892), in all six stanzas, with the Scottish tune OLD 124th, in a section entitled 'Divinity Schools'. It has remained in successive editions of the Hymnal, though with...

Rise up, O men of God

Rise up, O men of God. William Pierson Merrill* (1867-1954). Written in 1911 for the Presbyterian Brotherhood Movement at the suggestion of Nolan R. Best, editor of the Presbyterian newspaper, The Continent. It was also influenced by an article by Gerald Stanley Lee entitled 'The Church of the Strong Men'. Merrill said that he wrote it on a Lake Michigan steamer on the way to his church in Chicago 'almost without thought and effort'. It was published in The Continent, 16 February 1911, and...

O Thou God of my Salvation

O Thou God of my Salvation. Thomas Olivers* (1725-1799).  This hymn was first published at the end of A Short Account of the Death of Mary Langson of Taxall, in Cheshire, who died January the 29th 1769. Printed in the Year MDCCLXXI (JJ, p. 1584). This was a work of twelve pages, recording the short life of Mary Langson, who caught smallpox and died 'before the expiration of her twentieth year.' She lived a life of fervent piety, sure of her hope of heaven.  She was described as having been...

Yes, God is good — in earth and sky

Yes, God is good — in earth and sky. John Hampden Gurney* (1802-1862). Originally published in Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, selected for some of the Churches of Marylebone ('The Marylebone Collection', 1851), this hymn, along with one other from the same collection ('We saw thee not when thou didst come'*), was suggested by a previously existing hymn. Its predecessor was 'God is good! Each perfumed flower', by Elizabeth Lee Cabot Follen (1787-1860) in Hymns for Children (Boston, USA,...

God, bless Your church with strength

God, bless Your church with strength. John A. Dalles* (1954- ). Written in 1984 for the 150th anniversary of the First Presbyterian Church, South Bend, Indiana, where Dalles was associate pastor at the time. It has three verses, beginning 'God, bless Your church with strength', '…with life', and '…with hope'. It is notable for its acknowledgment of contemporary difficulties in verse 3: 'God, bless Your church with hope!/ Despite chaotic days/ May we in chaos shine to light/ A pathway through...

How good is the God we adore

How good is the God we adore. Joseph Hart* (1712-1768). Like 'This, this is the God we adore', this is a variant from the original 'This God is the God we adore'*. It is a two-verse hymn made from the last verse of Hart's long hymn (seven 8-line verses) beginning 'No prophet nor dreamer of dreams'. The reduction to two 4-line verses was made by Martin Madan* in the Appendix (1763) to his Collection of Psalms and Hymns. The version with this opening line was found in the Enlarged London Hymn...

God we praise you! God we bless you

God we praise you! God we bless you. Christopher Martin Idle* (1938- ). Written in 1978 and first published in HfTC (1982), this is one of many versifications of the 'Te Deum'*. It was written while the author was recuperating after an eye operation, with the tune LUX EOI in mind. He writes: 'I had for some time wanted to try for a version which was contemporary, which addressed the Godhead directly, and which embodied the essentials of this ancient hymn'. It has appeared in many British books,...

God is love: His mercy brightens

God is love: His mercy brightens. John Bowring* (1792-1872). First published in Bowring's Hymns (1825). The message, repeated in each stanza, that 'God is wisdom, God is love', expresses Bowring's Unitarian belief simply and effectively. In the original printing, the first stanza was repeated at the end of the hymn, returning the singer to the starting point: God is love: His mercy brightens  All the path in which we rove;Bliss He wakes, and woe He lightens:  God is wisdom, God is love. The...

O God, Creation's secret Force

O God, Creation's secret Force. Latin, before 9th century, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). Neale's translation of 'Rerum Deus tenax vigor'* was published in The Hymnal Noted Part I (1851). It was in two stanzas and a doxology, with variant doxologies supplied for the major seasons of the church year. Neale's text was as follows: O God, Creation's secret Force, Thyself, unmov'd, all motion's source, Who from the morn till evening's ray Throughout all changes guid'st the...

O God of all the many lands

O God of all the many lands. Mary Susannah Edgar* (1889-1973). Edgar wrote a prayer for Canada, 'God of the nations of the earth', for a service celebrating Canada's 60th anniversary in 1927. It was published in The Hymn Book of the Church of England in Canada (HB 1938) where it was set to MANDATUM by James Edmund Jones. The text was revised substantially in Canada's centennial year of 1967, becoming 'O God of all the many lands', with an added stanza celebrating the arrival of new immigrants...

God who created this garden of earth

God who created this garden of earth. Richard Granville Jones* (1926- ). Written in 1967 and first published in 100HfT (1969), and thus in A&MNS. The original first line was 'God who created this Eden of earth', which is used in A&MNS. It is a meditation on the Fall, with Adam's sin being negated by the Redemption of the world by the second Adam, as in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. Valerie Ruddle

We are God's people, the chosen of the Lord

We are God's people, the chosen of the Lord. Bryan Jeffery Leech* (1931-2015). Published in Hymns for the Family of God (1976), of which Leech was one of the assistant editors. It is based on 1 Peter 2: 9, Ephesians 1: 22-23, and other New Testament texts. The tune, SYMPHONY, is adapted by Fred Bock* from the fourth movement (Adagio) of Brahms' Symphony No 1. Paul A. Richardson* has commented 'The use of classical melodies as hymn tunes was common in the 19th century. The present arrangement...

O God of heaven, we give thee thanks

O God of heaven, we give thee thanks. Anastasia Van Burkalow* (1911-2004). This four-stanza hymn, dated 1973, captures beautifully Anastasia Van Burkalow's passion for the planet she had spent a lifetime studying:   O God of heaven, we give thee thanks  for all thy gifts of light:the brilliance of the sun by day,  the moon and stars by night;and that most gracious Light of lights,  our Savior and our King,who came the night of sin to end,  eternal day to bring.  O God of earth, we give thee...

Creating God, your fingers trace

Creating God, your fingers trace. Jeffery Rowthorn* (1934- ). This is a metrical version of Psalm 148, 'Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above.' It was written in 1974 and submitted in 1979 for a competition set by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada* to find 'New Psalms for Today'. It was printed in The Hymn (April 1979). It has four stanzas, beginning 'Creating God...', 'Sustaining God...', 'Redeeming God...' and 'Indwelling God...'. It was printed in...

God the Spirit, guide and guardian

God the Spirit, guide and guardian. Carl P. Daw, Jr.* (1944- ). Written in 1987 for Jeffery Rowthorn* at his consecration at New Haven as Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut, 19 September 1987. On this occasion verse 2 line 5 was 'in your tending may all bishops', altered in Daw's A Year of Grace (Carol Stream, 1990) to 'pastors', which is in keeping with the theme of the 'Shepherd's care' in that verse (but see below). The structure of the hymn is Trinitarian, with verse 4...

May God be near thee, friend

May God be near thee, friend. Henry Burton* (1840-1930). This was published in Burton's Songs of the Highway (1924), with the title 'To an Absent Friend'. Burton's poems or hymns were well known in the mid-20th century, and this one was chosen for The School Hymn-Book of the Methodist Church (1950). Stanza 3 was omitted, and there were some minor alterations (stanza 2, with an eye on the mission field, was altered in line 1 to 'In distant, desert places'):   May God be near thee, friend,    ...

O God, Thy world is sweet with prayer

O God, Thy world is sweet with prayer. Lucy Larcom* (1826-1893). First published in Larcom's At the Beautiful Gate, and Other Songs of Faith (1892), in three stanzas. It was the first of the 'Hymns of a day', entitled 'Dawn': O God, Thy world is sweet with prayer; The breath of Christ is in the air; We rise on Thy free Spirit's wings, And every thought within us sings. Thou art our Morning and our Sun; Our work is glad, in Thee begun Our footworn path is fresh with dew, For Thou createst all...

God rest you merry, gentlemen

God rest you merry, gentlemen. Anonymous, 18th-century British. This popular carol is described by the editors of The New Oxford Book of Carols (1992) as a 'luck-visit song', a carol sung at a visit to a house. This is explicit in the second of the three versions printed in NOBC, in which the final stanza begins 'God bless the ruler of this house'. The other texts in NOBC are less specific, ending 'Now to the Lord sing praises,/ All you within this place'; but there are many variants,...

God, my Father, loving me

God, my Father, loving me. George Wallace Briggs* (1875-1959). First published in Songs of Praise for Boys and Girls (1929), in five verses. It then appeared in the 'For Children' section of SofPE (1931), revised and with the last stanza omitted: Then, when I am called to share Yonder home thou dost prepare, I shall meet my King, and praise Him through everlasting days. Apart from this verse, it is a good example of a hymn for children, containing profound truths in simple language. The...

O God, thou bottomless abyss

O God, thou bottomless abyss. Ernst Lange* (1650-1727), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Lange's hymn, 'O Gott, du Tiefe sonder Grund'*, was first published in Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen*'s Neues Geist-reiches Gesang-Buch (Halle, 1714), and then in Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735), the book which the Moravian missionaries took with them to America. John Wesley, learning German from the Moravians and worshipping with them on board ship, would have found it in that...

The kingdom of God is justice and joy

The kingdom of God/ is justice and joy. Bryn Austin Rees* (1911-1983). First published in Praise for Today (1974), and subsequently in HP and RS, usually with the tune written for it, TETHERDOWN, by Gerald Barnes (1935- ). The tune name refers to Tetherdown Congregational (now United Reformed) Church, Muswell Hill, London, where Rees was minister from 1950 to 1962 and Barnes was organist for a year, 1955-56. Alterations have been made to the original text in HFTC and RS, both of which remove...

God is a name my soul adores

God is a name my soul adores. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). Published in the first edition of Horae Lyricae (1706), where it had eight stanzas. It was entitled 'The Transcendent Glories of the Deity', a title changed in the Second Edition (1709) to 'The Creator and Creatures'. Stanzas 2 and 6 have normally been omitted in more recent printings: From thy great self thy being springs; Thou art thine own original, Made up of uncreated things, And self-sufficience bears them...

God has blotted them out

God has blotted them out. Author unknown, early 20th century. This chorus is remarkable for its ability to present the scriptural texts within the verses without losing the rhythm and metre. It was published in Pilgrim Choruses (n.d., later The Pilgrim Preachers' Chorus Book, London and Glasgow, 1923), edited by Ernest Luff and P.W. Petter. It was printed by permission in Choruses, published by the Children's Special Service Mission (later the Scripture Union) in 1921. The 1921 printing is of...

I feel the winds of God to-day

I feel the winds of God to-day. Jessie Adams* (1863-1954) [and Frederick John Gillman* (1866-1949)]. The hymn began life as a poem in 1907 with nine 4-line stanzas. Stanzas 1, 2, 3 and 5 were taken by Gillman and made into two 8-line stanzas, to which he added a further 8-line verse, printing this text in The Fellowship Hymn Book (1909 edition; Gillman was one of the Secretaries of the Committee). The hymn was printed anonymously (presumably at Adams's instruction) with a note (see under...

O God of good the unfathomed sea.

O God of good the unfathomed sea.  Johannes Scheffler* (1624-1677), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This was not one of the German hymns in Wesley's first hymnbook, the Collection of Psalms and Hymns published in Charles-town in 1737. It was probably translated either at the end of the time at Georgia, or on the return voyage, or shortly after: it was printed in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), where it was entitled 'God's Love to Mankind. From the same'. [Its immediate predecessor in...

God is here! as we his people

God is here! as we his people. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). Although this hymn was written in 1978 at the request of Russell Schulz-Widmar (see Russell E. Schulz)* for a service to dedicate a new communion table, font and reading desks in a Methodist church in Texas, USA, it has found a much wider use. Often used as the opening hymn for services, it reminds us of the presence of God within the physical surroundings of the church. Few other hymns focus on the familiar furniture of the church,...

God loved the world of sinners lost

God loved the world of sinners lost. Martha Matilda Stockton*. According to Taylor (1989, p. 50), this was written ca 1871, and published in The Voice of Praise (Richmond, Virginia, 1872), edited by Ebenezer T. Baird and Karl Reden, and then in Winnowed Hymns: a collection of sacred songs, especially adapted for revivals, prayer and camp meetings (New York and Chicago, 1873). It entered mainstream gospel hymnody in Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs (Cincinnati, New York and Chicago, 1875), edited...

Have faith in God, my heart

Have faith in God, my heart. Bryn Austin Rees* (1911-1983). First published in CP, to which it was submitted in manuscript. In a modernised form, with 'you' as pronoun, it has appeared in HP and RS, and also in WOV. It uses heart, mind, and soul as three structural elements, neatly bringing them together in the final stanza. JRW

How shall they hear the word of God

How shall they hear the word of God. Michael Perry* (1942–1996). This hymn was commissioned in 1980 for the BBC Radio Solent's 10th anniversary celebration of a decade of broadcasting to the local area of Southampton, Portsmouth, and the Isle of Wight. The event marking this occasion was held in Winchester Cathedral on 4 January 1981, and broadcast on local radio.   In the UK, the hymn was included in two Jubilate Group* publications, HFTC (1982) and Sing Glory* (1999); and in New English...

I sing a song of the saints of God

I sing a song of the saints of God. Lesbia Lesley Scott* (1898-1986). This was one of several hymns by Scott written for her own children, and first published in a booklet by the Society of SS Peter and Paul as Everyday Hymns for Children (London and New York, 1929). It was printed in H40, where it was given a lively tune, GRAND ISLE, composed by a member of the committee, John Henry Hopkins (1861-1945). The hymn has remained popular in the USA, and is found in H82 and in UMH. Some...

Church of God, elect and glorious

Church of God, elect and glorious. James Edward Seddon* (1915-1983). This was written at Peldon, Essex, ca.1980, when Seddon was rector of the parish. This was the final appointment of a notable missionary career, and the hymn proved to be one of the last he wrote. He was then the senior member of the Jubilate Group* working on the words of HFTC, and with minor changes the hymn was readily welcomed for the new book, in the section 'God's Church: Mission and Ministry'. See also Exploring Praise...

Ere God had built the mountains

Ere God had built the mountains. William Cowper* (1731-1800). First printed in Olney Hymns (1779), this very poetic hymn seems to have been initially neglected by hymn compilers, and it is still little known beyond the Methodist Church. It was included in the 1876 Wesleyan A Collection of Hymns ('Wesley's Hymns') and subsequently in the Wesleyan Methodist Hymn Book (1904) and MHB (1933). In HP it is helpfully printed with quotation marks round Wisdom's words, which form the first two stanzas,...

God from on high hath heard

God from on high hath heard. Charles Coffin* (1676-1749), translated by James Russell Woodford* (1820-1885). This is a translation of Coffin's 'Iam desinant suspiria'*, a hymn that appeared in the Paris Breviary (1736) and in Hymni Sacri Auctore Carolo Coffin (1736). It was written for Matins on Christmas Day. Woodford's translation dates from 1850, when he was working as a priest in Bristol. It was published in his Hymns arranged for the Sundays and Holy-Days of the Church of England (1852)....

He lives in us, the Christ of God

He lives in us, the Christ of God. Michael Arnold Perry* (1942-1996). This metrical approach to Romans 8 was written at Bitterne, Southampton, in 1977. The author had worked at a fresh translation of this chapter (published in a revised form, 1983) and 'as a consequence' he put some of its key ideas into verse for singing. He writes: 'Stanza 1 reflects Paul's experience. Stanza 2 reflects real personal and continuing pastoral experience. Stanza 3 is the great assurance of St Paul about the...

Love of the Father, love of God the Son

Love of the Father, love of God the Son. Latin, translated by Robert Bridges* (1844-1930). First published in Part II of the Yattendon Hymnal* (1897), with the words 'From the Latin, adapted by R.B.' He translated the Latin text (beginning 'Amor patris et filii'*) as found in a 12th-century manuscript from Thame Abbey, Oxfordshire, now in the British Library (MS. Burney 357). Bridges used it to make a hymn to fit the dignified tune by Orlando Gibbons*, SONG 22, which was first printed in...

O threefold God of tender unity

O threefold God of tender unity. William (Bill) Wallace* (1933-). Written by a New Zealand Methodist minister, Bill Wallace, for the 1988 Hymn Society of America's search for 'new hymns with a new vision of the living God'. It was the winning entry. In the author's words, 'the text attempts to hold together the intangible and incarnate dimensions of the Trinity while avoiding paternalistic concepts of power'. Typical of Wallace's reforming theology, in this hymn the Trinity, 'Parent, Spirit,...

To thee, my God and Saviour

To thee, my God and Saviour. Thomas Haweis* (1734-1820). From Haweis's Carmina Christo; or, Hymns to the Saviour (1792), with the heading 'Praise for Redemption'. It was published in many books in the USA, including The Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes (1855), edited by Henry Ward Beecher*. It is given in The Sabbath Hymn Book: for the Service of Song in the House of the Lord (New York and Boston, 1858), edited by Lowell Mason*, Edwards Amasa Park, and Austin Phelps, with the first line...

O lift us up, strong Son of God

O lift us up, strong Son of God. Cyril Grey Hambly* (1931-1999). Printed in the author's collection, A Hymn for the Lectionary (1981), this hymn was written for the eighth Sunday before Christmas, when the lectionary theme is 'The Fall'. Verse 3 lines 3-4 were originally Did not condemn our falling steps, But would remove our shame. (altered in both HP and RS). The first line of the hymn is a borrowing from Tennyson*'s prologue to In Memoriam (1850): 'Strong Son of God, immortal...

God of light and life's creation

God of light and life's creation. Michael Arnold Perry* (1942-1996). Unusually, this hymn is based on King Solomon's prayer of dedication in the Jerusalem temple (1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 6), seen from a contemporary Christian perspective. It was written at Bitterne, Southampton, in 1976. The occasion was 'Consecration Sunday', close to the church's anniversary, which was used as a time of re-dedication by all the church's leaders. An additional stanza, subsequently dropped, referred to the...

Why has God forsaken me

Why has God forsaken me? William (Bill) Wallace* (1933- ). Originally written by a Methodist minister, William (Bill) Wallace, in 1979 for a funeral resource pack prepared by the New Zealand Methodist Church, this hymn was published in Wallace's first collection of hymns, Something to Sing About: Hymns and reflections in search of a Contemporary Spirituality (1981), where it was associated with a setting named SHIMPI, by the Japanese composer Taihei Sato (1936-), created when author and...

Sing to God new songs of worship

Sing to God new songs of worship. Michael Alfred Baughen* (1930- ). This version of Psalm 98, Cantate Domino, dates from ca. 1969, when the author was rector of a Manchester parish, starting to plan the collection of (mainly) Psalm versions which emerged as Psalm Praise in 1973. It was largely written on train journeys between Manchester and Bristol for some often difficult church and college negotiations. Baughen also chaired the editorial team for the book, envisaged as the next step after...

Thy kingdom come, O God

Thy kingdom come, O God. Lewis Hensley* (1824-1905). This advent hymn was first published in Hensley's Hymns for the Minor Sundays from Advent to Whitsuntide (1867) and was included in the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M, the Church Hymnary (1898), and EH (1906). It was only after 1933 that it became well known in Methodist, Congregational and Baptist churches. The hymn is a call for peace and justice in the world and for freedom from 'the tyrannies of sin' both internal and...

Still, I search for my God

Still, I search for my God. Francisco Feliciano* (1941-2014).  This hymn was composed in 1977 and first published in the United States in Hymns from the Four Winds, edited by I-to Loh* (Nashville, 1983), a supplemental collection of Asian hymns produced by the United Methodist Church. It appeared in the Christian Council of Asia hymnal Sound the Bamboo* (Manila, 1990) and again in the second edition of Sound the Bamboo (Hong Kong: 2000), both edited by Loh.  The hymn expresses the mysticism...

Work is sweet, for God has blest

Work is sweet, for God has blest. Godfrey Thring* (1823-1903). This hymn, beginning 'Work is sweet, for God has blest/ Honest work with quiet rest', is one of many hymns on the topic of work written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (cf. 'Work! for the night is coming'*). The gospel of laborare est orare, work is prayer, had been a major theme in Thomas Carlyle's Past and Present (1843), which in turn stimulated Ford Madox Brown's painting Work (1852), and influenced the novel-writing...

I come with joy, a child of God

I come with joy, a child of God. Brian Arthur Wren* (1936- ). Written in 1968 as 'I come with joy to meet my Lord', when Wren was a minister of Hockley and Hawkwell Congregational Church, and first published in The Hymn Book (1971) of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada. It has since gone through two changes. The original text, in which verse 2 line 3 was 'man's true community of love' and verse 3 line 1 was 'As Christ breaks bread for men to share', is found...

O for a heart to praise my God

O for a(n) heart to praise my God. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742) in eight 4-line stanzas, based on Psalm 51:10, 'Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.' It was included in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), and has appeared in all subsequent Methodist hymn-books, though since the Methodist Hymn Book (1904) only stanzas 1-4 and 8 of the original have been...

God, who touchest earth with beauty

God, who touchest earth with beauty. Mary Susannah Edgar* (1889-1973). Written in 1925, for a hymn competition sponsored by the American Camping Association. It won first prize and was published by the Association in 1926, becoming a favourite hymn which has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Cree. For The Hymn Book of the Church of England in Canada (HB 1938), the Canadian Anglican hymnal editor James Edmund Jones chose SPIRITUS CHRISTI, composed in 1905 by Henry...

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

Seek ye first the kingdom of God. Karen Lafferty* (1948- ). Written in 1971, at a time when Lafferty had given up her work as a night-club and hotel singer, and was short of money. A visit to a Bible study group produced verse 1, based on Matthew 6: 33, and the music for guitar. It was published in Praise 1 (1971), and released by Maranatha! Music in 1972. Further verses were soon added, the most common being 'Ask, and it shall be given [sometimes 'added'] unto you', based on Matthew 7: 7, and...

Thou great mysterious God unknown

Thou great mysterious God unknown.  Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns for those that seek, and those that have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ (Bristol, 1747), where it had eight 6-line stanzas. It was not included by John Wesley* in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) but a text of six stanzas was added to one of the Supplements before 1831. The omitted stanzas were 5 and 6 of the 1747 text: Ah never let thy Servant rest, Till of my part in...

My God, I am thine

My God, I am thine. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), in a section entitled 'Hymns for Believers', the first of a group of seven hymns in the metre of 5.5.11. In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists the two short lines were printed as one, and the six verses printed as three quatrains. It appeared there in the section 'For Believers Rejoicing'. It has remained in use in most Methodist books up to and including HP,...

Reap me the earth as a harvest to God

Reap me the earth as a harvest to God. Luke Connaughton* ('Peter Icarus') (1917-1979). First published in a collection, Sing a New Song to the Lord (Great Wakering, Essex, 1970). It was entitled 'Offertory'. It then appeared in a Roman Catholic hymnal, Praise the Lord (1972), and spread rapidly through various hymnbook supplements of the 1970s, such as Praise for Today (1974), New Church Praise [NCP] (1975), and the all-age worship book, Partners in Praise (1979). Its inclusion in MHfT (1980)...

We love the place, O God

We love the place, O God. William Bullock* (1798-1874) and Sir Henry Williams Baker* (1821-1877). During his time as a missionary at Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Bullock built a church there for which he wrote a hymn beginning 'We love the place, O Lord'*. This hymn was published in Bullock's Songs of the Church (Halifax, Nova Scotia, printed for the author, 1854), in six verses. It was substantially rewritten by Baker for the First Edition of A&M. The two texts, printed in JJ, pp. 1243-4,...

Lamb of God, Thou now art seated

Lamb of God, Thou now art seated. James George Deck* (1802-1884). This as Part 2 of Deck's hymn beginning 'Lamb of God! our souls adore Thee'*, first published in the Appendix in the 1841 edition of George Vicesimus Wigram*'s Hymns for the Poor of the Flock (1838). Stanzas 5-7 of this hymn are normally treated as a separate hymn. They celebrate the victory of Christ and his final triumph: Lamb of God! Thou now art seated  High upon Thy Father's throne;All Thy gracious work completed,  All Thy...

God has spoken—by his prophets

God has spoken—by his prophets. George Wallace Briggs* (1875-1959). This hymn was written for the Hymn Society of America, which advertised for new hymns to celebrate the publication of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible in 1952. This was one of ten hymns chosen out of 500, appearing in Ten New Bible Hymns (1953), and subsequently in many books on both sides of the Atlantic and in WOV. This is such a valuable hymn that it has survived in spite of its archaic and non-inclusive language:...

Mothering God, you gave me birth

Mothering God, you gave me birth. Jean Janzen (1933- ). This hymn was inspired by the description of God as Mother in Julian of Norwich*'s The Revelations of Divine Love. It is a hymn to the Trinity (see Trinity hymns*), addressing one Person in each of the three verses. The familiar images of God's power and might are replaced by a gentler vision of a patient 'nurturing one', who offers us 'food of light, grain of life, and grape of love, your very body for my peace' and who is the origin of...

Thou art, O God, the life and light

Thou art, O God, the life and light. Thomas Moore* (1779-1852).  This was the first poem in Moore's A Series of Sacred Songs,Duetts and Trios (1816). It had four six-line stanzas, prefaced by a quotation:  'The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.''Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou has made: summer and winter. – Ps lxxiv. 16, 17.'  The four stanzas were as follows: Thou art, O God, the life and light    Of all this wondrous world we...

Lord God, by whom all change is wrought

Lord God, by whom all change is wrought. Thomas Hornblower Gill* (1819-1906). Written in 1869 and first published in the American collection Songs of the Spirit (New York, 1871). Various English Congregational and Unitarian hymn books went on to include it and Gill eventually published it in the Second Edition of The Golden Chain of Praise (1894). It had six verses. Most modern hymn books abridge to five (HP) or four (RS). It is based on the words of St Augustine* concerning God:...

I thirst, thou wounded Lamb of God

See 'O Lord, enlarge our scanty thought'*.

O God, unseen yet ever near

O God, unseen yet ever near. Edward Osler* (1798-1863). First published in Psalms and Hymns adapted to the Services of the Church of England (1836), known as 'The Mitre Hymn Book', which William John Hall* edited with Osler's assistance. It was headed 'Spiritual Food'. Osler reprinted many of his hymns in his short-lived periodical Church and King (1836-37), and this one appeared in March 1837. It had a minor alteration in stanza 4 line 1 from 'Thus may we all...' to 'Thus would we all...'....

Great God, to Thee my evening song

Great God, to thee my evening song. Anne Steele* (1716-1778).  In Steele's Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional (1760) this was entitled 'An Evening Hymn'. It had nine stanzas:  Great God, to thee my ev'ning song With humble gratitude I raise:O let thy mercy tune my tongue, And fill my heart with lively praise.  Mercy, that rich unbounded shore, Does my unnumber'd wants relieve;Among thy daily, craving poor, On thy all-bounteous hand I live.  My days unclouded, as they pass,  And ev'ry...

When all thy mercies, O my God

When all thy mercies, O my God. Joseph Addison* (1672-1719). From The Spectator, no 453, Saturday, 9 August 1712. It had thirteen stanzas, taking the narrative from the development of the foetus ('When in the silent womb I lay') to babyhood ('hung upon the breast') through the 'infant heart' and 'the slippery paths of youth' to adulthood, when the singer/speaker has been saved from danger, vice, and sickness. Most hymnbooks print a selection of stanzas, ending with gratitude in this world...

And God will raise you up on eagle's wings

And God will raise you up on eagle's wings. Jan Michael Joncas* (1951- ). According to the Handbook to the Baptist Hymnal [1991], this was written in 1978, when Joncas was visiting a friend. The friend received a telephone call to say that his father had had a heart attack, from which he died. Joncas sang this song to guitar accompaniment at the service before the funeral Eucharist. It began 'And he will raise you up...'. It was published in Glory and Praise (Phoenix, Arizona, 1979), and has...

God of grace, O let Thy light

God of grace, O let thy light. Edward Churton* (1800-1874). From Churton's The Book of Psalms in English Verse (1854), sometimes (as in JJ) called 'The Cleveland Psalter'. It was Churton's second paraphrase of Psalm 67, 'God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us… That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.' It was included in Benjamin Hall Kennedy*'s Hymnologia Christiana (1863) as a hymn for Whitsuntide, omitting Churton's final...

My God, and is thy table spread

My God, and is thy table spread. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). Published posthumously as no. 171 in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (1755) under the heading 'God's Name profaned, when his Table is treated with Contempt. Malachi i: 12', and a sub-title 'Applied to the Lord's Supper'. It is no. 192 in Scriptural Hymns (1839), edited by John Doddridge Humphreys. The sub-title reveals a typological interpretation of Scripture that was not uncommon in Doddridge's day. The...

To God be the glory, great things He hath done

To God be the glory, great things He hath done. Fanny Crosby* (1820-1915). Published in William Howard Doane*'s Songs of Devotion for Christian Associations (New York, 1870), and then in Brightest and Best (1875), one of a series of hymnals for Sunday schools edited by Doane and Robert Lowry* , where it was entitled 'Praise for Redemption'. It was published in various editions of Ira D. Sankey*'s Sacred Songs and Solos, and in some British books, notably MHB. It is normally sung to the tune...

When God of old came down from heaven

When God of old came down from heaven. John Keble* (1792-1866). This is a selection (verses 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11) from an 11-verse poem entitled 'Whitsunday' in The Christian Year (1827). Many different selections have been made. The poem was preceded by a quotation from Acts 2: 2-4: 'And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each...

Go forth and tell! O church of God awake

Go forth and tell! O church of God awake. James Edward Seddon* (1915-1983). This hymn of mission dates from 1964, when the author was living in Sidcup, Kent. He had returned from service with the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society (now Crosslinks) in Morocco and was then the society's Home Secretary. It was published in the 1966 Youth Praise 1, set to the tune for which it was written, then recently composed by the compiler Michael Baughen* for 'Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord'*...

Rejoice in God's saints, today and all days

Rejoice in God's saints, today and all days. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). In 1973 Pratt Green was commissioned by the Dean of Norwich to write two processional hymns to celebrate the 600th anniversary of The Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich*. One, entitled 'In Commemoration of Julian of Norwich' is in The Hymns and Ballads of Fred Pratt Green (1982), pp. 148-9, beginning 'Rejoice in God's saints/ This day of all days', ending the first verse with 'In Julian of Norwich/...

Go forth for God; go forth to the world in peace

Go forth for God; go forth to the world in peace. John Raphael Peacey* (1896-1971). This hymn originally began 'Go forth for God, go to the world in peace'. It gave the title to the collection of Peacey's hymns published in the USA by Hope Publishing Company in 1991, Go forth for God. It was amended by the editors of English Praise (1975), the Supplement to EH, which altered the metre to 11.10.10.10. to fit the tune MAGDA by Ralph Vaughan Williams* (printed in SofP to 'Saviour, again to thy...

O God, Thy soldiers' Crown and Guard

O God, thy soldiers' Crown and Guard. Latin, 6th century, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is a translation of the anonymous Ambrosian hymn for a martyr, 'Deus tuorum militum'*. Neale translated it for The Hymnal Noted Part I (1851), and his version was used by EH, with minor alterations. Before that, however, it was taken over by the compilers of the First Edition of A&M (1861), who produced their own text, beginning 'O God, thy soldiers' great reward'. The two texts are...

Can man by searching find out God

Can man by searching find out God. Elizabeth Cosnett* (1936-). First drafted in the early 1970s, this text underwent many revisions before appearing in MHfT (1980) and thus in A&MNS. It was soon included in several major denominational hymnals in the UK and the USA, such as HP, RS, HFTC, and A&MCP, usually with 'man' changed to 'we' in line 1. The author has given permission for this, although she has expressed reservations about the change on several grounds: the original first line...

My God! how wonderful thou art

My God! how wonderful thou art. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). First published in Faber's Jesus and Mary; or, Catholic Hymns for Singing and Reading (1849), and again in his Hymns (1862), in nine stanzas, with the title 'Our Heavenly Father'. Seven stanzas were included in the First Edition of A&M (1861), and this has remained the usual length of the hymn. A&M altered the affecting repetition at the beginning of stanza 3 from 'How beautiful, how beautiful' to 'How wonderful, how...

My God, my King, thy various praise

My God, my King, thy various praise. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). Watts made two versions of Psalm 145 for The Psalms of David (1719). This is the first, in Long Metre, entitled 'The Greatness of God' (the second is in three parts, in Common Metre). This version paraphrases only part of the psalm: a note says: 'The verses are paraphrased thus: 1, 2, 7, 8, 5, 6, 4, 3.' It appeared, with editorial changes, in the Baptist Psalms and Hymns (1858) and the New Congregational Hymn Book (1859), which gave...

What shall I render to my God (Wesley)

What shall I render to my God (Wesley). Charles Wesley* (1707-1788) This hymn has the same first line as the metrical version by Isaac Watts* of Psalm 116, which is probably why it remained unpublished for many years. It was printed in Volume 8 of George Osborn's The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley (1868-72), in which he printed 'Versions and Paraphrases of Select Psalms'. This was headed 'Psalm CXVI'. The lines below were part of a long paraphrase of eleven 8-line stanzas beginning...

All praise to thee my God this night

See 'Glory to thee my God, this night'*

Come, living God, when least expected

Come, living God, when least expected. Alan Gaunt* (1935- ). Like 'Lord Christ, we praise your sacrifice'*, this hymn originally appeared in New Hymns for Worship (1973), Alan Gaunt's companion volume to his New Prayers for Worship (1972). It was then printed in New Church Praise (1975). Its appeal against dullness of mind and coldness of feeling is countered by the turn to the 'radiant brightness' of the two final verses. RS prints the text with some alterations, presumably with Gaunt's...

Lo, God is here! Let us adore

Lo, God is here! Let us adore. Gerhard Tersteegen* (1697-1769), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Tersteegen's hymn, 'Gott ist gegenwärtig'*, was published in his Geistliches Blumen-Gärtlein (1729), and then in the Moravian hymnbook, Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735), where Wesley would have found it. His translation was included in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), entitled 'Public Worship. From the German'. Terasteegen's hymn has eight 8-line verses. Wesley translated six,...

Come Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,/ To whom we for our children cry

Come Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,/ To whom we for our children cry. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).  This was headed 'At the Opening of a School at Kingswood', referring to the school founded by John Wesley*. It was opened in 1739 for the children of the local colliers near Bath, and reopened as an enlarged school for the children of Wesley's preachers and others in 1748 (Hildebrandt and Beckerlegge, 1983, p. 643). It is not known which of these events is signified in the title: probably the 1748...

Sing praise to God who reigns above

Sing praise to God who reigns above. Johann Jakob Schütz* (1640-1690), translated by Frances Elizabeth Cox* (1812-1897). Schütz's hymn, beginning 'Sei Lob und Ehr' dem höchsten Gut'*, was published in his Christliches Gedenckbüchlein, zu Beförderung eines anfangenden neuen Lebens ('A little Christ-like book of commemoration, for the conveying of a beginning of a new life'), published at Frankfurt-am-Main in 1675. It was headed 'Hymn of Thanksgiving'. Cox's translation of eight of the nine...

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).  First published in Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution (1744) in six 4-line stanzas, the first of four hymns 'to be sung in a Tumult'. It was not included in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) but it appeared in the 1831 edition with Supplement with stanzas 2 and 3 omitted and a stanza from another hymn added. Several different selections of stanzas appeared in...

Praise God for the harvest of farm and of field

See 'Praise God for the harvest of orchard and field'*

Teach me, my God and King

Teach me, my God and King. George Herbert* (1593-1633). From Herbert's collection The Temple (Cambridge, 1633), published after his death. It was included in EH, set to a West Country tune SANDYS, from William Sandys*'s Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833), with which it has since been almost always associated. Perhaps by virtue of its modern sensibilities about finding the divine in the everyday and the accessibility of God to all, it has remained very popular as a hymn in spite of its...

All praise to God who reigns above

All praise to God who reigns above. Johann Jakob Schütz* (1640-1690), translator unknown. This is a variant translation of Schütz's 'Sei Lob und Ehr' dem höchsten Gut'*, found in the Scripture Union's Hymns of Faith (1964). For details of better known translations, see 'Sing praise to God who reigns above'* by Frances Elizabeth Cox*. JRW

O God, thy being who can sound

O God, thy being who can sound. Ernst Lange* (1650-1727), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791), altered. This is a modernized version by a Methodist minister, Rupert E. Davies, in HP of Wesley's magnificent translation of Lange's 'O Gott, du Tiefe sonder Grund'*. See 'O God, thou bottomless abyss'*. JRW

O God, of all the Strength and Power

O God, of all the Strength and Power. Latin, before 9th century, translated by several hands. This translation of 'Rerum Deus tenax vigor'* was the hymn for The Ninth Hour in the First and Second Editions of A&M. It was one of the three hymns that referred back to the monastic tradition (cf. 'Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One'* and 'O God of truth, O Lord of might'*). It was replaced in A&M (1904) by 'O God, the world's sustaining force' (see 'O God, Creation's secret Force'*), but its...

Praise God for the harvest of orchard and field

Praise God for the harvest of orchard and field. Brian Arthur Wren* (1936- ). Written in April 1968, and published in the Baptist supplement Praise for Today (1974), with the first line as 'Praise God for the harvest of farm and of field', and with 'man' used throughout. It was revised in 1978 for publication in Mainly Hymns (Leeds, 1980) and in Faith Looking Forward (1983). It was revised again in 1995 for publication in Piece Together Praise (1996), where a note has an exclamation mark to...

I would commune with Thee, my God

I would commune with Thee, my God. George Burden Bubier* (1823-1869). First published in Hymns and Sacred Songs for Sunday-schools and Social Worship (Manchester, 1855), edited by Bubier himself with George MacDonald* and Charles MacDonald (1823-1905). It was dated 'February 2nd, 1854'. It had four stanzas: I would commune with Thee, my God,  E'en to Thy seat I come;I leave my joys, I leave my sins,  And seek in Thee my home. I stand upon the mount of God;   With sunlight in my soul; I...

O God, your love's undying flame

O God, your love's undying flame. Basil Ernest Bridge* (1927-2021). Written in 1985 for a project entitled 'Faith Aflame' being set up in the East Midlands Province of the URC. The text refers to Exodus 3: 2, Luke 12: 49, and Acts 2: 3, in which images of a flame of fire appear 'in different contexts but always implying a divine presence in places or persons through which or through whom the activity of God is being realized' (Companion to RS, 1999, p. 414). The hymn appeared in The Son of God...

God be with you till we meet again

God be with you till we meet again. Jeremiah Eames Rankin* (1828-1904). Written in 1880 as a four-stanza exercise on 'Goodbye' ('God be with ye'), and published in Gospel Bells (Chicago, 1880), edited by Rankin, J.W. Bischoff (1850-1909) and Otis F. Presbrey (1820-1900). This was during Rankin's pastorate at First Congregational Church, Washington, DC, and the hymn was first sung there. Rankin gave the words to two musicians, and chose the one by William Gould Tomer (1832-1896) now called GOD...

God is love: let heaven adore him

God is love: let heaven adore him. Timothy Rees* (1874-1939). From The Mirfield Mission Hymn-Book (1922), and republished in J.L. Rees's Sermons and Hymns by Timothy Rees, Bishop of Llandaff (1946). Its first appearance in a major hymn-book was in BBCHB (1951), set to ABBOT'S LEIGH. It was included in 100HfT and thus in A&MNS, and has subsequently become one of the most popular of 20th-century hymns on both sides of the Atlantic (it is found, with alterations, in H82, for example). It was...

Rise, my soul! Thy God directs thee

Rise, my soul! Thy God directs thee. John Nelson Darby* (1800-1882). This hymn is an eloquent witness to the way in which Darby encouraged members of already established churches to split off and become independent. The first two stanzas were: Rise, my soul! Thy God directs thee,  Stranger hands no more impede;Pass thou on, His strength directs thee,  Strength that has the captive freed. Light divine surrounds thy going,  God Himself shall mark the way;Secret blessings, richly flowing,  Lead...

Great God of wonders! all thy ways

Great God of wonders! all thy ways. Samuel Davies* (1723-1761). Davies entitled this hymn 'The Glories of God in pardoning Sinners'. It was first published in Hymns adapted to Divine Worship (1769), edited by Thomas Gibbons (1720-1785), the biographer of Isaac Watts*, entitled 'The Pardoning God'. It is based on Micah 7: 18: 'Who is a god like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity…'. It is a fine example of the hymnody of the USA after the 'Great Awakening', the revivalist movement started in...

God, you have given us power to sound

God, you have given us power to sound. George Wallace Briggs* (1875-1959). This hymn appeared first in a newspaper, The Sunday Times (London), 10 January 1954. It had three verses, and was entitled 'The New Peril'. It appeared without comment, but it was written at the height of the Cold War during the anxiety about the use of nuclear power. Briggs later wrote a four-verse text, which he published in Hymns of the Faith (1957), the book that he compiled for use in Worcester Cathedral. It was...

The love of God is broad like beach and meadow

The love of God is broad like beach and meadow. Anders Frostenson* (1906-2006), translated by Fred Kaan* (1929-2009), and altered in New Zealand books. This translation of a Swedish hymn text by Anders Frostenson is found in Songs and Hymns from Sweden (London, 1968). The tune printed there, GUDS KARLECK, is by Lars Ake Lundberg (1968). The hymn is known in New Zealand as 'The love of God is broad like beach and mountain' from its publication in the New Zealand supplement to WOV, where the...

Men go to God when they are sorely placed

Men go to God when they are sorely placed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer* (1906-1945), translated by Walter Farquharson* (1936- ). Bonhoeffer's text, 'Menschen gehen zu Gott in ihrer Not', was sent by Bonhoeffer to Eberhard Bethge from prison at Tegel in 1944. It was printed by Bethge in Widerstand und Ergebung – Briefe und Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft (1951), translated into English as Letters and Papers from Prison (1953). The translation in Bethge's edition begins 'Men go to God when they are sore...

God forgave my sin in Jesus' name

God forgave my sin in Jesus' name. Carol Owens* (1931- ). Written for a musical, Come Together (1972) by Carol Owens, and arranged by her husband Jimmy Owens*. Written at the suggestion of Jack Hayford* for his Church of the Way, Los Angeles, the musical was performed in many parts of America with the gospel singer Pat Boone as the lead singer. It had a very successful tour of Britain in 1973. This number is sometimes remembered as 'Freely, freely' from its refrain: Freely, freely you have...

God make my life a little light

God make my life a little light. Matilda Barbara Betham Edwards* (1836-1919). First published in Good Words in 1873 with the title 'Hymn for a little child' in a section entitled 'Children's Hymns'. In Britain it was included in the Congregational Church Hymnal (1887), and subsequently appeared in the children's section of many books, including MHB and CP : God make my life a little light  Within the world to glow;A little flame that burneth bright,  Wherever I may go. It is still found in...

How can we sing with joy to God

How can we sing with joy to God. (William) Brian Foley* (1919-2000). This was one of 14 hymns by Foley in New Catholic Hymnal (1971). It is a hymn of penitence and forgiveness, in which Foley's habitual understatement is forceful in its searching simplicity: How can we sing with joy to God,  How can we pray to him,When we are far away from God  In selfishness and sin? It is found in HFTC, BPW, Sing Glory, and the Irish ICH5 . In the 1971 NCH it was set to NEWTOWNDALE, a tune by Brian Sargent...

O Love of God, how strong and true

O love of God, how strong and true. Horatius Bonar* (1808-1889). First published in Bonar's Hymns of Faith and Hope, Second Series (1861), with the title 'The Love of God'. It had ten 4-line verses, and is usually shortened to six, as in HP and RS, with the latter altering to a 'you' form. The selection of verses is not identical. Verse 2 in HP begins 'O heavenly love, how precious still' (Bonar's original verse 3) and verse 2 in RS begins 'O Love of God, how deep and great' (Bonar's original...

All as God wills, who wisely heeds

All as God wills, who wisely heeds. John Greenleaf Whittier* (1807-1892). From Whittier's 'My Psalm', written ca. 1859, beginning 'I mourn no more my vanished years'. It was published as a leaflet in 1859, and then in the Atlantic Monthly (August 1859); and in Whittier's Home Ballads and Poems (Boston. 1860/61). (It is incorrectly said in JJ, p. 1277, that it appeared in The Panorama, and other Poems, 1856).  The poem is, as the title suggests, his psalm, a reflection on nature, the goodness...

City of God, how broad and far

City of God, how broad and far. Samuel Johnson* (1822-1882). Written in 1860, and first published in Hymns of the Spirit (Boston, 1864), a notable Unitarian hymnbook compiled by Johnson and his friend Samuel Longfellow*. It was entitled 'The Church the City of God'. It became renowned as a grand American poem, and was included in Edmund Clarence Stedman's An American Anthology (1900), as well as in many hymnbooks. The first words echo Saint Augustine, and 'one holy church' (verse 2 line 1) is...

God of all power, and truth, and grace

God of all power, and truth, and grace. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First printed at the end of John Wesley's sermon 'On Christian Perfection', published in pamphlet form in 1741, with the title 'The Promise of Sanctification' (Sermons, ed. Outler, II. 99). It was then included in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), entitled 'Pleading the Promise of Sanctification'. It had twenty-eight 4-line stanzas, based on Ezekiel 36: 23-28. The full text can be found in Outler's edition; but after its first...

Jesu, my Lord, my God, my all

Jesu, my Lord, my God, my all. Henry Collins* (1827-1919). Published in Collins's Hymns for Missions (Leeds, 1854, later republished in London), the book compiled during his brief tenure of a post in the Church of England. It is one of only two hymns by Collins in that book. It bears a striking – and confusing – resemblance to a hymn by Frederick William Faber* for the Feast of Corpus Christi, published in his Hymns (1849) and in his Jesus and Mary (1849), beginning Jesus! my Lord, my God,...

My God, I love Thee, not because

My God, I love Thee, not because. Latin, attributed to St Francis Xavier* (?) (1506-1552), translated by Edward Caswall* (1814-1878). The Latin text, 'O Deus ego amo te', is found in the Coeleste Palmetum (Cologne, 1669) of a Jesuit priest, Wilhelmus Nakatenus. It was a translation of a Spanish sonnet, 'No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte', which was printed in Epitome de la vida y muerte de San Ignacio de Loyola (Roermond, 1662). It is said that this was used daily by St Ignatius in his...

O God, what offering shall I give

O God, what offering shall I give. Joachim Lange* (1670-1744), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This is John Wesley's translation of Lange's 'O Jesu, süsses Licht', which he would have found in the Moravian Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735). The translation was published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), with the heading 'A Morning Dedication of Ourselves to Christ. From the German.' The first verse was as follows (with the German text for...

Her Virgin eyes saw God incarnate born

Her Virgin eyes saw God incarnate born. Thomas Ken* (1637-1711). The source of this hymn is a long pastoral poem on religious themes entitled 'Sion, or Philothea', which is found in The Works of Thomas Ken (1721), edited by William Hawkins, Volume 4, pp. 366-373. The extract of four verses was made for EH. The poem includes an extended account of the life of the Virgin Mary. In the hymn, verses 1-3 contain images of flowing. This is even more apparent in the original, where six additional...

My soul gives glory to my God

My soul gives glory to my God. Miriam Therese Winter* (1938- ). This is a metrical version of the Magnificat*, or 'Canticle of Mary'. It was first published in Winter's God with Us, Resources for Prayer and Praise (1979). Although it then contained some non-inclusive language, and was revised for later publication, it anticipated Winter's long-term interest in the place of women in the life and liturgy of the church, subsequently found in publications such as Woman Prayer, Woman Song (1987),...

O God of love, O King of peace

O God of love, O King of peace. Henry Williams Baker* (1821-1877). Written for the First Edition of A&M (1861), where it appeared in the section 'In times of Trouble'. It was preceded by ''The Lord shall give His people the blessing of peace' (Psalm 29: 10 in the Book of Common Prayer). It was entitled 'War', and was evidently intended to be sung in time of war: the last line of each verse is 'Give peace, O God, give peace again'. Although the nation was not at war in 1861, the Crimean War...

Rejoice, O land, in God thy might

Rejoice, O land, in God thy might. Robert Bridges* (1844-1930). First published in Part III of the Yattendon Hymnal* (1898). It was written for the tune TALLIS' CANON, and in the Yattendon Hymnal it appeared in an antiphonal canon form, using the Cantoris and Decani sides of the choir in the treble and tenor lines only. The alto and bass lines provided the harmony on each side. It was taken over by EH in 1906 and set to the tune WAREHAM, by William Knapp*, with which it is usually associated....

O may the Son of God enfold you

O may the Son of God enfold you ('Spirit Song'). John Wimber* (1934-1997).  'Spirit Song' is the most lasting musical contribution of Wimber's contributions to congregational song, though written in 1979 before the movement was formed and before it became known as the Vineyard Fellowship.  Stanza one begins with an image of Christ, inviting 'The Son of God' to 'enfold' the worshipper 'with his Spirit and love'. The song encourages an intimate relationship between the singer and Christ through...

Many and great, O God, are thy works

Many and great, O God, are thy works. Joseph Renville* (1779-1846), translated by Philip Frazier*. Renville's hymn is probably the best known Native American hymn to have entered general use in translation. The first stanza is as follows: This hymn in seven stanzas was published in the 1846 supplement 'Dakota dowanpi kin', to the first Dakotan hymnal, a words-only book, Dakota Odowan ('Dakota Hymns') (Boston, 1842), with 'Mr. R' following stanza seven. It appeared with the scriptural...

God of love and truth and beauty

God of love and truth and beauty. Timothy Rees* (1874-1939). From The Mirfield Mission Hymn-Book (1922), where it is dated 1916. It was included in BBCHB, to a tune, CAROLYN, commissioned from Herbert Murrill (1909-1952), then head of music at the BBC. It appeared subsequently in 100HfT (1969) and thus in A&MNS, headed 'Hallowed be thy name'; it is also in HP. It is little known outside Britain, although in the USA it was included in Rejoice in the Lord (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1985), of...

God who gives to life its goodness

God who gives to life its goodness. Walter Farquharson* (1936-). A summer holiday inspired this two-verse hymn of celebration, written while the Farquharson family camped at Kenosee Lake in Moose Mountain Provincial Park in Saskatchewan. It was sung at the ecumenical service of dedication for The Hymn Book (1971) organized by the United Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. Within a decade congregations in both churches across Canada knew it so well many had forgotten it was a 'new'...

My God, is any hour so sweet

My God, is any hour so sweet. Charlotte Elliott* (1789-1871). First published in Elliott's Hours of Sorrow Cheered and Comforted (1836), where it was entitled 'The Hour of Prayer'. According to JJ, p. 780, the text changed slightly in subsequent publications: in her brother Henry Venn Elliott's Psalms and Hymns for Public, Private and Social Worship (1837 edition), and her own Morning and Evening Hymns for a Week (1839). It continued to be printed in many books: JJ described its use as...

Out of the depths, O God, we call to you

Out of the depths, O God, we call to you. Ruth C. Duck* (1947- ). Written in 1988 for a conference on 'Women and the Word' held at the Anna Howard Shaw Center, Boston University (named after a pioneer of women's rights, and dedicated to 'the promotion of structures and practices that empower women and honor diversity'). It was subsequently included in Duck's Dancing in the Universe (1992). Although it begins with the De Profundis of Psalm 130, the hymn goes on to sing of 'this community' (in...

Thank God, at last we can control

Thank God, at last we can control. David Mowbray* (1938- ). Written in 1992, this text grew from the writer's personal experience and pastoral work in the Hertford and then Darley Abbey (Derby) parishes which he served as incumbent, notably his ministry among the dying and bereaved. He came to appreciate terminal care, including pain control and prevention, valuing particularly the seminal work of the pioneer of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cicely Saunders (1918-2005) who founded St...

My God, I know, I feel thee mine

My God, I know, I feel Thee mine. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), Part II, where it was entitled 'Against Hope, believing in Hope (Rom. 4: 18)'. It was reprinted in Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1753) with the title 'In Doubt', and beginning 'My God, I humbly call Thee mine'. In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists it was included in the section, 'For Believers Groaning for Full Redemption'. It had 12 verses. Printings in the...

God, my King, thy might confessing

God, my King, thy might confessing. Richard Mant* (1776-1848). This is a metrical version of Psalm 145, 'I will extol thee, my God, O king'. It was first published in Mant's The Book of Psalms, in an English Metrical Version (1824), and in the USA in Psalms, in Metre Selected from the Psalms of David; suited to the Feasts and Fasts of the Church (New York, 1832). It has been very well regarded in the USA: it was used by the Protestant Episcopal Church as early as 1832 in a 'Selection of...

My God, accept my heart this day

My God, accept my heart this day. Matthew Bridges* (1800-1894). First published in Bridges's Hymns of the Heart, for the use of Catholics (1848), a book that appeared in the same year as Bridges' conversion to Roman Catholicism. It was entitled 'Confirmation'. It became widely known after its printing in the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M, with a doxology added, and one of Bridges's original stanzas omitted: My God, accept my heart this day,  And make it always Thine,That I...

No more, my God, I boast no more

No more, my God, I boast no more. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This appeared in Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), with the title 'The Value of Christ and his Righteousness, Phil. iii. 7-9'. The text is a powerful and close interpretation of the passage from the epistle. In Britain it has not been widely used, perhaps because of its apparently stark and uncompromising quality. The Companion to RS (1999) describes it as 'not a hymn for casual use; it addresses the need of the person who has known...

My God and Father, while I stray

My God and Father, while I stray. Charlotte Elliott* (1789-1871). As JJ  points out, pp. 778-9, this hymn exists in four forms, three of which he prints, noting that the fourth text differs from the others in the first line only, which read 'My God, my Father, while I stray' (this is the first line in many books). The basic text, upon which the others are based, was published in an Appendix to the First Edition of The Invalid's Hymn Book (1834). It had eight stanzas: My God and Father: while...

O God my strength and fortitude

O God my strength and fortitude. Thomas Sternhold* (d. 1549). According to JJ, p. 863, this metrical version of Psalm 18 was added to the collection of Psalms published by John Daye in 1561 entitled Psalmes of David in Englishe Metre. It then passed into The whole Book of Psalmes, collected into English metre by T. Sternhold, John Hopkins, and others (1562) (the 'Old Version'*). Originally it was in five parts. The first, from which most modern printings derive, had ten stanzas, preceded by...

My God, all nature owns Thy sway

My God, all nature owns Thy sway. Helen Maria Williams* (1759-1827). This is one of four 'Paraphrases from Scripture' from Williams's Poems (1786). This one is on Psalm 74: 16, 17. It was described in JJ as being 'in C.U.' ('Common Use'), and as found in Hymns for the Christian Church and Home (1840), compiled by James Martineau*. It is no longer used in Britain, and its time in the USA seems to be over also:  PSALM lxxiv. 16, 17. My God! all nature owns Thy sway,Thou giv'st the night, and...

O God of love, to Thee we bow

O God of love, to Thee we bow. William Vaughan Jenkins* (1868-1920). This hymn was written for Jenkins's own wedding, 6 September 1900. It was published in the Fellowship Hymn Book (1909, and in the revised edition, 1933: Jenkins was one of the editors). It was also published in Grave and Gay (1921), a volume published after Jenkins's death and containing hymns by him and his daughter. It was entitled 'A Wedding Hymn' in the 1921 volume. It has appeared in many books: RCH and CH3 in Scotland,...

Sweet is the work, my God, my King

Sweet is the work, my God, my King. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). From The Psalms of David (1719), with the title 'A Psalm for the Lord's Day', in seven stanzas. It is based on the first part of Psalm 92, verses 1-11. Some parts of the text are close to the Authorised Version of the Psalm, but taken as a whole it is also a remarkably free rendering, whilst at the same time keeping close to the original in sense and spirit. Stanza 2 introduces the Lord's Day (the day of sacred rest), and lines 3...

Before Thy throne, O God, we kneel

Before Thy throne, O God, we kneel. William Boyd Carpenter* (1841-1918). First published in H.D.A. Major's The Life and Letters of William Boyd Carpenter (1925). The date of composition is not known. It was published in the Revised Edition of The Fellowship Hymn Book (1933) and in the same year in MHB. It was eminently suitable for the former, with its absence of dogma and its insight into bad practices, found most clearly in stanza 3 (of four): For sins of heedless word and deed, For pride...

God in his love for us lent us this planet

God in his love for us lent us this planet. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). Originally written for a competition for hymns about the environment, this is one of the hymns chosen by the Hymn Society of America for inclusion in Sixteen Hymns on the Stewardship of the Environment (1973). The original text had this additional stanza on the unacceptable face of ca[italism, now usually omitted: Casual despoilers, or high-priests of Mammon, Selling the future for present rewards, Careless of...

I know not why God's wondrous grace

I know not why God's wondrous grace. Daniel Webster Whittle* (1840-1901). Published in Gospel Hymns No 4 (New York, 1883), edited by Ira D. Sankey*, James McGranahan*, and George C. Stebbins*. It was headed 'I know Whom I have believed', which forms the first line of the refrain, from 2 Timothy 1: 12; the hymn is sometimes known by this line. Most unusually, the quotation is repeated verbatim across four unrhymed lines: But 'I know Whom I have believed, And am persuaded that He is able To...

Make room within my heart, O God

Make room within my heart, O God. Bryan Jeffery Leech* (1931-2015). First published in The Covenant Hymnal of the Evangelical Covenant Church (Chicago, 1973). Leech was a member of the committee for that book. It has since appeared in editions of the Baptist Hymnal (1975, 1991) and it was chosen by Donald P. Hustad* for The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company*, 1990). It was set to a tune by Katherine Kennicott Davis*, MASSACHUSETTS, written at the request of the committee for The...

My heart is resting, O my God

My heart is resting, O my God. Anna Laetitia Waring* (1823-1910). First published in the Fourth Edition of Hymns and Meditations by A.L.W. (1854), with the title '“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him” — Lamentations iii.24.' It had eleven 8-line verses, although verse 7 is oddly divided into two quatrains. Many different abbreviations have been made, from the four-verse text in MHB (verses 1-3 and 11), to the three-verse one in BHB (1a + 2a, 3b + 2b, 11) and the...

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart. George Croly* (1780-1860). From Croly's Scenes from Scripture with other Poems (1851), where it had six verses. It was shortened to five verses and found in Scottish books from RCH onwards (CH3, CH4) set to Orlando Gibbons*'s SONG 22. The omitted verse was the original verse 5: I know Thee glorious! Might and mercy all, All that commands Thy creatures' boundless praise, Yet shall my soul from that high vision fall, Too cold to worship, and too...

To God who makes all lovely things

To God who makes all lovely things. John Macleod Campbell Crum* (1872-1958). First published in The Winchester Hymn Supplement (1922), after that in Songs of Praise for Boys and Girls (1929), and then in SofPE (1931). In SofPE it is in the section for children, but with the heading 'Also for adults', though its language and thought might be more suitable for children (stanza 6, for example, echoes 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star' by Ann and Jane Taylor*): He makes the sea that shines afar ...

Thee will I love, my God and King

Thee will I love, my God and King. Robert Bridges* (1844-1930). From Part IV of the Yattendon Hymnal (1899). It was designed to accompany the tune by Claude Goudimel* for the 138th Psalm in the Genevan Psalter* (1551). In YH it was 'set by M.M.B.' (Mary Monica, Bridges's wife, née Waterhouse, 1863-1949). It was carefully written by Bridges to fit the unusual but magnificent tune: Percy Dearmer*, who called Bridges 'a past master of the craft', noted when annotating this hymn that 'the musical...

We turn to you, O God of every nation

We turn to you, O God of every nation. Frederik Herman Kaan* (1929-2009). First sung in 1965 at the Pilgrim Church, Plymouth, of which the author was the minister. It is a hymn for United Nations Day, 24 October. It was printed in Kaan's Pilgrim Praise (1968), and rapidly taken up by the Methodist supplement, Hymns and Songs (1969). It later appeared in MHfT (1980) and has since become widely known. The final verse is particularly effective as an image of the Holy Spirit defeating the Babel of...

Mighty God, while angels bless thee

Mighty God, while angels bless thee. Robert Robinson* (1735-1790). First published in Joseph Middleton's Hymns (1793) in nine 4-line verses. According to Josiah Miller in Singers and Songs of the Church (1869), it was written in 1774 and marked in Robinson's manuscript catalogue as a Christmas hymn. Joseph Belcher (1794-1859), a Baptist minister who emigrated to the USA, said that the hymn was written for Benjamin Williams, later a Baptist deacon at Reading, Berkshire, when Williams was a boy...

Peace, doubting heart! my God's I am

Peace, doubting heart! my God's I am. John Wesley*(?) (1703-1791). This is one of the few hymns believed by the editors of the modern edition of A Collection of Hymns for the use of the People called Methodists (1780) to be by John Wesley rather than by his brother, though it is credited to Charles Wesley* in MHB. It was first printed in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), headed 'Isaiah XLIII. 1,2,3.' It had seven stanzas, two of which (5 and 7) were omitted in MHB: 5. Since thou hast bid me come...

O God of might, O Son of light

O God of might, O Son of light. Ross Calvin Coggins* (1927- ).  Written at Surabaja, Indonesia, in 1955: text and tune were sent by Coggins to his friend Dr Wesley Forbis, then on the music faculty of Corpus Christi University. Forbis harmonized the tune , and the hymn was first sung at Latham Springs, Texas, at a Baptist Student Union Retreat in 1956. From there it was sung at the World Mission Conference for students at Nashville, Tennessee, in December of that year. It was used as the final...

Thou Lamb of God, thou Prince of Peace.

Thou Lamb of God, thou Prince of Peace. Christian Friedrich Richter* (1676-1711), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Richter's hymn began 'Stilles Lamm und Friedenfürst'. It was published in Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen*'s Neues geist-reiches Gesang-Buch (Halle, 1714). On the voyage to Georgia  in 1735-36, Wesley would have found it in the Moravian Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735). His translation was included in his first hymnbook, the Collection of Psalms and Hymns...

My God, I thank Thee, who hast made

My God, I thank Thee, who hast made. Adelaide Anne Procter* (1825-1864). First published in Procter's Legends and Lyrics (First Series, 1858), in six stanzas entitled 'Thankfulness', beginning 'I thank thee, O my God, who made/ The earth so bright'. At some stage the first line was changed to the present form: it appeared thus in the Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer (1870), edited by E.H. Bickersteth*. It was placed in a section for 'The Visitation of the Sick', presumably because...

There are some things I may not know (Yes, God is real)

There are some things I may not know (Yes, God is real). Kenneth Morris* (1917-1989).  Known by the title 'Yes, God is real', this is the most famous and best-selling song of the gospel song composer, Kenneth Morris. Composed in 1944, soon after he established his publishing company in Chicago with Sallie Martin, the text was written in what has been called the 'problem-resolution style' (Marovich, 2015, p. 175). In this approach, the writer states a problem or challenge in the first part of a...

Fill thou my life, O Lord my God

Fill thou my life, O Lord my God. Horatius Bonar* (1808-1889). Published in Bonar's Hymns of Faith and Hope, Third Series (1866), in twelve 4-line verses, with the title 'Life's Praise'. A shortened 8-line text (four verses) appeared in the Primitive Methodist Hymnal Supplement (1912). In that text verse 2 was: Praise in the common words I speak, Life's common looks and tones; In intercourse at hearth or board With my beloved ones. Not in the temple crowd alone, Where holy...

Summoned by the God who made us (Sing a new Church

Summoned by the God who made us (Sing a new Church). Delores Dufner* (OSB) (1939— ).  'Sing a new church', the title by which this hymn is most commonly known, is one of the author's most prominent texts. The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (USA)* commissioned the hymn in 1991 for its Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the theme 'Singing a New Church'. The hymn was first published in Sing a New Church (Portland, Oregon, 1994). This, Dufner's first collection, was named after...

God made from one blood all the families of earth

God made from one blood all the families of earth. Thomas Troeger* (1945- ). From Troeger's New Hymns for the Church: to make our prayer and music one (1992), reprinted in Borrowed Light (1994). It was commissioned by Russell Schulz-Widmar (Russell E. Schulz*), who was compiling a hymnal for colleges and universities. Schulz-Widmar asked for a hymn that would 'include many kinds of family rather than the nuclear', a hymn that would be 'candid about family life' (New Hymns for the Church, p....

My God, since I can call thee mine

My God, since I can call thee mine. John Murray* (d. 1815).  This is the fourth of five hymns, published in the 1782 edition of Christian Hymns, Poems and Sacred Songs, Sacred to the Praise of God, Our Saviour, compiled by English Universalist James Relly and his brother John Relly.  The book was first published in London in 1754, and the 1782 edition was published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Noah Parker (1734-1787), a convert of Murray's and preacher in Portsmouth (Brewster, pp....

Lord God, your love has called us here

See 'Great God, your love has called us here'*

Great God, what do I see and hear

Great God, what do I see and hear. William Bengo Collyer* (1782-1854) and others. Stanza 1 of this hymn was published anonymously in a volume entitled Hymns for Public and Private Devotion (Sheffield, 1802), and subsequently in two books dating from 1810, John Kempthorne's Select Portions of Psalms from Various Translations, and Hymns, from Various Authors (JJ, p. 616) and Robert Aspland's Psalms and Hymns for Unitarian Worship. Collyer could have seen the verse in any one of these three...

Through all the world let every nation sing to God the King

Through all the world let every nation sing to God the King. Bryan Jeffery Leech (1931-2015). Written in 1967 for a Missionary Conference at Calvary Baptist Church, New York City, and published in the July 1970 issue of The Hymn by the Hymn Society of America, New York, with a tune by Paul Liljestrand (1931-2011) named CONRAD (after the composer's father). It has subsequently appeared in several books, including Hymns for the Living Church (1974). JRW/CY

Great God, your love has called us here

Great God, your love has called us here. Brian Arthur Wren* (1936- ). Written in April 1973; published in New Church Praise (1975) and in Wren's Mainly Hymns (Leeds, 1980); then in Faith Looking Forward (1983). It was headed 'And can it be…' and dedicated 'to Erik Routley, in love and appreciation'. The heading refers to Charles Wesley*'s hymn, 'And can it be that I should gain'*, and Wren has described his own text as 'A revisioning (not a replacement) of the central themes' of Wesley's hymn:...

Your love, O God, has called us here

Your love, O God, has called us here. Russell E. Schulz* (1944- ). This hymn, with a fine economy of words in its three stanzas, was written in 1981 for H82. It was written for the tune GARDINER by William Gardiner* (previously in the USA called BEETHOVEN, and in British books known as FULDA) but is set in H82 to WAREHAM, and in UMH to CORNISH, by M. Lee Suitor. The hymn 'asks God's blessing not only on the persons being married, but on all married couples', and although it is a wedding hymn...

Dear Mother God, your wings are warm around us

Dear Mother God, your wings are warm around us. Janet Wootton* (1952- ). This was first published in Hymns and Congregational Songs vol. 2 no. 3 (1991), and then in Reflecting Praise (1993). It has also appeared in VU, and in Come Celebrate , edited by Michael Saward* (2009). The text is from Deuteronomy 32: 11 and Isaiah 40: 13, and was originally in the first person singular ('your wings are warm around me'). The words are written from the perspective of the young eagle in the nest, and the...

Lord God, you now have set your servant free

Lord God, you now have set your servant free. Rae E. Whitney* (1927- ). This is Whitney's version of the Song of Simeon, the 'Nunc dimittis'*, Luke 2: 29-32, in the prayer-book translation of 1976. She was reading Compline with her husband, when 'this metrical hymn leapt out from the text for me to catch' (Glover et al., 1990-94, Volume 3B, p. 936). It was published in Whitney's Fig Tree Songs I (Scottsbluff, Nebraska: Fig Tree Press, 1981), and became widely known when was included in H82....

God, your glory we have seen in your Son

God, your glory we have seen in your Son. Didier Rimaud* (1922-2003). This was originally a French canticle written for a Roman Catholic conference in Strasbourg on the theme of 'The Bible in Liturgy' in 1957, beginning 'Dieu, nous avons vu ta gloire en ton Christ'*. Erik Routley* heard a recording and requested translations from Sir Ronald Johnson and Brian Wren*. A composite version was made (Johnson's antiphon, Wren's verses) and it was first published in this form in Dunblane Praises No 1...

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder ('How great thou art'). Carl Gustav Boberg* (1859-1940), in a Russian translation, translated by Stuart Keene Hine* (1899-1989). This hymn originated in a Swedish text by Carl Boberg beginning 'O Store Gud' ('O great God'), written ca. 1885 and published on 16 April 1891 with a Swedish folk melody in Sanningsvittnet ('witness for truth'), a journal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sweden. A German translation by Manfred von Glehn was made in Estonia...

Search me, O God, and know my heart today

 Search me, O God, and know my heart today. J. Edwin Orr* (1912-1987). Written Easter 1936, at a conference at Ngaruwahia, New Zealand. It was based on Psalm 139: 23-24. It had four stanzas in a 10.10.10.10. meter, and was written for 'Swiss Cradle Song', published by W.H. Paling and Co as a piano-variations piece (Brisbane, Australia, 1913), and attributed to Clement W. Scott (1841-1904), an English theatre critic. It has been erroneously described as a traditional Maori song called 'Now is...

For the might of thine arm we bless thee

For the might of thine arm we bless thee. Charles Sylvester Horne* (1865-1914). Written for the congregation of Whitefield's Tabernacle, London, of which the author was minister from 1903. It was first published in a leaflet form in 1904, in five stanzas, and then in The Brotherhood Song Book (1908) and The Fellowship Hymn Book (1909), in four stanzas. The original stanza 2 was: For the darksome days of peril when Thy still small voice was heard; For the 'two or three' in secret made mighty...

Come, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,/One God in persons three (1)

Come, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,/One God in persons three. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).  Charles Wesley wrote at least three hymns with this first line. One continued  Come Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/ Honour the means...*. Another began  Come Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,/ To whom we for our children cry...*.  Another was the hymn above. It was printed in the 'Numbers' section of Volume I of Short Hymns on Select Passages of the Holy Scriptures (1762). It began with No. 200, headed 'The...

Richard Meux Benson

BENSON, Richard Meux. b. London, 6 July 1824; d. Oxford, 14 January 1915. He was educated privately, and at Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1847, MA 1849). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1848, priest 1849), serving his curacy at St Mark's, Surbiton (1848-50). He was vicar of Cowley, Oxford (1850-70), and vicar of St John's, Cowley, Oxford (1870-1886). He was the Founder and First Superior of the Community of St John the Evangelist, Cowley (SSJE, or the 'Cowley Fathers', a community that flourished...

High let us all our voices raise

See 'Fortem virili pectore'*.

Howard Charles Adie Gaunt

GAUNT, Howard Charles Adie. b. Birmingham, 13 November 1902; d. Winchester, 1 February 1983. He was educated at King's College, Cambridge (BA, 1925, MA, 1927). He worked as a schoolmaster for much of his life, teaching at Rugby School, Malvern College, and Winchester College. He took Holy Orders (deacon 1954, priest 1955) and served in the Winchester diocese, continuing to teach at Winchester College until 1963, when he became, successively, Sacristan (1963-66) and Precentor (1966-73) of...

Lord of all power and might

Lord of all power and might. Hugh Stowell* (1799-1865).  According to JJ, p. 1097) this was written for the Jubilee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 7 March 1853, and published after his death in Hymns, by the late Rev. Canon Stowell, M.A. (Manchester, 1868). It was subsequently published in the enlarged edition of Stowell's A Selection of Psalms & Hymns Suited to the Services of the Church of England (Manchester, 1877), edited by his son, Thomas Alfred Stowell (1831-1916). It had...

Father in heaven, who lovest all

Father in heaven, who lovest all. Rudyard Kipling* (1865-1936). From Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), where it was entitled 'The Children's Hymn'. The hymn begins at stanza 2 of the original poem. It is far better known in the USA and Canada than the text used in British books, 'Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee'*, although sometimes that stanza, and the concluding one, are printed in parentheses before and after the hymn: Land of our Birth, we pledge to thee, Our love and toil in the years to...

God will take care of you

See 'Be not dismayed whate'er betide'*

Near to the heart of God

See 'There is a place of quiet rest'*

Hymns of the Spirit

Hymns of the Spirit (1864). This was the title of a major anthology edited by the Unitarian ministers Samuel Longfellow* and Samuel Johnson*, published at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1864. It contained 717 hymns, arranged in two principal sections: 1. Worship; 2. God and His Manifestations. The first was divided into: Usual Public Worship Special Occasions. The second was divided as follows: God in Himself; God in Nature; God in the Soul; God in the Life; God in Humanity. The subdivisions of...

Arthur Bardwell Patten

 PATTEN, Arthur Bardwell. b. Bowdoinham, Maine, 26 March 1864; d. Claremont, California, 10 May 1952. He was educated at Colby University, Waterville, Maine (now Colby College, to indicate its status as an old-established Liberal Arts College). He graduated AB in 1890, and went on to Bangor Theological Seminary (graduated 1893). He became a minister in the Congregational Church, serving pastorates at Everett, Massachusetts (1895-97), South Hadley, Mass. (1897-1905), Sant Rosa, California...

Sing your praise to God eternal

See 'Sing ye praises to the Father'*

The Son of God his glory hides

See 'The heavenly Child in stature grows'*.

O Faith of England, taught of old

O Faith of England, taught of old. Thomas Alexander Lacey* (1853-1931).  This remarkable hymn was written for EH (1906). It had four 12-line stanzas. It opened the section entitled 'Church and People', under the sub-heading 'The Church'. Unusually for a British book, the words were printed between the staves, with stanzas 1 and 2 to be sung in harmony, and 3 and 4 in unison:  O Faith of England, taught of oldBy faithful shepherds of the fold,  The hallowing of our nation;Thou wast through...

New Catholic Hymnal

New Catholic Hymnal (1971). The New Catholic Hymnal was published in 1971, edited by Anthony Petti* and Geoffrey Laycock*. It bears the imprint of a church in a post-Vatican II situation; but by any standards, it was a remarkable book for its time. Not only did it publish many new texts and tunes, but it also revised texts into modern speech and syntax, an example followed a decade later by HFTC. Controversially, it was one of the first books to use the 'you' form for God, as in 'Lord, your...

Theodore Parker

PARKER, Theodore. b. Lexington, Massachusetts, 24 August 1810; d. Florence, Italy, 10 May 1860. Born into a farming family, he enrolled at Harvard College, but was unable to take up a place there. He taught in a school at nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, from 1832 to 1834, while studying the Harvard curriculum. Although he passed the examinations, as a non-resident he received no degree; but he then proceeded to the Harvard Divinity School, graduating in 1836. He was ordained as a...

Estlin Carpenter

CARPENTER, (Joseph) Estlin. b. Ripley, Surrey, 5 October 1844; d. Oxford, 2 June 1927. He was born into a distinguished Unitarian family: his grandfather, Lant Carpenter, was a noted Unitarian minister and schoolmaster, who taught James Martineau*, who in turn taught Estlin ('Joseph' was usually dropped). The family moved to Hampstead, north London, and Estlin was educated at University College School, London, and the University of London, where he read mental and moral philosophy. He trained...

John Page Hopps

HOPPS, John Page. b. London, 6 November 1834; d. Shepperton, Middlesex, 6 April 1911. He was educated at Leicester General Baptist College, where he trained for the Baptist ministry. After serving as minister at Hugglescote and Ibstock (1856) and at Birmingham (1857-), he became a Unitarian in 1860 and went on to serve as a Unitarian minister in Sheffield, Dukinfield, Glasgow, Leicester and London. Hopps published many books, pamphlets and sermons, many of which proved controversial: he...

Fred Gealy

GEALY, Frederick Daniel. b. Oil City, Pennsylvania, 13 May 1894; d. University Park, Texas, 15 December 1976. Distinguished New Testament scholar, teacher, hymnist, and church musician, Gealy attended Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, (BA, 1916); Boston University (STB 1919; PhD 1929), with additional study at Universität Basel, Switzerland; Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Berlin, Germany; Union Theological Seminary New York City (Dodge Mission Fellow, MTh, 1929); and the University...

Oxford Hymn Book

The Oxford Hymn Book was published by the Clarendon Press (the academic part of the Oxford University Press) in 1908. It was the work of two of the delegates of the Clarendon Press, the Dean of Christ Church, Thomas Strong (Dean, 1901-1920), and the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, William Sanday (Professor, 1895-1919). They co-opted Mary Church, who had edited The Life and Letters of Dean Church (her father, R.W. Church, 1815-1890, Dean of St Paul's, 1871-90) and James Thompson, the Dean...

Who are these like stars appearing

Who are these like stars appearing. Heinrich Theobald Schenk* (1656-1727), translated by Frances Elizabeth Cox* (1812-1897). Schenk's hymn, 'Wer sind die vor Gottes Throne?', published in Neu-Vermehrtes Gesangbuchlein (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1719), is his only known contribution to hymnody. Cox's translation is from her Sacred Hymns from the German (1841), with the German and English printed opposite one another: Wer sind die vor Gottes Throne? Was ist das für eine Schaar? Träget jeder...

Edward Hughes Pruden

PRUDEN, Edward Hughes. b. Chase City, Virginia, 30 August 1903; d. Richmond, Virginia, 1987. After school in Chase City, Pruden was educated at the University of Richmond, Virginia, a Baptist school attended by pre-ministerial students (graduated 1925), followed by the Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky (MDiv). Further graduate study followed at Yale, and Edinburgh, Scotland (PhD). He was awarded a DD at the age of 29 from the University of Richmond (the youngest person ever to...

Stupendous height of heavenly love

Stupendous height of heavenly love. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). Not published during the author's lifetime, this hymn comes from a manuscript in Wesley's hand, containing 800 poems based on the Gospel according to Saint Luke. It consists of four 6-line stanzas and is inspired by Luke 1:78, 'Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us.' It was included in the 1831 Supplement to A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists...

Thomas Hornblower Gill

GILL, Thomas Hornblower. b. Birmingham, 10 February 1819; d. Grove Park, Kent, 4 March 1906. He was educated at King Edward's Grammar School, Birmingham. The son of English Presbyterians who had, like many others, become Unitarians, he was unable to sign the Articles of the Church of England (despite having rejected Unitarianism) and so was barred from entry to Oxford University. He educated himself privately and remained throughout his life a student and writer. He greatly admired the hymns of...

Labour Church Hymn and Tune Book

Labour Church Hymn and Tune Book. The Labour Church was founded in 1891 at Chorlton in Lancashire by a Unitarian minister, John Trevor (1855-1930), who was concerned at the perceived alienation of the churches from the working classes of Britain. It flourished for some years in the industrial towns, linking the need for reform with a liberal religion, and attracted sufficient support to justify the production of a hymnbook. This was edited by Trevor and his wife Eliza, and published at the...

Didache

This is a short Greek text, Didache kyriou dia ton dodeka apostolon ethesin ('The teaching of the Lord through the twelve apostles'),of uncertain date, but thought to be one of the earliest instructive manuals of the Christian church, perhaps originating from Syria. It has sixteen sections, beginning with 'the two ways and the first commandment', and ending with 'Watchfulness; the coming of the Lord'. It is a brief introduction to the Christian life, beginning with the two ways, 'one of life...

O Christ, Who art the Light and Day

O Christ, Who art the Light and Day.  William John Copeland* (1804-1885). This is Copeland's translation of 'Christe qui lux es et dies'*. Like the original, it is a hymn for Lent, and associated with Evening ('Christe qui lux ...' was sung daily at Compline during the winter months). It was well known on the Continent. The Historical Edition of A&M (1909, p. 146) points out that a German version, 'Christe der du bist Tag und Licht', dating from 1526, was translated by Miles Coverdale* for...

Edwin Chapin

CHAPIN, Edwin Hubbell. b. Union Village, New York, 29 December 1814; d. Pigeon Cove, Massachusetts, 26 December 1880.  Chapin was a Universalist minister, author, orator, social reformer, and writer of hymns.  With John Greenleaf Adams (1810-1897) he compiled Hymns for Christian Devotion. Edwin Chapin was a descendant of Samuel Chapin (1598-1675), born in Devon, England, who became a prominent settler at Springfield, Massachusetts.  Among other descendants of Samuel Chapin were hymn tune...

Countryside, hymns

Hymns which have references to the countryside have existed since the days of the early church and continue to be an essential part of worship. The psalms, for example, contain references to the grass which grows and dies (Psalm 90), to the flowers which bloom and fade (Psalm 103), to the beasts of the field (Psalm 8) and to the harvest (Psalm 65). These references, and others to the hills, the sea, the clouds and the sky, suggest that there was a consciousness of the natural world even before...

Trinity hymns

Trinity hymns The hymn is an ideal vehicle for the rejection of heresy, and Trinitarian teaching has therefore been central to Christian hymnody in both the Eastern and Western churches. The nature of the Trinity is a central doctrine of Christian orthodoxy; its classic formulation is that established in the 4th-century Nicene Creed, which is the basis for subsequent explorations of the characteristics of the three Persons of the Trinity and the relationship between them. It is based on the...

Edward Osler

OSLER, Edward. b. Falmouth, Cornwall, 30 January 1798; d. Falmouth, 7 March 1863. He was destined for a medical career, and was apprenticed to a Dr Carvosso at Falmouth, followed by training at Guy's Hospital, London (MRCS, 1818). He became a house surgeon at Swansea Infirmary, and surgeon to the House of Industry at Swansea (ca. 1819-25). During this period he developed an earlier interest in marine biology, published papers on the subject, and was elected a member of the Linnean Society. He...

A living stream, as crystal clear

A living stream, as crystal clear. John Keble* (1792-1866), based on a hymn by John Mason* (ca. 1645-1694). Keble wrote this hymn for the Salisbury Hymn-Book (1857). It was forthwith taken up by the compilers of the First Edition of A&M (1861), and it appeared in all editions of A&M until it was dropped by A&MR. Keble's seven 4-line verses were based on a hymn by John Mason from his Spiritual Songs: or Songs of Praise to Almighty God Upon several Occasions (1683). In Mason's book...

O Christ the Lord, O Christ the King

O Christ the Lord, O Christ the King. Reginald Thomas Brooks* (1918-1985). Brooks was a student at Mansfield College at the same time as George Bradford Caird*. The two men were born in the same place (Wandsworth, south London) within a year of each other (Caird, July 1917; Brooks, June 1918). This hymn was written at Mansfield College in 1941 as an entry for the Scott Psalmody Prize. The prize went to Caird for 'Almighty Father, who for us thy Son didst give'*; but Brooks's hymn was printed...

Thomas Vincent Fosbery

FOSBERY, Thomas Vincent. b. Limerick, Ireland, 1807; d. Bracknell, Berkshire, 1875. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1830, MA 1847). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1831, priest 1832), serving a curacy at Etchilhampton, Wiltshire (1831-34). From 1834 to 1849 his career is uncertain. He is listed in the Clergy Lists from 1841 onward as living at Westcliff House, Niton, Isle of Wight, but with no benefice. He became the incumbent of Sunningdale, Berkshire (1849-57) and vicar of St...

Basil Harwood

HARWOOD, Basil. b. Woodhouse, Olveston, Gloucestershire, 11 April 1859; d. Kensington, London, 3 April 1949. He was the eighth son and youngest of nine children of Edward Harwood, banker and JP, and his first wife, Mary Sturge (daughter of Young Sturge of Bristol, the famous Quaker). He entered Trinity College, Oxford in 1878 to study classics and history and also took the B.Mus. degree in 1880, studying theory with C. W. Corfe, choragus to the university. After leaving Oxford he travelled to...

Catholic Apostolic Church hymnody

The Catholic Apostolic Church, founded in 1835, is generally associated with the charismatic Scottish preacher (and friend of Thomas Carlyle*), Edward Irving (1792-1834); members of the denomination were often referred to as 'Irvingites'. Irving did lay some of the theological foundations of the Church, but he died in the very early years of the movement and before its foundation as a church, leaving John Bate Cardale (1802-77) and Henry Drummond (1786-1860), a well-to-do banker and Member of...

Emma Turl

TURL, (Margaret) Emma. b. Shrewsbury, 1946. She was educated at Stamford High School for Girls, Lincolnshire, and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she read English. Following a Certificate of Education Course, she worked for two years in western Uganda (Kinyamasika TTC) with Voluntary Service Overseas, and subsequently married a secondary-school teacher in Ghana. There they spent ten further years, in three different regions, during which time she taught for a short period (Navrongo Secondary...

With hearts in love abounding

With hearts in love abounding. Harriet Auber* (1773-1862). Published in The Spirit of the Psalms: or, a compressed version of select portions of the Psalms of David, adapted to Christian worship (1829), where it is Auber's version of Psalm 45. It was printed in the SPCK Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1852), edited by Thomas Vincent Fosbery*. In that book it was headed 'After Trinity Sunday', and printed in three 8-line stanzas: With hearts in love abounding,  Prepare we now to singA...

Lord, while for all mankind we pray

Lord, while for all mankind we pray. John Reynell Wreford* (1800-1881). First published in A Collection of Hymns for Public and Private Worship (1837), edited by John Relly Beard*. Its expression of a love of one's country, without a trace of nationalistic pride or imperial ambition, was well suited to the year in which Queen Victoria ascended the throne (in that year Wreford also published Lays of Loyalty, a small collection of loyal poems praising Victoria and even lauding her predecessor,...

Missionary College Hymns (1914)

Missionary College Hymns (Scotland, 1914) This compilation for the Free Church Women's Missionary Training Institute in Edinburgh was remarkable in including hymns from traditions other than the Christian: Vedic, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Syrian, African, Islamic – one of the latter being the Muezzin's call to prayer. They were set to tunes appropriate to their provenance, many Indian, but also melodies from Japan, Syria, Africa, China, Persia and Egypt, with instructions regarding...

William Cullen Bryant

BRYANT, William Cullen. b. Cummington, Massachusetts, 3 November 1794; d. New York City, 12 June 1878. Educated at Williams College, Massachusetts, but only for one year, he then studied law with local firms, and practised law for ten years. He was interested in poetry from childhood, and published a celebrated poem, 'Thanatopsis', in the North American Review in 1817. In 1825 Bryant left his law practice to become a full-time writer and editor. He moved to New York City to edit a literary...

Father, we thank thee who hast planted

Father, we thank thee who hast planted. F. Bland Tucker* (1895-1984). Written in 1939, and published in H40, this hymn has been published throughout the world. It is a paraphrase of the Didache*, consisting of the supposed teaching of the twelve apostles: it provides 'rules for baptism, fasting, prayer, visiting teachers and apostles, and the Lord's Supper, and containing the fine prayers which F. Bland Tucker has effectively paraphrased' (Young, 1993, p 332). Stanza 1 corresponds to 10: 2 of...

John Oxenham

OXENHAM, John. b. Manchester, 12 November 1852; d. Worthing, Sussex, 23 January 1941. 'John Oxenham' was the pseudonym of William Arthur Dunkerley, the name taken from a character in Charles Kingsley's* novel Westward Ho! (1855). Dunkerley was educated at Old Trafford School and the University of Manchester. He worked in his father's business as a wholesale provision merchant, with periods in France and the USA. His interest in writing was stimulated by a friendship with Jerome K. Jerome,...

O Lord! how happy should we be

O Lord! how happy should we be. Joseph Anstice* (1808-1836). First published in Hymns by the late Joseph Anstice (Bridgwater, 1836), a collection of the hymns which the dying Anstice had dictated to his wife in the weeks before his death. Its five stanzas were printed in Frances Mary Yonge*'s The Child's Christian Year (Oxford, 1841), for the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, with a preceding text from 1 Peter 5:7, 'Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you', and a concluding text...

Come, all harmonious Tongues

Come, all harmonious Tongues. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748).  From Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book II, 'Composed on Divine Subjects, Conformable to the Word of God'. It was Hymn 84, entitled 'The Same' (as the previous hymn, 'The Passion and Exaltation of Christ'). The text in 1707 was in eight Short Metre stanzas:    Come, all harmonious Tongues,  Your noblest Music bring;'Tis Christ the Everlasting God,  And Christ the Man we sing.    Tell how he took our Flesh  To take away our Guilt,...

Juan Bautista Cabrera

CABRERA, Juan Bautista Ivars. b. Benissa, Alicante, Spain; 23 April 1837; d. Madrid, 18 May 1916.  A hymn writer, translator of hymns, church historian, and the first bishop of the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church (1896–1916), Cabrera is known today by Spanish-speaking congregations for his translations of some of the most widely-used historical hymns. He was born into a pious Catholic family in Spain (Catholicism, though the dominant faith tradition in Spain for centuries, became the...

Rudyard Kipling

KIPLING, (Joseph) Rudyard. b. Bombay (Mumbai), India 30 Dec 1865; d. London, 18 Jan 1936. He was the son of English parents working in India (his unusual Christian name came from a lake in Staffordshire where they had met). He was educated in England (after some unhappy years in what he later called 'the House of Desolation' at Southsea), at the United Services College, Westward Ho!, North Devon (the source of Stalky and Co., 1899). He returned to India in 1882, working as a journalist at...

Lift up your hearts to things above

Lift up your hearts to things above. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), volume II: it was no. 55 of a series of 'Hymns for Christian Friends'. It had twelve 4-line verses. In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists it was printed in five 8-line verses, switching the order of 9 and 10, and omitting the original verses 3 and 8: 3. Our Bosom-Friend, and Brother too, Our Husband, and our Head, Who all He bids delight to...

Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes

Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751). Included in the Church of Scotland's Translations and Paraphrases of Several Passages of Scripture (1754), it was also published as no. 203 in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (Salop, 1755), edited by Doddridge's friend Job Orton, with the title 'Christ's message. Luke iv. 18, 19'. The manuscript is dated 28 December 1735. This is a hymn for Advent, but the text on which it is based concerns the...

O Jesu, Lord of light and grace (1)

O Jesu, Lord of light and grace.  Ambrose of Milan* (339/340- 397), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876). This translation of the magnificent 'Splendor paternae gloriae'* was published in Chandler's Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837), where it was designated as 'Morning Hymn'. The first line was 'O Jesu, Lord of heavenly grace'. The hymn was the third hymn in the First Edition of A&M (1861), in the 'Morning' section, where it was altered by the Compilers. The alterations have the...

There is a safe and secret place

There is a safe and secret place. Henry Francis Lyte* (1793-1847). From Lyte's The Spirit of the Psalms (1834). This is the first version of Psalm 91, which begins 'He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.' It had five 4-line stanzas. In the 1836 edition of The Spirit of the Psalms the  third stanza was in square brackets: There is a safe and secret place   Beneath the Wings divine, Reserved for all the heirs of grace; -   O be that...

John Marriott

MARRIOTT, John. b. Cotesbach, near Lutterworth, Leicestershire, 1780 (baptised 11 September); d. London, 31 March 1825. He was educated at Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1802, MA 1806). He was ordained priest in 1805. He was briefly a Student (i.e. Fellow) of Christ Church, but moved to Dalkeith, south of Edinburgh, where he was employed by the Duke of Buccleuch as private tutor to his younger brother, George Henry, Lord Scott, and as the Duke's domestic chaplain. It was at this...

Philip Doddridge

DODDRIDGE, Philip. b. London, 26 June 1702; d. Lisbon, 26 October 1751. Born into a family with a strong Puritan and Dissenting tradition, Philip was first educated by his mother, who taught him Biblical history from the pictures on the Dutch tiles of the fireplace even before he could read. He was then taught by a private tutor, Mr Stott, until 1712 when he attended a grammar school in Kingston-on-Thames, studying under an ejected Presbyterian minister, Daniel Mayo. He was then sent to a...

John Dobell

DOBELL. John. b. 1757; d. May 1840. Dobell is described in JJ as 'a port-gauger [a person who checked cargoes] under the Board of Excise at Poole, Dorset, and a person of some local note' (p. 304). He published A New Selection of Seven Hundred Evangelical Hymns for Private, Family, and Public Worship (1806). This was evidently successful, for a Third Edition (no date, but before 1825, when it was printed in the USA) was entitled A New Selection of More than Eight Hundred Evangelical Hymns, from...

Lobt Gott in allen Landen

Lobt Gott in allen Landen. Martin Behm* (1557-1622). From Behm's Kirchen Calender (Wittenberg, 1606), with the title 'Gebeet, Vom Brachmonat' ('Brachmonat' was a word for the month of June, now obsolete). It is a delightful hymn for the coming of summer ('Der Winter ist vergangen'), looking forward to the sunshine and the gentle rain that make for a good harvest; it then asks for a spiritual summertime ('die geistlich Sommerzeit', the present verse 3). It had five stanzas, shortened to four in...

Feminist hymnody

Throughout Christian history, the language and imagery of worship has been overwhelmingly male. Congregations have sung of themselves as 'men' and 'brothers'; apart from Mary the mother of Jesus, references to biblical characters have focused on males; and God has been addressed in terms that emphasise masculinity. For much of this time, the creators and leaders of liturgy have been almost exclusively men. With the rise of 'second wave' feminism in the 1970s, there was a specific move towards...

Laurence Housman

HOUSMAN, Laurence. b. Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, 18 July 1865; d. Glastonbury, Somerset, 20 February 1959. He was the son of a solicitor, and the younger brother of the poet and scholar A.E. Housman (1859-1936). He was educated at home and at Bromsgrove School, before training in London as a graphic artist. He worked as a book illustrator, and was art critic of The Manchester Guardian for 16 years from 1895. He wrote poems, novels, and plays, and journal articles on topics such as feminism,...

We love the venerable house

We love the venerable house. Ralph Waldo Emerson* (1803-1882). This was written by Emerson in 1832 for his successor at Second Unitarian Church, Boston, Chandler Robbins. It appeared in Samuel Longfellow* and Samuel Johnson*'s Hymns of the Spirit (1864), and in James Martineau*'s Hymns of Praise and Prayer (1873). It had seven stanzas, the last of which, beginning 'On him/her who by the altar stands', is used principally for an induction of a new minister. It has continued in British Unitarian...

Peculiar Honours

Peculiar Honours (1998). Peculiar Honours was published in 1998 by Stainer & Bell for the Congregational Federation, marking the 250th anniversary of the death of Isaac Watts*. The title is taken from Watts' hymn, 'Jesus shall reign where'er the sun'* ('Peculiar [i.e. special] honours to our king'). The book was designed as a resource to aid reflection on hymns: 'to reflect and encourage the traditions of hymn writing within Congregationalism' (Michael Durber, Preface, p. v). Hymns were...

Bring, O morn, thy music

Bring, O morn, thy music. William Channing Gannett* (1840-1923). First published in A Chorus of Faith (Chicago, 1893). It is a considered Unitarian response to the Trinitarianism of Reginald Heber*'s 'Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty'*, deliberately using Heber's metre and some of his phrases. The tune used is that of Heber's hymn, NICAEA, by John Bacchus Dykes*; and the fourth line of each of the stanzas is taken directly from Heber, preceded by three new lines, for example: Bring, O...

Donald Hughes

HUGHES, Donald Wynn. b. Southport, Lancashire, 25 March 1911; d. Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, 12 August 1967. The son of a Methodist minister, Hughes was educated at the Perse School, Cambridge, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He took First Class Honours in the English Tripos, after which he taught at the Leys School, a Methodist foundation in Cambridge (1935-46). He was a distinguished cricketer, playing first-class cricket as an amateur for Glamorgan, for whom he took part in a...

Missions and mission hymnody, Britain and Ireland

Missions and mission hymnody, Britain and Ireland The idea of 'Mission' is as old as the church itself. One of the last commands of our Lord was to the disciples: 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature' (Mark 16: 15), and the events of the first Pentecost (Acts 2) were those of inspiration followed by preaching and healing. Since that time, it has always been a priority of the church to spread the gospel to places where it has not been heard. St Patrick became the...

Mirfield Mission Hymn Book

Mirfield Mission Hymn Book The Community of the Resurrection (CR) was founded in Oxford in 1892 by six priests, including Charles Gore, subsequently Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham and Oxford. It moved to Mirfield, West Yorkshire, in 1898. From the outset it combined a strong liturgical interest with a concern for the poor and needy, and it provided practical and spiritual help, notably in London. For much of the 20th century it also staffed missions in other countries, most significantly in...

Let Christian faith and hope dispel

Let Christian faith and hope dispel. Granton Douglas Hay* (1943- ). This seven-stanza text, based on Romans 8: 31-39, was written for the Australian Hymn Book (WOV). It is a reworking of a slightly longer paraphrase in the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases (1781), beginning Let Christian faith and hope dispel The fears of guilt and woe; The Lord Almighty is our friend, And who can prove a foe? See 'The Saviour died, but rose again'*. Hay's version is in seven stanzas. In WOV...

James Russell Lowell

LOWELL, James Russell. b. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 22 February 1819; d. Cambridge, Mass., 12 August 1891. The son of a Unitarian minister, he was educated at Harvard, where he was more interested in literature than his studies, and was suspended for a time, graduating in 1838. He decided on law as a career, and took an LLB degree in 1840, but devoted his time to writing rather than law. He published his first volume of poems, A Year's Life (1841), followed by Poems (1844), and Poems: Second...

Salisbury Hymn Book, The

The Salisbury Hymn Book (1857). This was published in Salisbury and London, although it may have originated in a hymnbook for the local diocese of the former. It was edited by Horatio Bolton Nelson*. There was no Preface, but a letter addressed to Earl Nelson from the Bishop of Salisbury, Walter Kerr Hamilton, dated November of that year, was printed as follows: 'My dear Lord,/ I very much like the Hymn-book which you have sent me, and I quite approve of your publishing it./ I remain, Yours...

Waldensian hymnody

The Waldensians take their name from Peter Waldo (ca. 1140- late 12th century), a wealthy son of a merchant of Lyon, France, who followed the instructions of Jesus Christ to sell all he had and give to the poor. He translated the New Testament into Provençal: he and his followers led lives of poverty and simplicity. They regarded themselves as orthodox Catholics, and were represented at the Third Lateran Council (1179) under Pope Alexander III. Their independent teaching, including the...

Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo (St) [Aurelius Augustinus]. b. Thagaste, 13 November 354; d. Hippo, 28 August 430. One of the most influential figures in the history of Christian thought, Augustine was born in Thagaste in North Africa. His father was a pagan, but his mother, St Monica, encouraged him towards Christianity even after he had lost his initial Christian faith. In 373, inspired by Cicero's Hortensius, he decided to pursue the life of a philosopher, becoming a Manichean and teaching the liberal...

Must Jesus bear the cross alone

Must Jesus bear the cross alone. USA, 19th-century.  This hymn, a product of early 19th-century American Adventism, has appeared in 1083 USA collections. Some texts have the first line as 'Must (or 'Shall') Simon bear his cross alone'.  It is found in two text versions and distinct musical settings. It is almost unknown in Britain, apart from a printing in the Song Book of the Salvation Army (1953 edition).  Version 1  The first commentary on a version of the hymn, its musical setting,...

Mission Praise

  Mission Praise (Mission England Praise, 1983; Mission Praise 2, 1987; Mission Praise Supplement, 1989; Mission Praise Combined, 1990; New Mission Praise, 1996; Complete Mission Praise, 1999; new edition, 2005; online edition, 2008; 25th anniversary edition, 2009; 30th anniversary edition, 2015). In terms of sales, Mission Praise was a phenomenally successful publication in the last fifteen years of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st. Across all its editions, including Junior...

Melodies of Praise

Melodies of Praise (1957, 1985). This the title of the hymnal of the churches known as Assembly of God churches. The denomination dates from 1914, when a group of evangelical and Pentecostal ministers meeting at Hot Springs, Arkansas, formed the 'Assemblies of God (USA)'. It is now part of a world-wide organisation, the World Assemblies of God Fellowship. Its headquarters are in Springfield, Missouri, although each church has its independent governance. Its non-negotiable 'Statement of...

William Everett

EVERETT, William. b. Watertown, Massachusetts, 10 October 1839; d. Quincy, Massachusetts, 16 February 1910. He was the son of Edward Everett, Secretary of State in the administration of Abraham Lincoln, who spoke the long oration before Lincoln's brief but famous Gettysburg address. William Everett was educated at Harvard College (AB 1859), Trinity College, Cambridge, England (BA 1863), and at the Dane Law School, Cambridge (Harvard University) Massachusetts (LL.D 1865); he was called to the...

Sing to the Lord with joyful voice

Sing to the Lord with joyful voice. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This text exists in several books. One version is in Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book I, 'Collected from the Holy Scriptures', with the title 'Praise to the Lord from all Nations; Psalm 100'. Verse 1 was: Sing to the Lord with joyful voice; Let every land his name adore; The British Isles shall send the Noise Across the Ocean to the Shore. A paraphrase of Psalm 100 had originally appeared in Horae Lyricae (1706), with...

Timothy Dudley-Smith

DUDLEY-SMITH, Timothy. b. Manchester, 26 December 1926. He grew up in Derbyshire, and was educated at Tonbridge School, Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Ridley Hall, Cambridge (BA 1947, MA 1951). He was ordained in 1950; after a curacy at St Paul's Northumberland Heath (Erith), 1950-53, he worked at the Cambridge University Mission in Bermondsey as head (1953-55) and chaplain (1955-60). From 1955-59 he was also Editorial Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance and founding editor of the monthly...

Jesus, still lead on

Jesus, still lead on. Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf* (1700-1760), translated by Jane Laurie Borthwick* (1813-1897). This is a translation of a composite text, 'Jesu, geh voran', made (probably by Christian Gregor*) from two hymns by Zinzendorf for the Moravian Bruder Gesang-Buch of 1778. The hymns were 'Seelenbräutigam, O Du Gottes Lamm' (translated by John Wesley* as 'O Thou to whose all-searching sight'), and 'Glanz der Ewigkeit' ('Brightness of eternity'). The 1778 text was in four stanzas:...

Christian Social Union, Church of England

The Christian Social Union, and its hymns The Christian Social Union was founded in 1889. However, its concerns had been exercising thoughtful church people, and many others, throughout the 19th century: movements such as those of the Chartists in the 1840s, and the writings of such thinkers as Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872) and Charles Kingsley* provided a background to the practical experience of clergy such as Percy Dearmer* in the East End of London.  The Salvation Army was founded...

Begin, my tongue, some heavenly theme

Begin, my tongue, some heavenly theme. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). From Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book II, 'Composed on Divine Subjects, Conformable to the Word of God', in nine stanzas. It was entitled 'The Faithfulness of God in his Promises.' Watts altered stanza 4 in the Second Edition (1709) from the original Engrav'd as in Eternal Brass The mighty Promise lies; Nor can the Powers of Darkness raise [a printer's error for 'rase' = erase] The Records of the...

Let us look to Jesus

Let us look to Jesus. F.M. Hamilton* (1858-1912). From Songs of Love and Mercy:Adapted to the Use of Sunday Schools, Epworth Leagues, Revivals, Prayer Meetings, and Special Occasions (Jackson, Tennessee, 1904). It is a good example of Hamilton's sensitivity to the world around him as well as to his own 'world full of sorrow'. In this hymn, which includes an allusion to the African American Spiritual 'There is a Balm in Gilead'*, he calls believers to 'look to Jesus' to bear their burdens, to...

Rejoice, O people, in the mounting years

Rejoice, O people, in the mounting years. Albert Frederick Bayly* (1901-1984). This was Albert Bayly's first attempt at hymn writing. Requested in 1945 for the Triple Jubilee of the London Missionary Society, it was published in five 6-line verses with a tune by Eric Shave in Faith's Transcendent Dower, the Northumbrian Triple Jubilee booklet. A copy in leaflet form was seen by Cyril Taylor*, who asked Bayly to revise it for BBCHB. An additional verse was written for the 750th anniversary...

Sound of living waters

Sound of Living Waters  Sound of Living Waters was published in 1974 in London by Hodder & Stoughton and in the USA by Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1974), edited by Betty Pulkingham* and Jeanne Harper. It had a bright cover, and was ring-bound, making it one of the earliest books to break free from the traditional style and format. Sub-titled Songs of Renewal, it contained 133 items, arranged in sections, as follows: Hallelujah!... Songs of praise and thanksgiving Kneel and Adore…...

Felicia Hemans

HEMANS, Felicia Dorothea (née Browne). b. Liverpool, 25 September 1793; d. Dublin, 16 May 1835. Born into a well-to-do family, she was a precocious young woman, publishing Poems (Liverpool, 1808) and England and Spain, or Valour and Patriotism (London, 1808) at the age of fifteen. This was followed by many other publications, including The Domestic Affections and Other Poems (1812), The Sceptic (1820), Dartmoor (1821), The Vespers of Palermo (1823), The Siege of Valencia (1823), and The Forest...

Frederick William Foster

FOSTER, Frederick William.  b. Bradford, Yorkshire, 1 August 1760; d.Ockbrook, near Derby, 12 April 1835. Foster was a Moravian, educated at Fulneck, near Leeds at the Settlement there, and then at the Moravian Settlement at Barby, Germany. He became a minister in the Moravian Church, and was made a Bishop in 1818. He compiled a Supplement (1808) to A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren (1801), edited by John Swertner*, re-titled Liturgy and Hymns for...

Hugh Stowell

STOWELL, Hugh. b. Douglas, Isle of Man, 3 December 1799; d. Pendleton, Lancashire, 8 October 1865. He was the son of the rector of Ballaugh, near Ramsey, Isle of Man, educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford (BA 1822, MA 1826). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1823, priest 1824), serving curacies at Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire and Huddersfield, Yorkshire. He was curate-in-charge of St Stephen's, Salford, before becoming rector of Christ Church, Salford (1831-65). He was an Honorary Canon of Chester...

Walter Scott

SCOTT, (Sir) Walter. b. Edinburgh, 15 August 1771; d. Abbotsford, near Melrose, 21 September 1832. He was educated at Edinburgh High School and the University of Edinburgh. He became a lawyer (sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire, 1799), but in his spare time he developed a passion for ballad literature, publishing Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border in three volumes (1802-03). He rose to fame as a poet, publishing The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), The Lady of the Lake (1810) and...

Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One

Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One. Latin, before 9th century, translated by John Henry Newman* (1801-1890). The Latin text, 'Nunc Sancte nobis Spiritus'*, was the traditional hymn for the Third Hour. Newman's translation, two verses and a doxology, was printed in Tracts for the Times, 75 (1836), 'On the Roman Breviary as embodying the Substance of the Devotional Services of the Church Catholic': it was one of many translations of the Latin text, and is probably the best known, because it was used...

Elizabeth Rowe

ROWE, Elizabeth (née Singer). b. Ilchester, Somerset, 11 September 1674; d. Frome, Somerset, 20 February 1737. She was well educated, partly at a boarding school, and partly by Henry Thynne, son of Viscount Weymouth, at Longleat, from whom she learned Italian and French. The family moved to Frome in 1692, by which time Elizabeth had already begun to contribute poems to John Dunton's Athenian Mercury, using the name 'Philomela'. (Dunton married Elizabeth Annesley, sister of Susanna Annesley, who...

Thy kingdom come, on bended knee

Thy kingdom come, on bended knee. Frederick Lucian Hosmer* (1840-1929). This was written in 1891 for the commencement exercises of the Unitarian Meadville Theological School, Meadville, Pennsylvania (now part of Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago) on 12 June, and published in The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems (Boston, 1894 edition). It is based on the opening supplication of the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13): Thy Kingdom come! on bended knee  The passing ages pray;And...

Felice Giardini

GIARDINI, Felice. b. Turin, Italy, 12 April 1716; d. Moscow, 8 June 1796. He was a chorister in Milan Cathedral and was a pupil of Paldini before studying the violin under G. B. Somis. It was as a violinist that he became well known, both as an orchestral player and a soloist, particularly for his prowess as an embellisher of melody. After a period at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, he travelled throughout Germany and France before arriving in London where, according to Charles Burney, he made...

John Whitridge Wilson

WILSON, John Whitridge. b. Bournville, Birmingham, 21 January 1905; d. Guildford, Surrey, 16 July 1992. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School, Dulwich College, and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He graduated in mathematics and physics but at the age of 23 decided to make music his career. After studying at the Royal College of Music with Ralph Vaughan Williams* he obtained a MusB (Cantab) and a FRCO. He was an assistant master briefly at Tonbridge School; from 1932 to 1965 he taught...

To Thee, O Comforter divine

To Thee, O Comforter divine. Frances Ridley Havergal* (1836-1879). Written 11 August 1872, at Perry Barr, Birmingham, and published in Under the Surface (1874) with the title 'The Faithful Comforter' and the quotation '“The Holy Ghost – He is faithful.” – HEB. ix. 15, 23.' (this seems to be a mistake for Hebrews 10: 15, 23). It had eight three-line stanzas: To Thee, O Comforter Divine,For all thy grace and power benign,  Sing we Alleluia! To Thee, Whose faithful love had placeIn God's great...

Irish hymnody

Early Irish hymnody The arrival of Christianity in Ireland is commonly associated with the mission of St Patrick in the 5th century, though there were certainly some groups of Christians in the island at an earlier date. The early history of Irish Christianity (including details of Patrick's work) remains tantalisingly obscure, but what is certain is that, subsequently, monasticism developed rapidly in Ireland, so that from the middle of the 6th century onwards substantial monastic foundations...

Hosea Ballou

BALLOU, Hosea. b. Richmond, New Hampshire, 30 April 1771; d. Boston, Massachusetts, 6 June 1852. The eleventh child of Maturin (1720-1804) a Calvinist Baptist preacher, and Lydia (née) Harris Ballou (1728-73), Hosea converted to Universalism in 1789. He spent several years as an itinerant preacher before taking his first congregation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1809. He subsequently received a call to serve the Second Universalist Society of Boston in 1815. Hosea Ballou made a notable...

We come as guests invited

We come as guests invited. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). This text for Holy Communion was completed at Ruan Minor, Cornwall, in August 1975. Set to the tune PASSION CHORALE, the most popular choice of partner so far, it was published in Songs of Worship in 1980 and subsequently in more than 30 books to date, many of these in the USA. The text draws on the Gospel (and 1 Corinthians 11) accounts of the Last Supper and the words of the Book of Common Prayer service of The Lord's Supper at the...

London hospitals and their hymns

The London Hospitals and their hymns The mid-18th century saw a remarkable burst of new London hospitals (in the wider sense of charitable homes), some of which played an important part in the development of hymnody. The reasons for the rapid rise of philanthropy are various. Greater sexual promiscuity resulting from early industrialization, urbanization, and the decline of the Puritan ethic had led to soaring numbers of births outside marriage, and to increases in prostitution and venereal...

Oxford Movement

This is the name given to a movement within the Church of England which endeavoured to resist government interference in the church affairs and reaffirm the authority of the church as a holy and divinely authenticated institution. Its origins were political as well as religious (Nockles, 1994). The early adherents of the movement were concerned at the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832; at the appointment of bishops and Regius Professors of Theology by the government; at what they saw as a...

François de La Feillée

LA FEILLÉE, François de. b. and d. France, 18th century, dates unknown. La Feillée is thought to have been a priest attached to the cathedral at Chartres, but nothing definite is known about his life. He published Méthode pour apprendre les Règles du Plain-chant et de la Psalmodie (1745), which was influential in the movement in France to provide music that was independent of Rome (see Neo-Gallican chant*). His work was later revised by F.D. Aynès, in 1808 (the 1823 'Nouvelle Édition...

Children of the heavenly King

Children of the heavenly King. John Cennick* (1718-55). First published in Cennick's Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, in the Days of their Pilgrimage, Part III (1742). It had twelve stanzas, and was described in JJ as an 'Encouragement to Praise'. The text was shortened to six stanzas (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8) by George Whitefield* in A Collection of Hymns for Social Worship (1753), and this was followed by Martin Madan* in his Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1760). In this six-stanza form it...

Ethiopian hymnody

This account of Ethiopian Hymnody is in two parts: Traditional Hymnody (Ralph Lee); New Songs (Lila Balisky) Traditional Ethiopian Liturgical Music Of all the ecclesiastical arts liturgical singing is the most important and jealously guarded in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition. No external influences are permitted and the purity of the original tradition is uncompromisingly protected. Music creates the atmosphere of worship: Orthodox believers often comment on the spiritual quality and...

Presbyterian hymnody and hymnals, USA

Presbyterian hymnody and hymnals, USA  The Calvinist settlers who came from Scotland, and the Scots who came by way of Ireland (Scotch-Irish) in the 17th and early 18th centuries were firstly Puritans who leaned toward either the Presbyterian or the Congregational form of church organization. New England Puritans tended more toward the Congregational model, those in Pennsylvania and New York toward the Presbyterian. Doctrinally, however, the differences were not sufficient to keep Presbyterian...

O beautiful, my country

O beautiful, my country. Frederick Lucian Hosmer* (1840-1929). Written in 1884, and published in The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems (Boston, Massachusetts, 1885), compiled by Hosmer, James Vila Blake, and William Channing Gannett*. It has frequently been reprinted, both in American and British books. In some books the first line is 'O beautiful, our country'. In Britain it was included in The Fellowship Hymn Book (FHB, 1909, 1933), the Primitive Methodist Hymnal...

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven. Henry Francis Lyte* (1793-1847). First published in Lyte's The Spirit of the Psalms (1834), as a free paraphrase of Psalm 103. It had five stanzas, with stanza 4 (corresponding to verses 15-17 of the Psalm) bracketed for omission. Many hymn books (though not RS) have accordingly left out this stanza: Frail as summer's flower we flourish; Blows the wind and it is gone; But, while mortals rise and perish, God endures unchanging on: Praise...

Frederick William Faber

FABER, Frederick William. b. Calverley, West Yorkshire, 28 June 1814; d. London, 26 September 1863. He was born at Calverley vicarage, the son of Thomas Henry Faber, who became secretary to Shute Barrington, Bishop of Durham (1734-1826). He was educated briefly at the grammar school in Bishop Auckland, then privately by the Revd John Gibson at Kirkby Stephen. He entered Shrewsbury School in 1826, and Harrow School in 1827. He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1832, and was elected...

Edward Henry Bickersteth

BICKERSTETH, Edward Henry. b. Islington, London, 25 January 1825; d. Paddington, London, 16 May 1906. The son of Edward Bickersteth*, he was educated at home and at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1847, MA 1850), where he won the Chancellor's English Medal three years running (1844, 45, 46). He was ordained (deacon 1848, priest 1849) serving as a curate at Banningham, Norfolk, and Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells. He became rector of Hinton Martell, Dorset in 1852, and vicar of Christ Church,...

Byzantine hymnody

See also 'Byzantine rite'*, 'Greek hymnody'*, 'Rite of Constantinople'*, 'Rite of Jerusalem'*, 'Greek hymns, archaeology'*. This is a highly sophisticated and powerful literary tradition of religious poetry intended for the liturgical services of the Eastern Orthodox Church and for private, devotional purposes. Profoundly doctrinal, Byzantine hymnody mirrored the major developments in Christology and Trinitarian theology throughout the first millennium of Christianity. At the same time, it was...

Joshua Spalding

SPALDING, Joshua. b. Killingly, Connecticut, 14 December 1760; d. Newburgh, New York State, 26 September 1825. According to the Douglas Family Records (see below) Spalding, whose name is sometimes spelt 'Spaulding', studied theology with the Rev Mr Bradford, of Rowley, Massachusetts. In 1785 he was ordained 'over the church and society' of the Tabernacle church, Salem, Massachusetts, where he was remembered as 'an energetic pastor', so that 'the drooping interests of the church and society...

Wherefore, O Father, we thy humble servants

Wherefore, O Father, we thy humble servants. William Henry Hammond Jervois* (1852-1905). First published in EH, 1906 (Jervois was a member of the committee for this book, but died before it was published). It is a valuable short hymn for Holy Communion, based on part of the first prayer after Communion: 'O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving;...': Wherefore, O Father, we thy...

Isaac Watts

WATTS, Isaac. b. Southampton, 17 July 1674; d. Stoke Newington, London, 25 November 1748. His Life and Ministry He was the eldest of nine children in a prosperous dissenting family. His father, who has been variously described as teacher, clothier and gentleman, was a deacon of the Above Bar Congregational Church. His mother's family, the Tauntons, were of Huguenot descent. Tradition has it that during the year of his birth he was breast-fed by his mother on the steps of the Old Town Gaol,...

William Gaskell

GASKELL, William. b. Warrington, 24 July 1805; d. Manchester, 11 June 1884. He was born into a Unitarian family: his father was a sail-cloth manufacturer. He was educated privately and at the University of Glasgow (MA 1825), followed by theological training at Manchester College, at that time in York. In 1828 he was appointed assistant to a notable Unitarian minister, J.G. Robberds, at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester. In 1832, he married Elizabeth Stevenson (1810-1865), who became, with his...

Dudley Buck

BUCK, Dudley. b. Hartford, Connecticut, 10 March 1839; d. West Orange, New Jersey, 6 October 1909. The son of a merchant father, Buck was not intended for a career in music. He began studying piano only at the age of 15, making swift progress. After attending Trinity College in Hartford (1855-57), Buck enrolled in the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied piano, organ, and composition. He followed his organ teacher to Dresden in 1860, and in 1861 went to Paris to study organ building and...

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry. Charles Coffin* (1676-1749), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876). This is the best known translation of a hymn by Coffin, 'Jordanis oras praevia', published in the Paris Breviary of 1736, and also in Hymni Sacri Auctore Carolo Coffin (1736). It was published in Chandler's The Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837) in six 4-line stanzas, and altered and shortened to five stanzas in the First Edition of A&M. The EH text (five stanzas) is closer to...

Daniel ben Judah

DANIEL BEN JUDAH.  (fourteenth century).  Daniel ben Judah is thought to have been a Roman dayan (or dayyan, a rabbi and judge) who composed the Yigdal, a metrical paraphrase of the thirteen articles of Jewish faith drawn up by Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, 1130-1205).  The Yigdal is known to Christians through a further paraphrase by Thomas Olivers*, with its first phrase 'The God of Abraham praise'*, often sung to LEONI. Little is known about Daniel ben Judah.  Indeed, it appears that only...

Chorale

In modern German 'choral' is the term used for a hymn tune, either the melody or its simple setting, in contradistinction to 'Kirchenlied' which is commonly used for both hymn text and its associated tune. In modern English usage 'chorale' can be used to denote a German hymn, both text and tune, though it is more frequently used for the tune alone, and commonly associated with simple harmonizations of German hymn tunes, such as 'Bach chorales', or 'four-part chorales'. In the 16th century two...

We praise thy name, all-holy Lord

We praise thy name, all-holy Lord. Ebenezer Josiah Newell* (1853-1916). This hymn on Saint David (ca. 500- ca. 589) was included in EH and NEH, SofPE, and A&MR. The three stanzas in EH and subsequent books were selected from a hymn in seven stanzas on the Welsh saints, published in The Northern Churchman and St David's Weekly (29 February 1896, i.e. just before Saint David's day, 1 March). There is reference to David's noble birth (he was the son of Ceredig ap Cunedda, king of Ceredigion)...

Organs and hymnody, USA

The development of the organ as the primary vehicle for leading congregational song in churches of the USA proceeded initially from established English trajectories, although in subsequent centuries the organ's ecclesiastical role would parallel the development of the USA's musical, social, and liturgical priorities. The Anglican Church had maintained a complex and tenuous relationship with church music, its Calvinist concerns frequently commandeering the journey down the via media. Its noted...

Ye holy angels bright

Ye holy angels bright. Richard Baxter* (1615-1691), and others. First published in Baxter's The Poor Man's Family Book (1674), entitled 'A Psalm of Praise, To the Tune of Psal. 148'. This refers to the metre of 6666.4444 employed for Psalm 148 by John Pullain* in the Old Version, and associated with that psalm thereafter. Thus the tune to which the hymn is normally sung, by John Darwall*, was used for Psalm 148 in the New Version beginning 'Ye boundless realms of joy'*. Baxter's great hymn of...

Charles Wood

WOOD, Charles. b. Armagh, Ireland, 15 June 1866; d. Cambridge, 12 July 1926. One of the first scholarship students at the Royal College of Music, he studied with Charles Villiers Stanford* (1883-87). In 1888 he was appointed to the teaching staff of the College; he continued to be associated with the institution for the rest of his life as an instructor in harmony and composition. After winning an organ scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge, he migrated to Gonville and Caius College in 1889...

Coptic hymnody

The word 'Copt' comes from the Greek word 'Aigyptios' ('Egyptian') and was disfigured by the Arabs to 'Copt'. The Greek word is the name of the sanctuary near Memphis 'Het-Ka-Ptah' ('The dwelling of the 'Ghost'(ka) of Ptah'). Hence this word is used to designate the Egyptian people. The Egyptians used the Egyptian Language (Hieroglyphic and later Coptic) until the conquest of Alexander the Great, when Greek was used. After the Arab conquest, Arabic was imposed. According to the Gospel of...

Doxology

Greater Doxology In Luke 2:14, the angels welcomed the birth of Jesus with a hymn, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men'. This was the starting point for one of the oldest Greek hymns, 'Doxa en ipsistis theo'. This morning hymn of praise to the Trinity appears as the last of 14 Odes at the end of the Psalms in the Alexandrine Codex, copied in 5th-century Egypt (London, BL Royal I.D.VII), as well as in various other 5th- and 6th-century sources, mostly...

William Ellis

ELLIS, William. b. Tow Law, County Durham, 13 Oct 1868; d. Hexham, Northumberland, 26 Nov 1947. He was a precocious organist, playing in a village chapel at the age of 9, and becoming organist of Old Elvet (Wesleyan) Methodist Church, Durham, at 14. During those years he studied the organ under Philip Armes* at Durham Cathedral, becoming FRCO in 1891 and graduating BMus. from the University of Durham in 1893. He was organist of St Nicholas' Church, Durham (1887-94); organist of Richmond Parish...

Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält

Wo gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält. Justus Jonas* (1493-1555). Jonas's version of Psalm 124 was first published in Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein (Erfurt, 1524). It had eight 7-line stanzas. It is found in EG in six stanzas, of which 3 and 4 are by Luther*, from his version, 'Der cxxiiij Psalm, Nisi quia dominus etc.' (Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, III. 17-18). The full text of Jonas's metrical psalm is at DDK III. 42. The remaining stanzas by Jonas are the original stanzas 1, 2,...

O young and fearless Prophet

O young and fearless Prophet. Samuel Ralph Harlow* (1885-1972). To appreciate this prophetic text more fully, it is helpful to explore the writings of S. Ralph Harlow, a tireless advocate for social justice, world peace, race relations, and human rights in the context of his day. He was a pedagogical revolutionary in his biblical courses with young people, insisting that the Bible should speak directly to the realities of his current age: The only religion with which [young people] seem...

Henri Friedrich Hemy

HEMY, Henri Friedrich. b. Newcastle upon Tyne, 12 November 1818; d. Hartlepool, County Durham, 10 June 1888. Born to Roman Catholic German parents (the name is pronounced 'Hemmy'), he was educated at Newcastle and became organist of St Andrew's Church (Catholic) in the city. He taught at Tynemouth and then at Ushaw College, Durham. He published Easy Hymn Tunes with the Words in full, adapted for Catholic Schools (1851) and a highly regarded instruction book for the piano (1858). He is chiefly...

Hymns and Poems by Elizabeth Scott

Hymns and Poems by Elizabeth Scott  Among the collections in the Beineke Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Yale University is a manuscript volume by Elizabeth Scott*. Although a label on the spine the shows 'Hymns & Poems by Eliz. Scott', the manuscript itself shows no title. In the 19th century, John Julian*, in JJ, called it 'Yale College MS', and today it is the main constituent of GEN MSS VOL. 635.  This 'Yale College MS' consists of 90 hymns and poems (henceforth, just 'hymns')....

Benedictus

This is the first word of the phrase 'Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini', used in the Mass in the Sanctus* (from Mark 11:9 and Luke 13: 35). It is also the opening of the song of Zachariah (or Zacharias), Luke 1: 68-79: 'Benedictus Deus Israhel quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebi suae'. Zachariah has been struck dumb by the encounter with the angel Gabriel, who tells him that his elderly wife Elisabeth will conceive and bear a son, John the Baptist. Zachariah is punished for being...

Soldiers, who are Christ's below

Soldiers, who are Christ's below. Latin, 18th century, translated by John Haldenby Clark* (1839-1888). This is a translation of the Latin 'Pugnate, Christi milites', found in French Breviaries of the 18th century, beginning with the Bourges Breviary of 1734. It was written in 1865 on Palm Sunday at Marston Montgomery, Derbyshire (not Marston, Montgomery, as in JJ), where Clark was curate from 1864 to 1867. It has five stanzas, encouraging the faithful with the promise of those who 'resist the...

Caribbean hymnody

When one examines the hymns or sung liturgical poetry that are current within the various island states geographically located between North and South America, one must conclude that Caribbean hymnody is an eclectic and a dynamic reality. The people of the region are a mixed entity. By virtue of history, they are the descendants of Amerindians (the original inhabitants) and migrants from Europe, Africa and Asia. Consequently, the Caribbean is often described as a melting pot of races and...

What are these in bright array

What are these in bright array. James Montgomery* (1771-1854). From Montgomery's collection entitled Greenland, and Other Poems (1819), headed 'Saints in Heaven'. In his Christian Psalmist (Glasgow, 1825), it was entitled 'The song of the hundred and forty and four thousand', referring to Revelation 7: 4: 'And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.' What are these in bright array,...

Father of all, we come to Thee

Father of all, we come to Thee. Edwin Alec Blaxill* (1873-1953). Written in 1912, this remarkable and little known hymn is a neat versification of the Scout Promise ('On my honour, I promise that I will do my best/ To do my duty to God and the Queen/ To help other people/ and to keep the Scout Law.') Elements of the original Scout Law are found in stanzas 1 ('A scout is loyal…'),  2 ('A scout's honour is to be trusted'), 3-4 ('A scout's duty is to help other people'), 6 ('A scout smiles and...

Ye boundless realms of joy

  Ye boundless realms of joy. Nicholas Brady* (1659-1726) and Nahum Tate* (1652-1715). This was Tate and Brady's version of Psalm 148 in A New Version of the Psalms of David (1696) (see 'New Version'*). It was in the same metre of 66.66.4.44.4, and sung to the same tune, as the paraphrase by John Pullain* in the Old Version* of 1562. Tate and Brady's text had eight stanzas, with the verses of the psalm, from 1 to 14, marked in each stanza: 1,2   Ye boundless realms of...

Jesus, high in glory

Jesus, high in glory. Harriet Burn McKeever* (1807-1886 or 1887).  In JJ, p. 1574, this hymn is noted as from the Methodist Episcopal Church's Sunday School Harmonist (1847), without an author's name. McKeever was identified as the author when it appeared in her Twilight Musings: and Other Poems (Philadelphia, 1857) (JJ, p. 1667). It became very popular in the USA and Canada, appearing in many hymnals, mainly those for Sunday schools and young people. It crossed the Atlantic to appear in the...

Sarum Hymnal

Sarum Hymnal, The (1868). This hymnbook was a successor to The Salisbury Hymn Book (1857), edited by Horatio Bolton Nelson*. In The Sarum Hymnal the editors were Earl Nelson, James Russell Woodford* and Edward Arthur Dayman*. Woodford was rector of Kempsford, Gloucestershire, and subsequently Bishop of Ely. He had previously edited The Parish Hymn Book (1863) with Hyde Wyndham Beadon* and Greville Phillimore*.  Woodford included three of his own hymns: 'Lamb of God, for sinners slain' 'Not by...

EACC Hymnal

EACC Hymnal (1963). This pioneering hymnbook was published in 1963 for the East Asia Christian Conference. The general editor was Daniel Thambyrajah Niles*, and the music editor was John Milton Kelly, assisted by his wife Edna and by Shanti Rasanayagam. The book was printed in Japan. The language used was English, the international language of Asia. The words and music were European/American for the first 'General Section' of 100 hymns (including 11 'Spirituals'), followed by an 'Asian...

We saw thee not when thou didst come

We saw thee not when thou didst come. John Hampden Gurney* (1802-1862). First published in Gurney's Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, selected for some of the Churches in Marylebone ('The Marylebone Collection', 1851). This hymn has a complicated textual history (see JJ, pp.1242-3). Like 'Yes, God is good — in earth and sky'*, it was suggested by an earlier text. In Songs of the Valley: A Collection of Sacred Poetry (Kirkby Lonsdale, 1834), there appeared a hymn by Anne Rigby, subsequently...

I am not skilled to understand

I am not skilled to understand. Dora Greenwell* (1821-1882). From Greenwell's Songs of Salvation, a small collection of evangelical hymns published in 1873. This was the first hymn, and is the only one of that collection to have become widely known. Its opening declaration is a reminder that Greenwell was living in a world in which the theology was made by men. The hymn can be taken as a straightforward concentration on Christ as Saviour, but it can also be seen as the cry of a woman whose...

Arthur James Mason

MASON, Arthur James. b. Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, 4 May 1851; d. Canterbury, 24 April 1928. The son of a former High Sherriff of Nottinghamshire, he was educated at Repton School and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1872). He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College (1873), and took Holy Orders (deacon 1874, priest 1875). He was perpetual curate, St Michael's, Cambridge (1875-77). Between graduating and taking Holy Orders, Mason taught at Wellington College, where the headmaster was Edward...

Public School hymnody

British Public School hymnody. 'What is a college without a chapel?' Bishop Christopher Wordsworth* asked a canon of Winchester Cathedral. 'An angel without wings' was the reply. This incident neatly expresses the central importance of daily worship in the life of a Victorian educational institution in Britain. Wordsworth was referring to a teacher training college, but his remark applied equally to a public school. It was these leading boys' schools that educated many of the professional men...

The Chorale Book for England

The Chorale Book for England (1863). The Chorale Book for England was published in London in 1863. It was compiled and edited from the repertoires of the Lutheran, Roman Catholic and other churches by the musical editors, William Sterndale Bennett* and Otto Goldschmidt*, for use in the Church of England. Many of the texts were taken from Lyra Germanica translated by Catherine Winkworth*; though, in order to meet the needs of the Anglican liturgy, a substantial proportion of fresh material...

Michael Edward Hewlett

HEWLETT, Michael Edward. b. Hackney, London, 25 August 1916; d. 23 February 2000. He was educated at Bloxham (a Woodard School) and Merton College, Oxford (BA, 1939, MA 1946). He trained for the ministry at Queen's College, Birmingham, and took Holy Orders (deacon 1948, priest 1949). He served as curate of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Preston, Brighton (1948-51); curate of Crawley, in charge of St Peter's, West Crawley (1951-56); vicar of St John's, Malden, Surrey (1956-69); curate of...

Edward Hayes Plumptre

PLUMPTRE, Edward Hayes. b. London, 6 August 1821; d. Wells, Somerset, 1 February 1891. The son of a solicitor, Plumptre was educated at home, at King's College, London, and at University College, Oxford, where he took a 'double first' (in Honour Moderations and in Finals). He was a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford (1844-47). He married Theodosia, the sister of the theologian F.D. Maurice, in 1847. He joined the staff of King's College London, where he was chaplain (1847-68), Professor of...

Upon thy table, Lord, we place

Upon thy table, Lord, we place. Maurice F.C. Willson* (1884-1944). First published in the Irish ICH4 (1960), with seven stanzas. It was immediately recognised as a valuable modern hymn for Holy Communion, and was selected in a shortened form of three stanzas for 100HfT and thus in A&MNS. The A&M books made alterations: verse 2 line 2 was changed from 'The weft and warp of human life' to 'The height and depth…', and verse 3 was simplified: ICH4100HfT Accept them, Lord, from...

Robert Walmsley

WALMSLEY, Robert. b. Manchester, 18 March 1831; d. Sale, Cheshire, 30 October 1905. He was in business as a jeweller in Sale from 1870 to 1904. He was a member of the Congregational Church and closely involved in the work of the Manchester Sunday School Union, for which many of his hymns were written. In his view the existing hymns used in Sunday schools were often too pessimistic for young children, and he sought to strike a positive note and use 'bright' tunes popularised in the Union's...

Jesu, thy blood and righteousness

Jesu, thy blood and righteousness. Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf* (1700-1760), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Wesley found Zinzendorf's 'Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit' in the 1739 Appendix to Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735). His free translation was published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), with the title 'The Believer's Triumph. From the German': Jesu, Thy blood and righteousnessMy beauty are, my glorious dress:Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,With joy shall...

Through the night of doubt and sorrow

Through the night of doubt and sorrow. Bernhard Severin Ingemann* (1789-1862), translated by Sabine Baring-Gould* (1834-1924). This Danish hymn, beginning 'Igjennem Nat og Traengsel', was written in 1825 and first published in Nyt Tillaeg til Evangelisk-christelig Psalmebog (1859). Baring-Gould, who had learned Icelandic and other Scandinavian languages in order to read the sagas during his years as a schoolmaster, was asked to look through the Danish book by his friend Richard Frederick...

David Mowbray

MOWBRAY, David. b. Wallington, Surrey, 1 May 1938. He was educated at Dulwich College, Fitzwilliam House, Cambridge, and Clifton Theological College, Bristol. He was ordained (deacon 1963, priest 1964) and served as curate at Northampton (1963-66); lecturer at Watford (1966-70); incumbent of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire (1970-77) and Broxbourne with Wormley (1977-84), Hertford (1984-91), and Darley Abbey, Derby (1991-2003). He retired to Lincoln. A member of Jubilate Hymns*, he served on the...

Damian Lundy

LUNDY, Michael (monastic name: Damian) FSC. b. Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, 21 March 1944; d. Oxford, 9 December 1996. The son of a master baker, he was educated at West Vale Catholic Primary School, then at the De Salle (Christian Brothers) Grammar School, Sheffield. He joined the De Salle Religious Order in 1960, and trained at St Cassian's Juniorate, Kintbury, Berks, then at Inglewood Novitiate, and at various establishments in Germany and France. He then read English at Magdalene...

Seventh-day Adventist hymnody

Historical Background: the Millerite Roots In the midst of the 19th-century religious revival in the USA known as the Second Great Awakening (see Great Awakenings, USA*), William Miller, a New England farmer whose studies led him to believe that Christ's coming was imminent (1843-1844) began preaching and writing in the 1830s. This preaching, coupled with the organizational skills of Christian Connection minister Joshua V. Himes and other disciples, spurred thousands to study the Bible more...

Choirs and hymns in the USA

Choirs and Hymns, USA The European settlers in what is now the USA brought with them their hymns, hymnals and Psalters, depending upon their European religious traditions and practices.  In early America, hymn singing was an activity that often occurred outside of worship as well as during worship. There was not much to do during what little leisure time was available and in Puritan New England the singing school became a popular pastime.  Often led by itinerant musicians, among whom William...

Australian hymnody

1788-1859 The European phase of Australian history commenced with the establishment in 1788 of a penal settlement to which prisoners or convicts were transported from England, Ireland and Scotland to serve out their sentences. Little evidence concerning the singing of hymns in this settlement or elsewhere in the earliest years has survived, although it is clear that hymns were greatly treasured by individuals and groups. An early chronicler recorded that the first service in Melbourne was...

George Bradford Caird

CAIRD, George Bradford. b. Wandsworth, London, 19 July 1917; d. near Oxford, 21 April 1984. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham (1929-36) and Peterhouse, Cambridge (1936-39). He then trained for the Congregational ministry at Mansfield College, Oxford (1939-43). While a student there in 1941, he wrote the hymn 'Almighty Father, who for us thy Son didst give'*. He was ordained to Highgate Congregational Church, London, in 1943; then moved to Canada to become Professor of Old...

Brethren hymnody, British

The early Brethren emphasized the unity of believers: 'one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren' (Matthew: 23:8). While not all Brethren have practised this truth, it remains a basic principle. They began in about 1825 in Dublin, whence they spread to Plymouth, and established the first assembly. When members went out preaching, people called them 'brethren from Plymouth'. Brethren believe in the two views of the church that they find in scripture, namely the universal church -...

John Cawood

CAWOOD, John. b. Matlock, Derbyshire, 18 March 1775; d. Bewdley, Worcestershire, 7 November 1852. Born into a poor family, he studied locally and gained entrance to St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He took Holy Orders, and became curate of Ribbesford, and then of Dowles, Worcestershire, two villages close to the town of Bewdley. He became perpetual curate of Bewdley before 1821 (he was described as PC on the title page of The Christian Watchman, a funeral sermon preached at Cradley Chapel on the death...

William Robinson

ROBINSON, William. b. Ireleth, near Dalton in Furness, Lancashire (now Cumbria), 23 May 1888; d. Selly Oak, Birmingham, 14 September 1963. He was educated at Ulverston Grammar School, the University of Liverpool, Trinity College, Dublin, and Mansfield College, Oxford. Brought up a Congregationalist, he joined the Churches of Christ and became Principal of Overdale College, the Churches of Christ College at Birmingham (1920-49). He became a professor at the School of Religion, Butler University...

Craft of writing hymn texts

Many in the late 20th- and early 21st-century church music community have been guided by Erik Routley*'s summary of what constitutes a good hymn, i.e., one which is 'well written, well chosen and well sung (1959, p. 299). As compelling and compact as this definition is, when it is quoted outside of Routley's expansive view of the purpose and nature of hymnody, it can become a convenient way to canonize the personal aesthetic of the one employing the quotation. What is 'good' can be easily...

Christ, by heavenly hosts adored

Christ, by heavenly hosts adored. Henry Harbaugh* (1817-1867). According to Polack (1942/1958) this is part of a long hymn of eight 8-line stanzas beginning 'God most mighty, sovereign Lord', entitled 'A National Litany'. Polack, following JJ, p. 484, also states that it was published in Harbaugh's Poems (Philadelphia, 1860), but this is incorrect. It is a solemn prayer and a stirring cry to a nation to become righteous, just and prosperous 'under God'. The last line of each verse works...

John Burton (II)

BURTON, John (II). b. Stratford, Essex, 23 July 1803; d. Stratford, 22 July 1877. He was in business as a cooper, and a member of the Congregational Chapel at Stratford, where he was a Deacon and Sunday-school teacher. According to Kelynack (1950) he died of smallpox contracted when visiting a poor chimney-sweeper. Burton wrote many hymns for children under the signature 'J.B., Essex'. About forty (Burton's calculation) were published in the Child's Companion during the 1830s and 1840s. Many...

Stopford Brooke

BROOKE, Stopford Augustus. b. Glendoen, near Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland, 14 November 1832; d. Cranleigh, Surrey, 18 March 1916. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1856, MA 1858). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1857, priest 1858), and became curate of St Matthew's, Marylebone, London (1857-59), St Mary Abbot's, Kensington (1859-63), and then chaplain to the British Embassy in Berlin (1863-65). Brooke was an independent and controversial thinker: his Life and Letters of F.W. Robertson...

George Wallace Briggs

BRIGGS, George Wallace. b. Kirkby, Nottinghamshire, 14 December 1875; d. Hindhead, Haslemere, Surrey, 30 December 1959. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He took Holy Orders (deacon 1899, priest 1901). After two years at Alverthorpe, West Yorkshire (he is said to have asked his bishop to find him a hard first curacy), he became a Royal Navy chaplain (1902-09). He was vicar of St Andrew's, Norwich (1909-18); rector of Loughborough (1918-34) (Canon of Leicester Cathedral, 1927-34);...

Quit you like men

Quit you like men. Various authors. In the days before the concern about gender-exclusive language, the instruction from 1 Corinthians 16: 13 ('quit you like men, be strong'), itself an echo of 1 Samuel 4: 9, was very attractive to hymn writers. In hymnary.org. there are four examples of hymns in which the first line begins with 'Quit you like men', two in which the phrase begins the refrain, and six in which it is used as a title. One, by F.G. Burroughs (1856-1949), begins: Quit you like...

Earth, with all thy thousand voices

Earth, with all thy thousand voices. Edward Churton* (1800-1874). From Churton's The Book of Psalms in English Verse (1854), sometimes (as in JJ) called 'The Cleveland Psalter'. It is a paraphrase of Psalm 66, 'Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands'. Churton's long original was radically changed by Benjamin Hall Kennedy*, who used stanzas 1, 2, and 8-13 to make a two-stanza hymn in Hymnologia Christiana (1863), with 16 lines to each stanza. It was also in 'Wesley's Hymns' (1876) in four...

Arthur Cleveland Coxe

COXE, (Arthur) Cleveland. b. Mendham, New York, 10 May 1818; d. Clifton Springs, NY, 20 July 1896. The son of a Presbyterian minister named Cox (according to Samuel Willoughby Duffield, 1886, p. 224, he added an 'e' as part of his rebellion against his father and his father's denomination), he lived as a young man in New York with his uncle, a doctor who was an active member of the Episcopal Church. Coxe became an Episcopalian himself, and after graduating from New York University he trained...

Come Sunday

Come Sunday. Duke (Edward Kennedy) Ellington (1899-1974) The music of this jazz spiritual is adapted from the similarly titled section of Ellington's instrumental suite, Black, Brown and Beige, premiered at Carnegie Hall, New York City, (January 23, 1943). Ellington introduced the work at the premier as 'a tone parallel to the history of the negro in America.' The lyrics resulted from a two-year collaboration of Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) and Ellington, as described by Irving Townsend in...

Flor y Canto

Flor y Canto (flower and song) is a hymnal that represents the diversity of Latino/a cultures in the United States. Published by Oregon Catholic Press in three editions (1989, 2001, 2011), the title indicates the symbolism of flower and song found in Aztec culture and the experiences of indigenous peoples in Hispanic cultures. Unlike earlier Spanish-language Protestant hymnals, this Catholic publication includes a limited number of hymns in Spanish translation from traditional Western hymnic...

When memory fades and recognition falters

When memory fades and recognition falters. Mary Louise Bringle* (1953- ). Written for a friend whose mother was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and whose father, the primary caregiver, was growing increasingly frail. Bringle writes, 'The text affirms that although our human memories fade and our human arms weaken, the memory and the arms of God uphold us everlasting' (see her hymn collection, Joy and Wonder, Love and Longing, Chicago, 2002, p. 146). Bringle's hymn gracefully and poignantly...

Eternal Son, eternal Love

Eternal Son, eternal Love. John Wesley* (1703-1791). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), as part of a long hymn of nine 8-line stanzas headed 'The Lord's Prayer Paraphrased'. In the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the use of the People called Methodists it was divided into three hymns of three stanzas each. The first began 'Father of all, whose powerful voice'*, and the third 'Eternal, spotless Lamb of God'*. This second part began 'Son of thy Sire's eternal love', which remained...

I lay my sins on Jesus

I lay my sins on Jesus. Horatius Bonar* (1808-1889). This was first published in Bonar's Songs for the Wilderness, First Series (Kelso, 1843) (not 'in the Wilderness' as in JJ, p. 556). It was entitled 'The Fulness of Jesus', and preceded by a quotation from Isaiah:  'He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed - Isaiah, liii. 5.' It had four 8-line stanzas.It was later printed in his...

Behold the servant of the Lord

Behold the servant of the Lord. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published, in four 6-line stanzas, entitled 'An Act of Devotion', as an appendix to John Wesley's pamphlet, A Farther Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion (1745). The hymn was reprinted in Charles Wesley's Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), in Hymns for those to whom Christ is all in all (1761), and, with a number of textual revisions, in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) and...

Komitas

KOMITAS. Komitas I Aghtsetsi, Catholicos of All Armenians. b. ca. 560; d. 628. A well-known churchman, poet, and musician. When he was Catholicos (primate) of the Armenian church (615-628) the relics of a group of nuns, headed by Gayanē and including Hrip'simē, who was of famed beauty, were discovered in Edjmiadsin. Komitas constructed the Church of St. Hrip'simē in 618, where the remains were interned, and composed the hymn 'Andzink' nvirealk'' ('Devoted souls') to celebrate the occasion. He...

Monarch of all, with lowly fear

Monarch of all, with lowly fear. Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen* (1670-1739), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Freylinghausen's hymn, 'Monarche aller Ding'*, was published in his Neues Geist-reiches Gesang-Buch (Halle, 1714), in eleven 6-line stanzas. John Wesley translated this into eight 4-line stanzas, omitting 3 ('Du vollenkommenheit'), 4 ('Kommt alle her zu mir'), and 8 ('Du bist die Lebens-Kraft'). His translation was published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739) with the title...

How shall I sing that majesty

How shall I sing that majesty. John Mason* (ca.1645-94). Written probably at Water Stratford, Buckinghamshire, and first published in Mason's Spiritual Songs: or Songs of Praise to Almighty God, upon Several Occasions (1683), as 'A General Song of Praise to Almighty God', a hymn of twelve stanzas. Modern versions print only the first four stanzas, often with the second halves of the second and third stanzas transposed. Although it is not one of Mason's versifications of Psalms, it seems to...

Charles Wesley

WESLEY, Charles. b. Epworth, Lincolnshire, 18 December 1707; d. London, 29 March 1788. He was youngest son and 16th/17th child (though calculations vary) of Samuel Wesley (I)* and the redoubtable Susanna, and younger brother to John*. From Westminster School (1716-26), first as King's Scholar and finally Captain of the school, he gained a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1730, MA 1733). He became leader (in John's absence as their father's curate) of a small group known as the 'Holy...

Henry van Dyke

VAN DYKE, Henry. b. Germantown, Pennsylvania, 10 November 1852; d. Princeton, New Jersey, 10 April 1933. The son of a Presbyterian minister, he was at school at Brooklyn, New York before studying at Princeton University (BA 1873, MA 1876). After a further period of study at Princeton Theological Seminary (1876-77) and in Berlin, he was ordained to the ministry, serving at a Congregational Church at Newport, Rhode Island (1878-82) and Brick Presbyterian Church, New York (1882-99). During this...

Ye faithful souls who Jesus know

Ye faithful souls who Jesus know. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Short Hymns on Select Passages of the Holy Scriptures (1762), Volume II, as two hymns, one of two 8-line stanzas and the other of one 8-line stanza, based on Colossians 3:1-2 and 3-4 respectively. The heading of the first hymn is If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. The second...

Let the round world with songs rejoice

Let the round world with songs rejoice. Latin, perhaps 11th century, translated by Richard Mant* (1776-1848). This hymn for the Apostles is a translation of the Roman Breviary version of 'Exultet coelum laudibus'*, beginning 'Exultet orbis gaudiis'. It is from Mant's Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary (1837). It is found in EH, with a number of alterations from Mant's text: MantEH Let the round world with songs rejoice; Let heaven return the joyful voice; All mindful of the...

Cast thy burden on the Lord

Cast thy burden on the Lord. Rowland Hill* (1744-1833). The original version of this hymn, based on Psalm 55: 22, first appeared in Hill's A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, chiefly Intended for Public Worship (1783), entitled 'Encouragement for the Weak': the hymn is anonymous, as are all the hymns in Hill's collections, but is generally ascribed to Hill's own hand. JJ (p. 214) notes that in 1853 a version of the hymn, rewritten by George Rawson*, appeared in Psalms, Hymns, and Passages of...

Abolitionist hymnody, USA

While organized efforts to end slavery began in the Anglo-American world early in the 18th century, the abolitionist movement generally refers to the specific fight against slavery that started in the United States around 1830. This movement grew out of many economic, political and cultural changes, including the political struggles over new states and their status as slave or free, the general indifference of the churches to slavery, and the increased economic growth of the 1820s. With the...

Come, though we can truly sing

Come, though we can truly sing. John Murray* (ca. 1740-1815).  This is one of five hymns by Murray, all first published in the 1782 edition of Christian Hymns, Poems and Sacred Songs, Sacred to the Praise of God, Our Saviour, compiled by the English Universalist James Relly and his brother John Relly.  The book was first published in London in 1754, and the 1782 edition was published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Noah Parker (1734-1787), a convert of Murray's and preacher in Portsmouth...

Presbyterian Church of England hymnody

  Presbyterian Church of England Hymnody History Presbyterianism traces its origins back to the Reformation, when one element in the Protestant tradition was the dislike of human authority in religious matters, and the preference for government by 'presbyters' (from the Greek 'presbuteros', or 'elder') rather than bishops or priests. In Scotland the Reformation was guided by the powerful John Knox (1505-1572), who had studied under Jean Calvin* in Geneva; in both Scotland and England...

Here in this place new light is streaming

Here in this place new light is streaming, Marty Haugen* (1950- ). This hymn is sometimes known by its refrain as 'Gather us in'. It was published in the hymnal of that name, Gather Us In (Chicago: GIA Publications, 1983). This is based on the very effective repetitions in lines 5-6 of stanzas 1 and 2, and lines 5-8 of stanza 4: Gather us in, the lost and forsaken, gather us in, the blind and the lame,,, Gather us in, the rich and the haughty, gather us in, the proud and the...

Swedish hymnody

Medieval hymns Latin hymns in medieval Sweden have been more thoroughly researched than in other Scandinavian countries. An edition of 129 surviving Swedish melodies, with commentary, together with 60 photographs of medieval Swedish hymn sources may be found in Moberg and Nilsson (1991). The texts were edited in Moberg (1947). Sweden came under the influence of north-west European missionaries in the 11th century, and had contacts with central European Christians in later centuries, both of...

How lovely is thy dwelling place

How lovely is thy dwelling place.  Scottish Psalter*, 1564 onwards. This metrical psalm was the version of Psalm 84 in the first Scottish psalm book after the Reformation, entitled The forme and ministration of the sacraments &c. used in the English church at Geneva, approved and received by the Church of Scotland. Whereunto besydes that was in the former bokes, are also added sondrie other prayers, with the whole psalms of David in English meter (Edinburgh: Robert Lekprevik, 1564). Psalm...

Wir glauben all' an einen Gott (Clausnitzer)

Wir glauben all' an einen Gott. Tobias Clausnitzer* (1619-1684).  According to James Mearns*, this hymn for Trinity Sunday first appeared in a Gesang-Buch published at Culmbach-Bayreuth in 1668, where it had the initials 'C.A.D.' (JJ, p. 238). It appeared with Clausnitzer's name in a Nürnberg Gesang-Buch (1676) in three stanzas, corresponding to the three persons of the Holy Trinity: Wir glauben all' an einen Gott,                  We all believe in One true God, Vater, Sohn, heiligen...

Frederic William Goadby

GOADBY, Frederic William. b. Leicester, 10 August 1845; d. Watford, Hertfordshire, 15 October 1879. The son of a Baptist minister, Goadby was educated at Regent's Park College, then in London. He is described as 'F.W. Goadby, MA' in The Sunday School Hymnary (1905); he graduated at London University in 1868. He became a Baptist minister at Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire (1868-76), and at Watford, Hertfordshire (1876-79), before his early death. In SSH there was a hymn dated 1880, 'A crowd fills the...

Living for Jesus, a life that is true

Living for Jesus, a life that is true. Thomas O. Chisholm* (1866-1960). Written in 1917 at the request of the composer, organist, and editor (Carl) Harold Lowden (1883-1963). In 1915 Lowden composed a song for Children's Day titled 'Sunshine song'. According to William J. Reynolds* (who was the first to piece together the story of this hymn) Lowden 'early in 1917, while preparing a collection of hymns for publication came across this song and was impressed that the tune needed a stronger text...

Muggletonian songs

The origins of the Muggletonians are to be found in the ferment of religious and political ideas that followed the breakdown of established authority at the start of the English Civil War. The two London tailors who founded the sect, John Reeve (1608-1658) and his cousin Lodowick Muggleton (1609-1698), were both from a Puritan background and were for a time attracted to the Ranters, whom they subsequently denounced. It was Reeve who, on 3, 4 and 5 February 1651 received a series of visions,...

Geneviève Mary Irons

IRONS, Geneviève Mary. b. Brompton, London, 28 December 1855; d. Eastbourne, Sussex,  13 December 1928. She was the daughter of William Josiah Irons*. She contributed to the Sunday Magazine from 1876 onwards. She became a Roman Catholic (the Latin title of her manual for Holy Communion, Corpus Christi, 1884, suggests that she was a convert by that time).  She translated The Divine Consoler: little visits to the most holy Sacrament, by J.M. Angéli, of the Lazarist Fathers (1900), and published a...

Arthur Henry Mann

MANN, Arthur Henry. b. Norwich, 16 May 1850; d. Cambridge, 19 November 1929. He was a chorister at Norwich Cathedral and then an articled pupil of Zechariah Buck. He held the positions of organist at St Peter's Church, Wolverhampton (1870), Tettenhall Parish Church (1871) and Beverley Minster (1875) before he was appointed organist of King's College, Cambridge in 1876. He remained in this post for the rest of his life. Mann did much for Cambridge music. He oversaw the change of regime in which...

Henry Collins

COLLINS, Henry. b. Barningham, North Yorkshire (now County Durham), 1828 (baptized 29 June); d. Coalville, Leicestershire, 29 January 1919. The son of the rector of Barningham, he was briefly an Anglican priest (1853-57) before converting to Roman Catholicism. He studied at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, founded in 1852 specifically for clergymen from the Church of England to prepare them for the Catholic priesthood. Ordained in 1859, he became a Cistercian monk at Mount St Bernard's...

William Edward Hickson

HICKSON, William Edward. b. Westminster, London, 7 January 1803; d. near Sevenoaks, Kent, 22 March 1870. He was the son of a successful boot and shoe manufacturer. The family moved to Northampton, a centre of the boot and shoe making trade, where the young Hickson became active in the Baptist church and Sunday school. He entered his father's business, but found time to pursue his interests as a reformer, musical educator, and writer on educational topics. He was a firm believer in the...

Loving Creator

Loving Creator. Daniel Thambyrajah Niles* (1908-1970). This is the version in CH4 of Niles's Trinitarian hymn addressed in its three verses to the three persons of the Holy Trinity, beginning 'Father in heaven'*. In verse 1 the CH4 version avoids the image of 'Father' for God, changing the first line, and also lines 7-8 from 'Father in heaven,/ Father, our God' to 'Loving Creator,/ Parent and God'. Verses 2 and 3 also have substantial alterations from Niles's...

John Howard Bertram Masterman

MASTERMAN, John Howard Bertram. b.Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 6 December 1867; d. Stoke Damerel, Plymouth, Devon, 25 November 1933. He was educated at St John's College, Cambridge (BA 1893, MA 1897, DD 1907), where he won the Chancellor's Medal for poems in three successive years ('Iona', 1891; 'Raphael', 1892; 'Delphi', 1893). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1893, priest 1894), followed by two further years at St John's College, when he was a lecturer in Church History (1894-96). After three years as...

O Lord most High, eternal King

O Lord most high, eternal King. Latin, 9th century or earlier, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866), altered by the Compilers of A&M . This is a version of Neale's translation of 'Aeterne Rex altissime'*, the anonymous Latin hymn for Ascensiontide, much altered by the Compilers. It was printed in the First Edition of A&M in six stanzas:                         Neale                                                               A&M  (1861) Eternal Monarch, King most high,   ...

Give to the winds thy fears

Give to the winds thy fears. Paul Gerhardt* (1607-1676), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This is a free translation of part of Gerhardt's 'Befiehl du deine Wege'*, beginning at stanza 9 of Wesley's text. It is a companion piece to 'Commit thou all thy griefs'*. The two hymns are sometimes printed separately, and sometimes as two parts of the same hymn, as in HP. They were not included in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), but appeared in the...

Stephen Foster

FOSTER, Stephen Collins. b. Lawrenceville (now part of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, 4 July 1826; d. New York City, 13 January 1864.  Foster, an American musical hero, is remembered as the country's first professional songwriter.  His most famous tunes, such as 'Old Black Joe, 'Oh, Susannah', 'Old Folks at Home', exerted a greater influence in hymnology than did his 25 published hymn tunes. On 5 April 1814, William Barclay Foster (1779-1855) bought 123 acres of land, some two miles north of...

Litany hymns

The Litany is a form of prayer consisting of a series of petitions to which the people make set responses. It is thought to have originated in Antioch during the 4th century but soon spread to Constantinople and Rome. Pope Gelasius (492-96) introduced a Litany into the Mass of which the ninefold Kyrie eleison* alone survives. Two hundred years later the pattern of Litany for the Western Church throughout the Middle Ages was established under Pope Sergius in The Litany of the Saints. Its second...

Father, within thy house today

  Father, within thy house today. (Robert) Hugh Benson* (1871-1914). This wedding hymn was written at some point before 1914, when it was printed in Benson's Poems. It had four graceful stanzas, with a Trinitarian structure: Father, within thy house today   We wait thy kindly love to see: Since thou hast said in truth that they   Who dwell in love are one with thee, Bless those who for thy blessing wait; Their love accept and consecrate. Dear Lord of love, whose heart of fire,   So full of...

Evangelical Covenant Church hymnody and hymnals

The Evangelical Covenant Church today consists of about 850 congregations in North America and Canada. While non-creedal, it bases its beliefs firmly in scripture, and explains its applied doctrine by means of six affirmations that connect it to the larger evangelical Protestant community: We affirm the centrality of the word of God. We affirm the necessity of the new birth. We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church. We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers. We...

Surprised by joy no song can tell

Surprised by joy no song can tell. Erik Routley* (1917-1982). Written in July 1976 for a wedding at St. James's Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, where Routley had been minister prior to his move to the USA. It was the first hymn Routley wrote in the USA. His copy contains the date 10 September 1976, which has been quoted in many sources, but the date on the service sheet is 4 September 1976, a Saturday and more likely correct (Routley Papers, Series V). The hymn celebrates the love of 'parent,...

Mary Hamilton

HAMILTON, Mary C. D. (née Stobart). b. Edinburgh 1850; d. Worthing, Sussex, 10 June 1943.  The daughter of John Hamilton and Kathryn Barbara Stobart, Mary was born into a family whose ancestral home was Sundrum Castle in South Ayrshire, Scotland.  By 1889, she had moved to Rustington in Sussex, where she lived until the second decade of the 20th century.  By 1939 she was living in Worthing, where she died in 1943.   Hamilton gained fame for one hymn text, which earned popularity during World...

Churches of Christ hymnody, Britain and Ireland

Churches of Christ in Great Britain and Ireland came into existence from the mid-1830s as congregations were formed, usually breaking away from Scotch Baptist churches. They were influenced by the ideas of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), son of an Anti-Burgher Seceder Presbyterian minister in Ireland, Thomas, who emigrated to the USA in 1807. The Campbells became two of the four main leaders of the movement in the USA, from which three distinct 20th-century groups derive: Churches of Christ,...

Baptist hymnody, British

Baptists in England were divided into two main groupings until the end of the 19th century: the General Baptists, who were Arminian in theology, and the Particular Baptists, who were Calvinist. These groupings reflected different historical origins, and different theologies and practices, including attitudes to congregational singing. Most churches of both groups formed the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland (now the Baptist Union of Great Britain — BUGB) in the 19th century, though a...

Orlando Gibbons

GIBBONS, Orlando. b. Oxford, 1583; d. Canterbury, 5 June 1625. Born the son of a town wait, Gibbons served as a chorister at King's College, Cambridge (1596-99). He was admitted to the degree of MusB in 1606. From 1603 until his death he was a musician in the Chapel Royal. He was also court musician to Prince Charles as Prince of Wales, and from 1619 was virginalist in the royal privy chamber. In 1623 he was appointed joint organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey. He died at...

Children's hymnody, British

British Children's Hymnody It became apparent from the very earliest days of hymnody that children needed their own hymns. This overview will show how educational, musical and cultural changes are reflected in the many collections of hymns written specifically for children. The challenge presented to writers of children's hymns has always been how to engage the young mind with thought-provoking material but present it in an attractive and accessible manner. Some of the earliest hymn texts...

F.M. Hamilton

HAMILTON, Fayette Montgomery ('F.M.'). b. Washington, Arkansas, 3 September 1858; d. Sparta, Georgia, 10 November 1912. The life of this hymnodist, composer, arranger, and editor is most accurately told within the context of the early history of the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church (in 1954 the name was changed to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church). It was first organized  on 16 December 1870 as The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, an ecclesial body of mostly African...

Yattendon Hymnal

Yattendon Hymnal (1895-99). The Yattendon Hymnal was edited by Robert Bridges* and Harry Ellis Wooldridge*. It was published originally in four separate sections, entitled Hymns in Four Parts [i.e. SATB] with English Words for Singing in Churches: Part I (1895), containing 25 hymns; Part II (1897), hymns 26-50; Part III (1898), 51-75; Part IV (1899), 76-100. It appeared in a complete edition of words and music in 1899 with the YH title. Its name comes from the Berkshire village where Bridges...

Olney Hymns

Olney Hymns Olney is a small town in Buckinghamshire, England. In the 18th century the principal occupation of the inhabitants was lace-making (see, for example, Eliza Westbury*). To Olney came John Newton* as curate-in-charge in 1764. In the same year he had published An Authentic Narrative of some Remarkable and Interesting Particulars in the Life of --------, a book which detailed his remarkable early life and his religious conversion. He rapidly became well known among evangelicals, and in...

Awhile in spirit, Lord, to Thee

Awhile in spirit, Lord, to Thee. Joseph Francis Thrupp* (1827-1867).   This is a hymn for Lent from Thrupp's Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (Cambridge, 1853), later published in Church Hymns (1871, Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874). It was preceded by ' “Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.” - 1 St. Peter iv. I' It had five stanzas:  Awhile in spirit, Lord, to TheeInto the desert would we flee;Awhile upon the barren steepOur...

John Stickney

STICKNEY, John. b. Stoughton, Massachusetts, 31 March 1744; d. South Hadley, Massachusetts, 23 April 1827.  Stickney, a singing master and farmer, known primarily for his compilation, The Gentleman and Lady's Musical Companion, editions 1774 and 1783, was a son of Richard Varrel Stickney (1709-1769) and Mary Pelton Stickney (1711-1745).  He married Elizabeth Howard of Stoughton on 26 December 1765.  She died on 28 May 1813, and on 31 October 1813, John Stickney married Lucy Nash (1750-1836), of...

The Lord will come and not be slow

The Lord will come and not be slow. John Milton* (1608-1674). In Milton's second collection of poems, Poems, &c. upon Several Occasions (1673), are found his paraphrases of Psalms 80-88, prefaced with the words 'April, 1648. J.M. Nine of the Psalms done into Metre, wherein all but what is in a different Character, are the very words of the Text, translated from the Original.' By 'different Character' was meant italics, which scrupulously mark Milton's deviation from the Hebrew. Verse 1 in...

Thy ceaseless, unexhausted love

Thy ceaseless, unexhausted love. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Short Hymns on Select Passages of the Holy Scriptures (1762), as three separate hymns, each of one 8-line stanza and each based on Exodus 34: 6. It was included in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), as one hymn of six 4-line verses, and with 'ceaseless' substituted for 'causeless' in the first line. It has appeared in all subsequent Methodist hymnbooks and in...

I sought him dressed in finest clothes

I sought him dressed in finest clothes. John Lamberton Bell* (1949-    ).   This hymn is entitled 'Carol of the Epiphany'. Written in 1988, it first appeared in the collection Innkeepers and Light Sleepers: Seventeen New Songs for Christmas (Chicago: 1992). It may be seen as completing a trilogy of hymns that provide insightful socio-political commentary on the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany cycle:  Carol of the Advent ('From a woman and a weary nation') The Carol of the Nativity ('A...

Community of Christ hymnody

Historical background Community of Christ is an international Christian denomination with approximately 250,000 members in more than 50 countries. Until 2001, the denomination, which has its headquarters in Independence, Missouri, was known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly abbreviated as 'RLDS'). The church shares a common beginning with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ('LDS'), founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844). After the...

Norman Cocker

COCKER, Norman. b. Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, 1889; d. Dukinfield, Cheshire, 15 November 1953. He was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, and organ scholar at Merton College, Oxford, from which he was sent down for not doing enough work. He later taught at his old school, Magdalen College School (1912-15) while also being organist and choirmaster, St Philip and St James's Church, Oxford (1909-13). After the Great War of 1914-1918 he was appointed sub-organist of Manchester Cathedral in...

¡Santo! ¡Santo! ¡Santo! Señor omnipotente

¡Santo! ¡Santo! ¡Santo! Señor omnipotente. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826), translated by Juan Bautista Cabrera* (1837–1916).  This is the most published translation or original hymn by the prominent Spanish hymn writer. Cabrera's text is generally a straight-forward translation of Reginald Heber's hymn though there are several textual subtleties. When a text is tied closely to a tune, as is the case with 'Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty'* and its tune NICAEA, the melody, meter, and rhythm...

German hymns in English translation

Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern The Reformation and its Impact (1517-1618) Of the pre-Reformation writers, the one whose work is still used is John Tauler*, one of whose hymns was paraphrased with a first line 'As the bridegroom to his chosen'*. This version by Emma Frances Bevan* was published in her Hymns of Tersteegen, Suso and Others (1894). It was printed in School Worship (1926), but was little known until it was selected for 100HfT (1969) with a new tune (BRIDEGROOM, by Peter Cutts*)....

Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren

Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren. Joachim Neander* (1650-1680). First published in A und Ω. Joachimi Neandri Glaub- und Liebesübung: auffgemuntert durch einfältige Bundes Lieder und Danck-Psalmen (Bremen, 1680). It is found in EG in all five verses in the 'Loben und Danken' section (EG 317). It is Neander's finest hymn, and one of the best known of all German hymns, a magnificent tribute to God as Creator and Preserver. It was written to a tune (in many English-speaking books...

Here a little child I stand

Here a little child I stand. Robert Herrick* (1591-1674).  From Herrick's His Noble Numbers: or, His Pious Pieces, Wherein (amongst other things) he Sings the Birth of his Christ: and Sighes for his Saviours Suffering on the Crosse (1647). It was entitled 'Another grace for a Child', following 'Grace for children', a little known poem-grace that began:  What God gives, and what we take'Tis a gift for Christ His sake:Be the meale of Beanes and Pease,God be thank'd, for those, and...

Standing at the portal

Standing at the portal.  Frances Ridley Havergal* (1836-1879). In The Poetical Works of Frances Ridley Havergal (1884), edited by her sister Maria, this is marked as written at Hastings on 4 January 1873. In another part of the book, Maria gives the poem under 'New Year Verses', with the date as 3 January, saying that it was written at Winterdyne (the English home near Bewdley, Worcestershire, of her Irish friends Mr and Mrs Shaw). The matter remains unresolved. It was printed in Havergal's...

John Mason

MASON, John. b. Northamptonshire, possibly at Irchester, ca. 1646; d. Water Stratford, Buckinghamshire, May 1694 (buried 22 May). He was educated at Strixton (Northants), probably by William Farrow, and Clare Hall, Cambridge (BA 1665, MA 1668). He took Holy Orders in 1667. After a curacy at Upper Isham, Northamtonshire (1667-68), he became vicar of Stantonbury, Buckinghamshire (1668-74), and rector of Water Stratford (1675-94). He was the great-great-great-great-grandfather of John Mason...

In the bleak mid-winter

In the bleak mid-winter. Christina Georgina Rossetti* (1830-1894). First published in Scribner's Monthly, 3/3 (January 1872, p. 278), and then in The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti (1904), edited by her brother, William Michael, who dated it 'Before 1872'. In The Poetical Works it was entitled 'A Christmas Carol': In the bleak mid-winter,  Frosty wind made moan,Earth stood hard as iron,  Water like a stone;Snow had fallen, snow on snow,  Snow on snow,In the bleak mid-winter, ...

They are all gone into the world of light

They are all gone into the world of light. Henry Vaughan* (1622-1695).  From Silex Scintillans: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations, the second Edition, in two Books; by Henry Vaughan, Silurist (1655). The word 'Silurist' refers to the Silures, the ancient inhabitants of South Wales, where Vaughan lived. The second part of this book, with 'The Authors Preface To the following Hymns, was dated 30 September 1654. It contains a tribute to 'the blessed man, Mr George Herbert, whose holy life and...

Kommt, Kinder, lasst uns gehen

Kommt, Kinder, lasst uns gehen. Gerhard Tersteegen* (1697-1769). First published in Tersteegen's Geistliches Blumen-Gärtlein, Drittes Büchlein (Book III) (1738) in 19 stanzas (8-line). It was entitled 'Ermunterungs-Lied für die Pilger' ('a hymn of encouragement for pilgrims'). Of the 19 stanzas, 11 are printed at EG 393, omitting verses 3 ('Der Ausgang der geschehen'), 7 ('Laßt uns nicht viel besehen'), 8 ('Ist gleich der Weg was enge'), 9 ('Was wir hier hör'n und sehen'), 10 ('Wir wandeln...

O come, Redeemer of mankind, appear

O come, Redeemer of mankind, appear. David Thomas Morgan* (1809-1886). This is a version of 'Veni Redemptor gentium'*, a hymn by Ambrose of Milan*. It was not widely translated in Britain in the early part of the 19th century because of what JJ described as 'a somewhat unfortunate ecclesiastical prudery' (p. 1211). It is hard to see what this might have been, unless it was 'virili semine' in stanza 2. Morgan's translation appeared in his Hymns of the Latin Church. Translated by D.T. Morgan....

Lord, you have searched and known my ways

Lord, you have searched and known my ways. Peter George Jarvis* (1925- ).  Written in 1951, when Jarvis was a student for the Methodist ministry at Handsworth College, Birmingham. It is based on Psalm 139: 1-6 ('O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me'), with the final two lines echoing verse 10: 'Even then shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me'. Jarvis renders the first as Lord, you have searched and known my ways   And understood my thought from far; How can I rightly...

Arthur Tozer Russell

RUSSELL, Arthur Tozer. b. Northampton, 20 March 1806; d. Southwick, Sussex, 18 November 1874. He was the son of a Congregationalist minister named Clout who changed his name to Russell. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, Manchester College, York (a Dissenting Academy, in York from 1803 to 1840), and St John's College, Cambridge. He became a member of the Church of England and took Holy Orders (deacon 1827, priest 1830). He was successively vicar of Caxton, Huntingdonshire...

The saints who toiled from place to place

The saints who toiled from place to place. Walter Howard Frere* (1863-1938). From A Plainsong Hymnbook (1932), where it was entitled 'For Missionaries'. It had five stanzas, based on the Mirfield tradition of missionary work (see The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book*): The Saints who toil'd from place to place, Spreading the gospel of God's grace, Must never from our mem'ry fade But lend encouragement and aid. Alert at Thy command to go, And ev'rywhere Thy Word to sow, They went, O Master, far...

Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands

Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands. Martin Luther* ( 1483-1546), translated by Richard Massie* (1800-1887). This translation of Luther's 'Christ lag in Todesbanden'* (itself a translation of 'Victimae Paschali'*) was first published in Massie's Martin Luther's Spiritual Songs (1854). Although not used by British Anglican books, it was widely adopted by nonconformist ones. Originally the hymn had seven stanzas: Christ lay awhile in Death's strong bands,   For our offences given But now...

English Hymnal

English Hymnal (1906; new edition, 1933). The English Hymnal (EH) of 1906 (new edition, 1933) was a remarkable landmark in English hymnody. Its bright green covers, though initially associated with the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England, found their way into places of much broader churchmanship and the book influenced congregational hymn-singing and the contents of other hymn books throughout the 20th century. By the end of the 19th century, the resources for hymn singing in the...

Miles Coverdale

COVERDALE, Miles. b. York, 1488; d. London, 20 Jan 1569. Although it is known that he was born at York, the rest of Coverdale's early years are unrecorded. He was ordained in 1514, becoming an Augustinian friar at Cambridge, where he was a leading member of a group of theologians meeting to discuss the works of Martin Luther* (Leaver, 1991, p. 62). By 1528 he had left the Augustinians, and become an itinerant preacher. He lived in various parts of the continent for some years, working on his...

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

BROWNING, Elizabeth Barrett Moulton (née Barrett). b. Coxhoe, near Durham, 6 March 1806; d. Florence, 30 June 1861. She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant family whose money had been made in the West Indies. The family moved to an estate at Ledbury, Herefordshire, in 1810. She was a precocious poet, whose first verses were published in the New Monthly Magazine in 1821, and whose first book, An Essay on Mind, with Other Poems, appeared in 1826. In 1832 the family moved to Sidmouth, Devon,...

Not far beyond the sea nor high

Not far beyond the sea nor high. George Bradford Caird* (1917-1984). Written ca. 1945, when Caird was minister of Highgate Congregational Church, and first printed in duplicated form in a collection for use in Mansfield College Chapel, Oxford. It is partly based on an earlier hymn by George Rawson*, 'We limit not the truth of God'*, which Caird would have known from the Congregational Hymnary of 1916. In stanza 1 Caird retained the reference to the words of Pastor Robinson to the Pilgrim...

Teaching hymnody

  Teaching hymnody: a survey   Human beings are born with the 'propensity to make and listen to music that was encoded into the human genome during the evolutionary history of our species' (Mithen, 2006, p. 1). Mark J. Tramo's (1956-) studies on the nature of brain functioning show 'all of us are born with the capacity to apprehend emotion and meaning in music' (Tramo 2001, pp. 54-56). Research by Barbara S. Kisilevsky, et al., indicates that by the final trimester of pregnancy, fetuses are...

Armenian hymnody

The documented music in Armenian culture is the sacred music associated with the liturgical services of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church. The tradition developed soon after the invention of the Armenian alphabet (405-406). Fragmentary manuscripts of the Sharaknots (Hymnal) with neumatic (khaz) notation date back to the 8th century. In common with other Christian cultures of the east, Armenian music was exclusively monodic. During the first centuries of Christianity, the musical repertoire...

The Virgin Mary had a baby boy

The Virgin Mary had a baby boy. West Indian carol.  This carol, sometimes called a spiritual, reflects one of the varied experiences and cultures encountered by enslaved Africans when they came to the Americas. Since it does not find its origins in the continental United States, 'The Virgin Mary' does not appear in the historical collections of African American spirituals* such as the monumental Slave Songs of the United States* (New York: 1867), the first extensive collection of African...

Charles S. Robinson

ROBINSON, Charles Seymour. b. Bennington, Vermont, 31 March 1829; d. New York, 1 February 1899. The son of General Henry Robinson (1778-1854) and Martha P. Haynes (1800-1857), Robinson studied theology at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Union Seminary, New York City, and graduated from Princeton Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. Following his ordination in 1855, he served as pastor of Park Presbyterian Church, Troy, New York. In 1858 he married Harriet Read Church (1835-1895),...

Mary immaculate, star of the morning

Mary immaculate, star of the morning. F.W. Weatherell, dates unknown. This hymn was printed in The Book of Hymns with Tunes (1910), edited by Samuel Gregory Ould* and William Sewell, but in the opinion of Wesley Milgate* (1982), it 'may well be earlier'. Milgate also states that it was in the Westminster Hymnal (1912), but it has not been found there. It was certainly in WH (1940), and Milgate describes it as 'very popular'. It begins with the image of Mary as the stella matutina, star of the...

O Saviour, Who for man hast trod

O Saviour, Who for man hast trod. Charles Coffin* (1676-1749), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876), altered by Robert Campbell* (1814-1868). The Latin hymn, 'Opus peregisti tuum', was printed in the Paris Breviary of 1736 and in Hymni Sacri Auctore Carolo Coffin (also 1736), for Ascension-tide. The translation was made by Chandler for his Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837), which also printed the Latin text as 'Hymnus 72', beginning Opus peregisti tuum, Te, Christe victorem necis,...

Peter Warwick Cutts

CUTTS, Peter Warwick. b. Birmingham, 4 June 1937. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and, after National Service, at Clare College, Cambridge (BA 1961), where he read music. He then read theology at Mansfield College, Oxford (BA 1963). He taught at Huddersfield at the technical college and at Oastler School of Education (1963-68), followed by Bretton Hall College, Wakefield, Yorkshire (1968-1989), where he was Warden and Lecturer in Music. In 1989 he took early retirement,...

Return, O wanderer, return

Return, O wanderer, return. William Bengo Collyer* (1782-1854). First published in the Evangelical Magazine (May 1806), in six LM stanzas. It had the heading 'Is Ephraim my dear son? &c' (from Jeremiah 31: 18-20), referred to movingly in the final stanza ('Regain thy long-sought rest'), which is hardly ever used. It subsequently appeared in Collyer's Hymns partly collected and partly original (1812), entitled 'The Backslider', signed 'W.B.C.'  Most books print five stanzas. The Plymouth...

Spanish hymnody

This entry is in two parts. The first, on the early and medieval period, is by Carmen Julia Gutiérrez; the second, from 1502 onwards, is by Elena Gallego Moya/ Jose Fco. Ortega Castejón. Part 1: Early and Medieval The hymns of the Hispanic Liturgy The Hispanic rite was used in the Iberian Peninsula until the 11th century, except for Marca Hispánica and the Bracarense province, where the Romano-Frankish rite was followed from the 8th century. The texts of the Hispanic rite were compiled by...

African American spiritual

Introduction African American Spirituals are considered the first distinctive music genre of African people in the American diaspora. These unique folk songs, born out of the substance and experience of an oppressive sociological environment combined with the natural musical gifts of African peoples in the American diaspora, subsequently became the foundation of ALL African American music forms. Their continued existence and usage around the world attests to the spiritual depth of their roots...

Tanzanian hymnody

Tanzania is a particularly fertile location for the development of indigenous hymnody because of the work of a leading African priest, Stephen Mbunga, and the ministry of a Protestant missionary, Howard Olson*, that spanned four decades. Together they offer insight into a process of cultivating congregational song, a pattern followed in other areas of the continent. Precursors  The Moravian diaspora resulted in their first mission station in colonial German East Africa in 1891 by Theodor...

Genevan Psalter

The Genevan Psalter, 1539-1562 The singing of psalms was regarded by Jean Calvin* as an essential part of congregational worship, and it was a distinctive feature of the reformed church at Geneva in the 16th century. Unlike Luther*, Calvin was cautious about using hymns, because they were of human composition. In the words of Louis F. Benson*, 'He would have nothing in the cultus which could not claim the express authority of Scripture' (1915, p. 23). Psalms, however, were seen as inspired by...

Unitarian-Universalist hymnody, USA

American Unitarians and Universalists participated actively in compiling hymnals and writing hymns throughout the 19th and early 20th century, amassing well over fifty collections before embarking on their first joint venture in Hymns of the Spirit (Boston, 1937). This work pre-dated the actual merger of the American Unitarian Association (AUA) and the Universalist Church of America (UCA) in 1961. Subsequent volumes, described later in this article, appeared in 1964, 1978, 1993, and 2005. Since...

Henry Harbaugh

HARBAUGH, Henry. b. Midvale, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 28 October 1817; d. Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, 28 December 1867. The son of a farmer, and the tenth of twelve children, he worked on his father's farm, attended a school in winter, and read an English grammar while ploughing. In search of a further education he moved to Carroll County, Ohio, where he attended New Hagerston Academy while also working as a carpenter. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1840, studying at Franklin and Marshall...

It is finished! Christ hath known

'It is finished!' Christ hath known. George Gabriel Scott Gillett* (1873-1948). Based on St John's record of the last words of Jesus on the cross — 'tetelestai' ('it is finished') — this hymn was written for EH (1906). These dying words of Christ have inspired and challenged many hymn writers. Gillett's solution was in an ABBA form, that of Tennyson*'s In Memoriam, followed by four lines rhyming ABAB: It is finished! Christ hath knownAll the life of men wayfaring;Human joys and sorrows...

Henry Purcell

PURCELL, Henry. b. London, perhaps Westminster, [autumn] 1659; d. Westminster, 21 November 1695. A Child of the Chapel Royal, he was educated at a time when choirs in England were being revived during the Restoration of Charles II (after the proscription of choirs and organs in church during the Commonwealth under Cromwell). He may have been taught by John Blow and Pelham Humfrey. His gifts were evident early, and after his voice broke in 1673 he was kept on at court as an assistant to John...

Catherine Winkworth

WINKWORTH, Catherine. b. London, 13 September 1827; d. Monnetier, France, 1 July 1878. She was the daughter of a silk manufacturer, who moved his family to Manchester in 1829. In common with most young women of the time, she had no formal higher education, but studied German with Tobias Theodores (the first teacher of German at Owens College, Manchester, later the University of Manchester) and Logic with James Martineau*. With her sister Selina, she spent the year 1845-46 in Dresden, living...

O day of peace that dimly shines

O day of peace that dimly shines. Carl P. Daw, Jr.* (1944- ). Written for H82 at the request of the texts committee as a hymn for peace. It was written to be sung to JERUSALEM, the tune composed by C.H.H. Parry* for 'And did those feet in ancient time'* by William Blake*. This has affected the rhythm of the lines, which have an assurance and inevitability that makes them seem active and rousing in their desire for peace. Like Blake's hymn, this has two 8-line stanzas, but instead of his...

Like a river glorious

Like a river glorious. Frances Ridley Havergal* (1836-1879). Written in 1874, and first published in leaflet form. It was later published in Havergal's Loyal Responses (1878). Written in the metre of 6.5.6.5.D., it had three stanzas and a refrain. The refrain was Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blest;Finding, as He promised, Perfect peace and rest.  The stanzas begin with the arresting image of the glorious river, the image of God's peace, perhaps from Psalm 46: 4. There is a weak...

Come, let us join with faithful souls

Come, let us join with faithful souls. William George Tarrant* (1853-1928). Written in 1915, and published in the Congregational Hymnary (1916). It was one of four hymns by Tarrant in the revised Fellowship Hymn Book (1933). It remained in use in Unitarian churches (Hymns of Worship, 1927, Hymns of Worship Revised , 1962) and it remains in HFF (1991), though not in HFL (which prints only two hymns by Tarrant). It had six stanzas: Come, let us join with faithful souls   Our song of faith to...

Thomas Haweis

HAWEIS, Thomas. b. Truro, Cornwall, 1 January 1734; d. Bath, 11 February 1820. After school at Truro he was apprenticed to an apothecary and surgeon, but decided to become a clergyman. Then he had a curious academic career, beginning at Christ Church, Oxford, matriculating at Christ's College, Cambridge (1755), and then moving to Magdalen Hall, Oxford. He also claimed an MD from a Scottish university. He took Holy Orders (deacon, 1757, priest 1758), and became curate of St Mary Magdalen,...

For all the saints who from their labours rest

For all the saints who from their labours rest. William Walsham How* (1823-1897). This celebrated hymn first appeared in Earl Nelson*'s Hymns for Saints' Days, and other Hymns (1864). It originally comprised 11 stanzas and was headed 'Saints'-Day Hymn. “A cloud of witnesses.” – Heb 12:1': its original first line, 'For all thy saints who from their labours rest', was changed by How, who was one of the editors, in Church Hymns (1871, Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874) to 'For all the saints…'. Most...

Albert Bayly

BAYLY, Albert Frederick. b. Bexhill, Sussex, 6 September 1901; d. Chichester, 26 July 1984. He was educated at Hastings Grammar School. He trained as a shipwright at the Royal Dockyard School, Portsmouth; but working on warships was contrary to his strong pacifist views, and he offered for the Congregational ministry, having obtained by part-time study an external BA (1924) from London University. He trained at Mansfield College, Oxford (1925-28), and was ordained in 1929. He served at Whitley...

Snake handling songs

Snake handling songs Snake handling communities are independent offshoots of the Pentecostal Holiness churches in parts of the USA. They are non-denominational, holding that denominations are corrupt. During worship services the participants handle snakes or drink poison, sometimes with fatal consequences. They justify the practice with reference to Mark 16: 17-18: 'And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They...

Christ, the fair glory of the holy Angels

Christ, the fair glory of the holy Angels. Latin, ca. 9th century, translated by Athelstan Riley* (1858-1945). The Latin text, 'Christe sanctorum decus angelorum', ascribed to Hrabanus Maurus*, exists in various forms (see JJ, pp. 229-30). Riley's translation is of JJ's text 2, with line 2 as 'Rector humani generis et auctor', and references to the three archangels: 'Angelum pacis Michael', 'Angelum fortis Gabriel' and 'Angelum nobis, medicum salutis,/ Mitte de caelis Raphael'. It is...

Lord, can a helpless worm like me

Lord, can a helpless worm like me. Susanna Harrison* (1752-1784).  From Harrison's Songs in the Night, by a young woman under deep afflictions, first published in 1780. In the Seventh American Edition (New York, 1847) it was no. LXIII. It was prefaced with a quotation: '“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” - Heb. Xii. 1,2.' It had five stanzas: Lord, can a helpless worm like me Attempt to make her way to thee? Yes, let me raise thy praises high - In...

Baptism by Fire

See 'Thou, whose purpose is to kindle'*

Crown of Jesus

Crown of Jesus (1862) was a major publication during the years of the expansion of the Roman Catholic church in Britain following Catholic Emancipation, the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill in 1829, and the growth in numbers following immigration from Ireland and the converts from the Oxford Movement*. Library catalogues give the names of the editors as R.R. Suffield and C.F.R. Palmer. Its full title was Crown of Jesus: a complete Catholic manual of devotion, doctrine, and instruction....

Dunblane Praises

Dunblane Praises (1965, 1967). The two collections under this title, published in 1965 and 1967 in manuscript form by the Scottish Churches' Music Consultation, were intended as a means of 'field testing' new hymns in congregations and as a stimulus for further new writing. Only two hundred copies of the first volume were printed, but the need to print another 1,200 copies indicated a demand for new material. As the Consultation came to the end of its work, selected items were republished, with...

Dutch hymnody

Pre-Reformation Netherlands hymnody Apart from a page of 10th century neumatic plainchant notation and the mystical vernacular hymns by the 13th century nun Hadewijch, the earliest written evidence of sacred music in the Netherlands dates from the 15th century. Two important sources for our knowledge of spiritual songs in the Netherlands are the manuscripts from the Tertiarissenklooster (Cloister of the Tertiaries) of St Margaretha in Amsterdam (ca. 1480: now in the Austrian National Library...

Chetham's Psalmody

Chetham's Psalmody The title of this important collection was The Book of Psalmody. It was first published at Sheffield in 1718 by John Chetham or Cheetham (1665 – baptized 4 February -1746), subsequently master of the Clerk's School, Skipton, Yorkshire, and curate of Skipton, 1741-46. Further editions followed in 1722, 1724 and 1731, with many successors. It has been described as 'the most important country collection [of psalm settings] of all' (Temperley, 1979, p. 181). Each edition during...

Roman Catholic hymnody, USA

Post-Colonial Era Both the body of hymnody from and the publication of hymnals for the Roman Catholic Church in the United States at its founding and in the decades immediately following are quite small. The cause of this is two-fold: the inherited status of Roman Catholics under British governance and the role of the congregation at the Catholic Mass. Until the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, Catholics in the colonies lived under the same rules of suppression as they did in England. Public...

Omnipotent Redeemer

Omnipotent Redeemer. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). This hymn was not printed in Wesley's life-time. It was published from the manuscript by George Osborn in The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley (1868-72), XII. 387. It was No. 21 of a set of 'Hymns on the Acts of the Apostles', in three stanzas: Omnipotent Redeemer ,   Our ransomed souls adore thee:     Whate'er is done     Thy work we own,   And give thee all the glory; With thankfulness acknowledge   Our time of visitation;    ...

Hear us, O Lord, from heaven thy dwelling-place

Hear us, O Lord, from heaven thy dwelling-place. William Henry Gill* (1839-1923). This is known as 'The Manx Fishermen's Evening Hymn'. It was written by Gill to fit a ballad tune from the Isle of Man, and published in his Manx National Songs (1896). The fishermen from the Isle of Man used to ask for God's blessing before casting their nets, and Gill prefaced the hymn with a quotation from the Manx Book of Common Prayer: '…that it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the kindly...

Unto the hills around do I lift up My longing eyes

Unto the hills around do I lift up/ My longing eyes. John Douglas Sutherland Campbell* (1845-1914). This metrical version of Psalm 121 dates from 1877. It was included in Campbell's The Book of Psalms: literally rendered in verse (1877), where it was the second paraphrase of the Psalm. Written in the metre of 'Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom'*, it has normally been set to SANDON by Charles Henry Purday*, although AHB uses ALBERTA, by William Henry Harris*. It succeeds remarkably...

William Wordsworth

WORDSWORTH, William. b. Cockermouth, Cumberland (now Cumbria), 7 April 1770; d. Rydal, Westmorland (now Cumbria), 23 April 1850. Following the early death of his parents, he was educated at Hawkshead Grammar School and St John's College, Cambridge (1787-90). After periods of living in London, France, and the West Country, he moved in December 1799 to Grasmere, Westmorland, living there and at Rydal, the next village, for the remainder of his life. He was appointed Poet Laureate in...

Adam Tice

TICE, Adam M. L.  b. Boynton,Pennsylvania, 11 October 1979. Adam Tice spent his growing up years in several states across the USA, ending up in the town of Goshen in northern Indiana. He is a graduate of Goshen College (B.A. in music, 2002), and the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana (now Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, AMBS), with an MA in Christian Formation (2006). It was at AMBS that he wrote his first hymn text. This began a profound and life-long interest...

Romanos the Melodist

ROMANOS the Melodist. fl. 6th century. Little is known about his life, and even the century in which he lived has long been hotly disputed. It is likely that he was born in Syria, in the city of Emesa, and that he was of Jewish origin. As a young man he served as deacon at the Church of the Resurrection in Beirut, before coming to Constantinople during the reign of Anastasius I (491-518), where he was attached to the Church of the Virgin in the Kyros quarter of the city. After his death he was...

Ambrose of Milan

AMBROSE of Milan. b. Trier, 339 (or 340); d. Milan, 4 Apr 397. Born into a Roman Christian family, Ambrose pursued the cursus honorum (the ladder of advancement within the Roman public hierarchy) and became governor of the province of Emilia-Liguria in 370, moving to Milan. On the death of the Arian bishop, Auxence, Ambrose was chosen by the people as their bishop, was baptised and, one week later, was consecrated (1 Dec 373 or 7 Dec 374). During the 23 years of his episcopate, he represented...

John Leland

LELAND, John. b. Grafton, Massachusetts, 14 May 1754; d. North Adams, Massachusetts, 14 January 1841. He was a leading Baptist minister and evangelist and a champion of individual religious rights and separation of church and state. His many writings include several hymns, of which the most widely published are 'The day is past and gone'* and 'O when shall I see Jesus'*. John Leland's parents, James Leland, Jr. (1720–1807) and Lucy Warren (1721– ), were Congregationalists. 'As my father had no...

Scottish hymnody

The hymns written and sung by Scottish Christians have been generally more rugged, strenuous and theologically nuanced than those of their co-religionists south of the Border, reflecting the harsher nature of their physical landscape, the greater seriousness and intensity of their faith, and the intellectual calibre of their ministry. Scottish hymn writers may not have had the smooth elegance or artistic accomplishment of their English counterparts — JJ ended its entry on them with the...

We are a garden walled around

We are a garden walled around. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748) From Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book I, 'Collected from the Scriptures' (Hymn LXXIV). It was entitled 'The Church the Garden of Christ; Sol. Song 4. 12, 14, 15. and 5.1.' It began We are a Garden wall'd around, Chosen and made peculiar Ground; A little Spot inclos'd by Grace Out of the World's wide Wilderness. Like Trees of Myrrh and Spice we stand Planted by God the Father's Hand; And all his Springs in Sion flow, To make the...

Organs in British hymnody

Attitudes towards the use of organs to accompany the congregational singing of hymns and metrical psalms varied dramatically across the centuries and from place to place. Religious zealots denounced them as vainglorious ornaments, whilst musical reformers advocated their use to impose order on undisciplined singing. This makes an account of the subject problematic since almost any statement can be contradicted. It is important to realise that whereas organs were habitually to be found in the...

Holiness hymnody, USA

Holiness hymnody refers to a body of song associated with the Holiness Movement that grew out of American Methodism in the late 1830s, associated with Phoebe Worrall Palmer and Walter C. Palmer (nda), Sarah Lankford (1806-96 ), Thomas Upham (1799-1872), William Boardman (1810-86), Hannah Tatum Whitehall Smith (1832-1911) and her husband, Robert Pearsall Smith (1827-98). Their collective teachings emphasized a second work of grace by the Holy Spirit in the believer's life to cleanse from sin and...

Italian hymnody

[This entry is in two parts: the first by Blake Wilson, the second by Marzio Pieri] Lauda (plural Laude) The origins of the Lauda* are bound up with the literary origins of the Italian language itself. The roots of the tradition can be traced to the 'Cantico di frate sole'* ('Canticle of the Sun') by St Francis of Assisi (ca. 1181/2-1226), beginning Altissimu, onnipotente bon Signore/tue so le laude, la gloria, et l'onore. Francis urged his followers to 'go through the world preaching...

John Bacchus Dykes

DYKES, John Bacchus. b. Hull, 10 March 1823; d. Ticehurst, Sussex, 22 January 1876. He was the third son and fifth child (of 14) of Elizabeth and William Hey Dykes. He studied at St Catherine's College, Cambridge from 1843 and graduated in 1847. At Cambridge he did much to lift the university out of a musically moribund state. He was President of the Cambridge University Musical Society (1846-47) and helped to establish the Society's orchestra, for which he was not only an able performer on the...

Songs of Praise

Songs of Praise (1925); Songs of Praise Enlarged (1931). This entry includes Songs of Praise (1925) and Songs of Praise Enlarged (1931). On the cover the latter is entitled Songs of Praise with Music. Songs of Praise was edited by Percy Dearmer*, Ralph Vaughan Williams*, and Martin Shaw*. Its aim, as stated in the preface, was 'to make a national collection of hymns for use in public worship, and also of such “spiritual songs” as are akin to hymns and suitable for certain kinds of services in...

The fish in wave and bird on wing

The fish in wave and bird on wing. Latin, translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876). In Chandler's Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837), this was one of the daily hymns for Nocturn on Thursday. It was a translation of 'Iisdem create fluctibus', beginning in Chandler's version 'The deep a two-fold offspring bore': Iisdem creati fluctibus Pisces natant, volant aves: Utrumque mortali genus Paratur esca corpori. Chandler's translation was much altered by the compilers of the First Edition of...

Unison hymn tune in Britain, 1861-1939

  Unison hymn tune in Britain, 1861-1939. 1. Victorian hymn tunes in the late 19th Century.  One of the principal features that a student of 19th-century and early 20th-century music has learned about the hymnody of this period in Britain is its transformation from a legacy of the Old Version* and the New Version*. John Stainer* noted that the OV and NV tunes that were still in use at St Paul's Cathedral in the late 1840s were 'groaned through' with commensurate reluctance by choir and...

Creator of the stars of night

Creator of the stars of night. Latin, 9th century, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is Neale's translation of 'Conditor alme siderum'*, the hymn that appears in many different forms in medieval breviaries, normally associated with the season of Advent. The compilers of the first edition of A&M altered the first line to 'Creator of the starry height'*; in EH and NEH Neale's opening was preferred. There were considerable alterations in NEH from the earlier text, as...

B. F. White

WHITE, Benjamin Franklin. b. near Cross Keys, Union County, South Carolina, 20 September 1800; d. Atlanta, Georgia, 5 December 1879.  White was the principal compiler, along with Elisha J. King*, of The Sacred Harp*. Benjamin White was the twelfth child of Robert White (1743?-1843) and Mildred White (1745?-1807).  As a result of Mildred's death, Benjamin lived for about 11 years in the household of his brother, Robert White, Jr. (1784-1880).  Evidence of family involvement with music is the...

John Antes

ANTES, John (Johann). b. Frederick, Pennsylvania, 24 March 1740; d. Bristol, England, 17 December 1811. Born near the Moravian Church community of Bethlehem, Antes was educated at the Moravian Boys' School in Bethlehem, where his talent in music was encouraged. During the early 1760s, he established an instrument-making atelier in Bethlehem where he crafted violins, violas, and violoncellos (he is known to have made at least seven instruments, of which two are still extant). Feeling the call of...

Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord

Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns on the Trinity (1767), in three 8-line stanzas. The hymn was included in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), in the section, 'For Believers Rejoicing', and reproduced in the 1831 and 1876 editions of the Collection and in every British Methodist hymnbook of the 20th and 21st centuries. It has not been widely used outside Methodism. It is based on the repeated...

Hester Perriam Hawkins

HAWKINS, Hester Perriam (née Lewis). b. Wantage, Berkshire, 13 November 1846; d. Reigate, Surrey, 18 May 1928. She married Joshua Hawkins of Bedford. She was the co-editor, with Edwin Moss, of The Home Hymn Book. A Manual of Sacred Song for the Family Circle (1885); the same two editors produced Songs for the People, Sacred and Social, for Missions, Guilds and Pleasant Sunday Services (ca. 1890). Her other great interest was astronomy: she published many books on the subject including Halley's...

Lord of all, to whom alone

Lord of all, to whom alone. Cyril Argentine Alington* (1872-1955). This hymn appeared in the Eton College Hymn Book (1937), and was entitled 'A Litany' in Alington's verse collection In Shabby Streets (1942). It was subsequently included in BBCHB and many other hymnbooks. It takes the form of a simple petition for forgiveness. The first two verses echo the collect (prayer) for purity in the Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer ('Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires...

O brothers, lift your voices

O brothers, lift your voices. Edward Henry Bickersteth* (1825-1906).  The Church Missionary Society was founded in 1799. This hymn was written in 1848, the year in which Bickersteth was ordained as a deacon, to celebrate the Jubilee of the Society in 1849. It was published in the Church Missionary Society Jubilee Tracts (1848). In the following year Bickersteth published Poems, by Edward Henry Bickersteth, curate of Banningham, Norfolk (Cambridge: Macmillan, Barclay, and Macmillan; London:...

Iona Community

The Iona Community was founded in Scotland in 1938 by the Revd George MacLeod, later Lord MacLeod of Fiunary. It rebuilt the ancient monastic buildings on the island of Iona, from which St Columba* sent out missionaries such as St Aidan to convert Scotland and the north of England in the 6th century. With the rebuilding of the abbey of Iona, the Community has sought also the 'rebuilding of the common life', bringing together (in the words of its website) 'work and worship, prayer and politics,...

I praised the earth, in beauty seen

I praised the earth, in beauty seen. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826).  From Heber's Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), published after his death by his widow, Amelia. It was placed as the hymn for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity, though it has little connection with the Gospel or Epistle for that day. The original text was as follows: I prais'd the Earth, in beauty seenWith garlands gay of various green;I prais'd the Sea, whose ample fieldShone glorious as...

Graham Deans

DEANS, Graham Douglas Sutherland. b. Aberdeen, 15 August 1953. He was educated at Mackie Academy, Stonehaven, and the University of Aberdeen (MA 1974, BD 1977). He was licensed by the Presbytery of Aberdeen, 1977; he has served as assistant minister, Corstorphine, Edinburgh (1977-78), minister of Denbeath with Methilhill, Fife (1978-87), of St Mary's Parish Church, Dumfries (1987-2002), of South Ronaldsay and Burray, Orkney (2002-08), and of Queen Street Church, Aberdeen (2008- ). Deans holds...

Lord Christ, when first thou cam'st to men

Lord Christ, when first thou cam'st to men. W. Russell Bowie* (1882-1969). First published in the British SofPE (1931), in four verses. It was written at the request of Frederick William Dwelly (1881-1957), Bowie's almost exact contemporary and first Dean of Liverpool Cathedral (1931-55). Dwelly was one of those consulted by Percy Dearmer* when compiling SofPE. Dwelly had asked Bowie for a modern Advent hymn to match the grandeur of the 'Dies irae, dies illa'*. Bowie, whose interests were in...

The Lord is in his holy place

The Lord is in his holy place. William Channing Gannett* (1840-1923) Written for the dedication of a church in Chicago, and published in  Singers and Songs of the Liberal Faith (Boston, 1975), edited by Alfred P. Putnam. It was later included in The Thought of God in hymns and poems (Boston, 1885), the first of a series of three collections with that title edited by Channing with Frederick Lucian Hosmer*. It is a most unusual hymn; perhaps for that very reason it caught the eye of Percy...

Anastasia Van Burkalow

VAN BURKALOW, Anastasia. b. Buchanan, New York, 16 March 1911; d. Wantage, New Jersey, 14 January 2004. She was a hymn writer, hymnologist, geologist, and physical geographer. Born into a family with church music and teaching in its DNA, Burkalow pursued both with passion and dedication throughout her life. Her father, James Turley Van Burkalow (d. 1959) of Salisbury, Maryland, a second-generation Methodist minister, served churches throughout the Hudson Valley area and, after earning a PhD at...

George Burder

BURDER, George. b. London, 5 June 1752; d. 29 May 1832. Burder trained as an engraver, but became a preacher of the Calvinistic Methodist persuasion, and subsequently a pastor in Independent chapels. He served the Independent or Congregational chapels at Lancaster (1777-83), Coventry (1783-1800), and Fetter Lane, London (1800- ). He was a forceful promoter of evangelical activity: he was one of the founders of the Religious Tract Society, the London Missionary Society, and the British and...

Estonian Methodist hymnody

Lauluraamat Piiskoplikule Metodistikirikule Eestis (Tallinn, 1926; The Estonian Methodist Episcopal Hymnal). The Estonian Methodist Episcopal hymnal (cited as ESMEH 1926), like its Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts (see 'Lithuanian Methodist hymnody'* and 'Latvian Methodist hymnody'*), was strongly dependent on the Gesangbuch der Bischöflichen Methodisten Kirche in Deutschland und der Schweiz ('Hymnbook of the German and Swiss Methodist Episcopal Church', Bremen, 1896, cited as GBMK 1896). It...

Let earth and heaven combine

Let earth and heaven combine. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1744) in six 6-line stanzas. It was not included in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), but it appeared the 1831 edition with Supplement, with the omission of stanza 3: See in that Infant's Face  The Depths of Deity,And labour while ye gaze  To sound the Mystery:In vain; ye Angels gaze no more,But fall, and silently...

And didst thou love the race that loved not thee

And didst thou love the race that loved not thee? Jean Ingelow* (1820-1897). From Ingelow's Poems (1863). The hymn is an extract of five consecutive stanzas (72-76) of Part II of a long poem of 83 stanzas entitled 'Honours'. In it a scholar muses on his lack of academic success: he is full of doubt about the meaning of life, but finds the answer in the Incarnation. Filled with new hope, he offers up this prayer: And didst thou love the race that loved not Thee?  And didst Thou take to heaven...

Christ has risen while earth slumbers

Christ has risen while earth slumbers. John Bell (b. 1949) and Graham Maule* (1958-2019).  'Christ has risen' first appeared in the collection Enemy of Apathy: Songs of the Passion and the Resurrection, and the Coming of the Holy Spirit (1988), the second of three early volumes of songs developed with over a dozen dialogue partners in the Wild Goose Worship Group (WGWG). The collaborative creative process with the WGWG was evident in the production of the early volumes: they sought to prepare...

The Church's one foundation

The Church's one foundation. Samuel John Stone* (1839-1900). Written in 1866 when Stone was Curate of New Windsor and published in Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles' Creed (1866). This is aptly entitled 'The Holy Catholic Church: the Communion of Saints' and headed 'He is the Head of the Body, the Church'. The author composed this in tribute to the orthodoxy and steadfastness of Bishop Robert Gray of Cape Town at the height of the Colenso controversy. John...

Reginald Thomas Brooks

BROOKS, Reginald Thomas ('Peter'). b. Wandsworth, London, 30 June 1918; d. Harrow, Middlesex, 12 October 1985. He was a student at Mansfield College, Oxford. He was ordained into the Congregational ministry at Skipton, Yorkshire, later moving to Bradford, Yorkshire. In 1950 he joined the religious broadcasting department of the BBC. He is usually known as 'Peter Brooks', a name he preferred (see the Companion to RS, 1999, p. 764). Two of his hymns have become well known: 'O Christ the Lord, O...

Verborgne Gottes-liebe du

Verborgne Gottes-liebe du. Gerhard Tersteegen* (1697-1769). From Tersteegen's Geistliches Blumen-Gärtlein (1729), it was included in Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735). In 1729 it had ten stanzas, shortened to eight in the 1735 book (omitting verses 4 and 5), from which John Wesley* made his translation, 'Thou hidden love of God, whose height'*. In 1729 it was entitled 'Verlangen der Seelen, dem geheimen Zug der Liebe Gottes stille zu halten' ('The longing of the soul quietly to...

Book of Praise, The

The Book of Praise  (1862) This influential anthology of hymns was the work of Roundell Palmer*, a distinguished politician and man of letters. Its full title was The Book of Praise from the best English Hymn Writers. It was published by Macmillan in London and Cambridge in 1862. The frontispiece showed a picture of David with his harp, to emphasise the continuity of tradition between the great psalmist and contemporary hymn writers. The book was very successful, and there were many further...

Baptist hymnody, USA

Baptist hymnody, USA 17th and 18th Centuries Baptist beginnings in the American colonies occurred with the establishment of churches at Providence (1639) and Newport (1644), Rhode Island. By the end of the 17th century there were 24 churches, all but one of them located in New England or the middle colonies. These early congregations were principally formed by British immigrants and their song practices generally reflected those of Baptists in the Mother Country (see Baptist hymnody,...

Thomas Alexander Lacey

LACEY, Thomas Alexander. b. Nottingham, 20 December 1853; d. Worcester, 6 December 1931. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford (BA 1875, MA 1885), and took Holy Orders (deacon 1876, priest 1879). He was a good example of a schoolmaster-clergyman, teaching at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Wakefield (1876-78) and at Denstone College (1885-89). At other times (and sometimes concurrently) he held clerical appointments as curate of Westgate Common, Wakefield (1876-79), Counton,...

Roman Catholic hymnody, British

Before the Second Vatican Council English Catholic hymnody falls into two distinct phases: the era between the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 and the Second Vatican Council (1962-3) and the years between that time and the present day. In the first period Catholic hymnody had a distinctly different character from its Protestant counterparts, partly because of the history of the English Catholic community; but also because it served very different functions. Between 1559 and the First...

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended. John Ellerton* (1826-1893). This hymn was published in A Liturgy for Missionary Meetings (Frome: Hodges, 1870). It was revised for inclusion in Church Hymns in 1871, where stanza 1 line 4 was 'Thy praise shall hallow now our rest' and stanza 5 line 3 was 'But stand, and rule, and grow for ever'. It was revised again for Ellerton's Hymns Original and Translated (1888). The 1888 text was used when the hymn was printed in the Supplement (1889) to the Second...

Golden Bells

Golden Bells: Hymns for our Children (ca. 1890); Second Edition, 1925/26; Facsimile with Supplement, ca. 1960; Hymns of Faith, 1974. 'Golden Bells' is the title of a succession of hymnbooks for young people published by the Children's Special Service Mission. The CSSM itself was part of the Scripture Union, founded in 1867 by Josiah Spiers and Thomas Hughes to be an alternative to more formal Sunday Schools: in 1868, for example, it began 'beach missions' for children on holiday, and the...

Come sing, ye choirs exultant

Come sing, ye choirs exultant. Latin, 12th century, translated by Jackson Mason* (1833-1889) This is a translation of the Latin Sequence 'Plausu chorus laetabundo', thought to be by an imitator of Adam of St Victor* and dating from the 12th century. The Sequence had nine stanzas. The Latin text is printed in the note to the hymn in The Hymnal 1982 Companion, Volume 3A, pp. 467-8). Five 8-line stanzas (1-3, 8-9) were included in the Supplement (1889) to the Second Edition of A&M: 'Come...

Henry Alford

ALFORD, Henry. b. London, 10 October 1810; d. Canterbury, 12 January 1871. He was the son of the Revd Henry Alford. His mother died in giving birth to him, and he was brought up in the family of his uncle, the Revd Samuel Alford, near Taunton. He was educated at several schools and privately, and at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1832, MA 1835), where he knew, among others, Tennyson*, Arthur Hallam (whose early death is the subject of In Memoriam) and Christopher Wordsworth*. He took Holy...

Hark! ten thousand harps and voices

Hark! ten thousand harps and voices. Thomas Kelly* (1769-1855). According to JJ, p. 488, this was first published in Kelly's Hymns on Various Passages of Scripture (Second Edition, Dublin, 1806) in seven 6-line stanzas. It was headed 'Let all the Angels of God worship him. Heb. 1.6.': Hark ten thousand harps and voices,   Sound the note of praise above! Jesus reigns, and heav'n rejoices:   Jesus reigns the God of love: See, he sits on yonder throne; Jesus rules the world alone. Well may...

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle. Venantius Fortunatus* (ca. 540- early 7th century) translated by John Mason Neale* (1818–1866). This translation of Fortunatus's 'Pange lingua gloriosi proelium certaminis'* was printed in Neale's Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences (1851), with a note saying that the original text was 'in the very first class of Latin Hymns' and that it was 'retained, with a few ill-judged retouchings, in the Roman Breviary'. Neale's translation had 11 verses, faithfully...

Te Deum

Before the Reformation The 'Te Deum', or 'Te deum laudamus te dominum confitemur' is one of the most famous of Christian hymns, in use from the 6th century onwards. It was normally sung at matins on Sundays as the hymn before the gospel ('omni Sabbato ad matutinos'). There is a Greek version of the first ten verses (transliterated at JJ, p. 1120). There are several versions. JJ prints three in Latin, in addition to the Greek texts (pp. 1120-1): From the Bangor Antiphonary*, 'Ymnum in die...

Awake, my soul, to sound his praise

Awake, my soul, to sound his praise. Joel Barlow* (1754-1812).  Barlow 'corrected and enlarged' Isaac Watts*'s The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied to the Christian State and Worship (1719) at the request of the General Association of Connecticut (Congregational Church). His work was published in 1786 as Psalms carefully suited to the Christian Worship in the United States of America, being Dr. Watts's Imitation of the Psalms of David, as improved by...

USA hymnody, music

Psalmody in the 17th and 18th Centuries The early settlers of the British North American colonies—including the Anglicans of Jamestown, the Pilgrims and Puritans of Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the French and Dutch of New Amsterdam—generally relied upon Genevan and/or English psalm tunes for the musical settings of their congregational singing. These tunes were mostly sung from memory, aided by the lining-out process (see Scottish Psalter* and Lining out* for a description of...

Christian Reformed Church in North America

Hymnody and Hymnals of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) is an offshoot of the Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk in the Netherlands, and the Reformed Church in America (RCA), which was established in North America about two centuries before the arrival of the Dutch who would form the core of the CRC. Whereas the RCA grew out of a 17th-century emigration at a time when the Dutch were engaged with the world, prosperous, and...

Sequence

Sequence is a Latin medieval chant sung after the Alleluia* of the Mass on feast days and, like the Alleluia, not usually sung in Lent. The Latin term 'sequentia' appears to derive from the function of the chant as one which 'follows' the Alleluia, after the pattern: (i) Alleluia incipit, (ii) Alleluia jubilus, (iii) Verse, (iv) Alleluia incipit, (v) Sequence. But it is not certain if this was the original or authentic order of performance, or if it was universally practised. Sequences are...

The royal banners forward go

The royal banners forward go. Venantius Fortunatus* (ca. 540-early 7th century), translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is a translation of the Latin hymn, 'Vexilla Regis prodeunt'*, written to celebrate the reception of the fragment of the true cross at Poitiers. It appeared in Neale's Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences (1851) in five stanzas, followed by two more in square brackets: [O Cross, our one reliance, hail! This holy Passiontide, avail To give fresh merit to the Saint, And...

Methodist hymnody, British

British Methodist Hymnody During the time of John Wesley John Wesley* and Charles Wesley* sang hymns in the Holy Club which Charles had founded at Oxford in 1729, of which John became the acknowledged leader on his return there later in the same year. They would have used traditional English psalm tunes (see Leaver, 1996, p. 31). However, their interest in the potential of hymns as important aids to worship and spirituality developed strongly on the ship that took them to America in 1735-36....

Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old

Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old. Edward Hayes Plumptre* (1821-1891). Plumptre was chaplain of King's College, London, from 1847 to 1868, and the hymn was written in June 1867 for use in the chapel of King's College Hospital. It was first published on a fly-sheet, and appeared in the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M. It was included in some editions of the author's Lazarus and other poems though not, as sometimes stated, the edition of 1865. Since then, it has become one of the...

With happy voices ringing

With happy voices ringing. William George Tarrant* (1853-1928). This hymn for children is dated 1888 in most books. The first line is often printed as 'With happy voices singing'. It was included in the revised edition (1902) of The Essex Hall Hymnal (Unitarian) and subsequently became Tarrant's best known hymn in the USA. It had three stanzas: With happy voices ringing,   Thy children, Lord, appear, Their joyous praises bringing   In anthems sweet and clear. For skies of golden splendour,  ...

Environment, hymns of

The word 'environment' can be understood in very many different ways. In its most general sense it can mean all that surrounds us, particularly the natural world with its trees, mountains, plains and seas. Of course the idea of 'environment' can equally be applied to urban surroundings, to our homes and indeed to the universe as a whole. Throughout the history of hymn writing, hymn writers have responded to the many facets of the term. In recent times, human beings have become more conscious...

GRESFORD

GRESFORD is the name of a British hymn tune without words, to be played (usually by a brass band) while the congregation are silent in memory of a tragic event. It was written in the north-east of England in 1936 to commemorate the name of Gresford colliery at Wrexham (Wrecsam), North Wales, where there was a mining disaster in September 1934, when 266 miners were killed in an underground explosion. It was composed by Robert Saint (b. Hebburn, South Tyneside, 20 November 1905; d. 15 December...

Magnificat

This is the name given to the song of Mary in St Luke's Gospel (1: 46-55), which begins in the Vulgate 'Magnificat anima mea Dominum'. It is a song of thanks and praise, with particular emphasis on God's favour to the poor and lowly ('for he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden', verse 48) and his commitment to social justice ('he hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts', verse 51, and 'he hath put down the mighty from their...

Philippine hymnody

This entry is by Francisco F. Feliciano, apart from one section by Arnel de Pano Before the 20th Century Spain colonized the Philippines in the 16th century, and the Catholic faith with Latin liturgy was introduced to the Filipinos. For the next 400 years, the music of the liturgy was western: Gregorian chants, polyphonic masses and motets, and hymns in Latin. By the 20th century, the Latin liturgy, however, had proved inadequate to express the Catholic faith of the native Filipino....

Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist

Komm, Gott Schöpfer, heiliger Geist. Martin Luther* (1483-1546). This is Luther's version of the 'Veni creator spiritus'*, possibly by Hrabanus Maurus*. It was first published in Eyn Enchiridion oder Handbuchlein (Erfurt, 1524). The seven stanzas follow the Latin carefully, though changing the order of stanzas 3 and 4. The image of the Holy Ghost as the finger of God's right hand ('Dextrae Dei tu digitus', Latin verse 3) is now 'der fynger an Gotts rechter hand' (German stanza 4); and Luther's...

Henry Williams Baker

BAKER, (Sir) Henry Williams. b. London, 27 May 1821; d. Monkland, Herefordshire, 12 February 1877. The son of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Loraine Baker and Louisa Anne Williams (from whose family came his second forename), he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1844, MA, 1847). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1844, priest 1846), and after serving a curacy at Great Horkesley, Essex, he was presented to the living of Monkland, Herefordshire in 1851. He succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of...

Come, sound his praise abroad

  Come, sound his praise abroad. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748).  This is Watts's Short Metre paraphrase of Psalm 95 in The Psalms of David imitated in the language of the New Testament, and apply'd to the Christian State and Worship (1719). It was entitled 'Psalm XCV. Short Metre. A Psalm before Sermon.' Watts also wrote a CM and an LM version. The customary text in hymnals is one of three or four stanzas, corresponding to verses 1-7 of the Psalm. In 1719 the stanzas were as follows:  Come sound...

Lois Clara Kroehler

KROEHLER, Lois Clara. b. Saint Louis, Missouri, 9 September 1927; d. Bremerton, Washington, 3 August 2019. Missionary, translator, music teacher, hymn writer, and hymnal editor, Lois Kroehler lived in Belleville, Illinois, Ft. Collins, Colorado, and Lyman, Nebraska during her childhood. She graduated from the University of Nebraska (1949) with a major in Spanish and went immediately to Cuba upon graduation to serve as an English language secretary for the Cuban Director of Presbyterian Schools...

Edward Shippen Barnes

BARNES, Edward Shippen. b. Seabright, New Jersey, 14 September 1887; d. Idyllwild, California, 14 February 1958. Distinguished organist, composer and author, Barnes attended Lawrenceville Academy, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (BA 1910) where he studied music theory and composition with Horatio William Parker* and organ with Harry B. Jepson (1870-1952). During the next two years he attended the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he studied organ with Abel...

O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother

O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother. John Greenleaf Whittier* (1807-1892). This is taken from Whittier's poem, 'Worship', first published in The Opal: A Pure Gift for the Holy Days, edited by John Keese and John Chapman (New York, 1848). The first line of the poem is 'The Pagan's myths through marble lips are spoken', and the poem is dated 1848. In fifteen 4-line stanzas, it was written during the disquiet felt by many at the American-Mexican War of 1846-48 (Rogal, 2010, pp. 57-60)....

O worship the King, All-glorious above

O worship the King, All-glorious above. Sir Robert Grant* (1780-1838). First published in Edward Bickersteth*'s Christian Psalmody (1833), then in Henry Venn Elliott's Psalms and Hymns for Public, Private and Social Worship (1835); and again in the collection of Grant's hymns and poems published by his brother Charles Grant, Lord Glenelg* after Robert's death, entitled Sacred Poems. By the late Right Hon. Sir Robert Grant (1839). Alterations were made to the text for publication in The Hymnal...

Fred Pratt Green

GREEN, Fred(erick) Pratt. b. Roby, near Liverpool, 2 September 1903; d. Norwich, 22 October 2000. He was educated at Huyton High School, Wallasey Grammar School and Rydal School, before training for the Methodist ministry at Didsbury College, Manchester. It was here that he wrote Farley Goes Out, a missionary play performed widely, and the forerunner of twelve further plays both secular and religious. Ordained in 1928, Pratt Green wrote his first hymn, 'God lit a flame in Bethlehem' and a...

O Saviour of the world, we pray

O Saviour of the world, we pray. Latin, 12th or 13th century, translated by William John Copeland* (1804-1885). This hymn for Compline originally began 'O Saviour of the world forlorn'. It was based on the Latin hymn, probably of the 12th or 13th century, 'Salvator mundi Domine'*. It was printed in Copeland's Hymns for the Week, and Hymns for the Seasons. Translated from the Latin (1848). It was entitled 'Compline Hymn for the Nativity'. In the First Edition of A&M it was considerably...

Johann Walter

WALTER, Johann. b. Kahla ( ?), 1496 ; d. Torgau, 25 March 1570. He was possibly born in Kahla (Thüringen). After studying at the Latin schools in Kahla and Rochlitz (Saxony), Walter matriculated at the University of Leipzig in 1517, where he may have had personal contact with Georg Rhau*, cantor at the Thomaskirche at the time. By 1521 he was a bass in the court chapel of Friedrich the Wise, Elector of Saxony, although this was disbanded in 1525 following the Elector's death. In 1525, Walter...

Thomas Benson Pollock

POLLOCK, Thomas Benson. b. Strathallan House, Isle of Man, 28 May 1836; d. Bordesley, Birmingham, 15 December 1896. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1859, MA 1863), and took Holy Orders (deacon 1861, priest 1862). He was curate of St Luke's Church, Leek, Staffordshire (1861-63) and of St Thomas', Stamford Hill, Middlesex (1863-65) before moving to Holy Trinity, Bordesley, Birmingham, where his brother, James Samuel Pollock (1834-1895, Trinity College, Dublin; deacon 1858, priest...

Brethren, we have met to worship

Brethren, we have met to worship. George Askins* (d. 1816).  Recent research by Richard Hulan* has clarified the authorship of this hymn and its early sources. Credit for the first printing goes to John J. Harrod who included it in his Social and Camp-Meeting Hymns for the Pious (Baltimore, 1817), a year after Askins' death (Steel and Hulan, 2010, p. 67). It is possible that it was published in an earlier collection during Askins' lifetime, but this cannot be verified. In a parallel course of...

Shackled by a heavy burden (He touched me)

Shackled by a heavy burden (He touched me). Bill Gaither* (1936- ) and Gloria Gaither* (1942- ).  Known primarily by its refrain, 'He touched me' was composed in 1963 soon after the couple's wedding in 1962. While not their first song, 'He touched me' was the first of several early songs that defined their career, including 'Because he lives' (1971), 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name' (1970), and 'The King is coming' (1970). Though the songs were recorded by many...

Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

ZINZENDORF, Nikolaus Ludwig von. b. Dresden, 26 May 1700; d. Herrnhut, 9 May 1760. He was raised in the home of his Pietist maternal grandmother, Henriette von Gersdorf and educated at the Pietist School (Paedagogium) at Halle and the University of Wittenberg. Although forced to study law, his true vocation was theology, and his association with the Bohemian Brethren beginning in 1722 led him to ordination in the Lutheran Church and consecration as a Moravian bishop in 1737. He was of noble...

Francis Alan Jackson

JACKSON, Francis Alan. b. Malton, North Yorkshire, 2 October 1917. Francis Jackson received his musical education as a chorister at York Minster under Sir Edward Bairstow* whose articled pupil he subsequently became, obtaining the diplomas of the Royal College of Organists and the external degree of BMus of Durham University. After service in the Second World War he returned to the Minster as Bairstow's assistant only weeks before Bairstow's death on 1 May 1946, being appointed his successor in...

Vicente Mendoza

MENDOZA, Vicente Polanco. b. Guadalajara, Mexico, 24 December 1875; d. Mexico City, 14 June 1955. Methodist evangelist, hymn writer, and translator, he was acclaimed by many as the leading evangelist in Mexican Methodism of his generation, and the author of some of the most beloved hymns from this era in the Spanish language. Vicente P. Mendoza should not be confused with two others of his generation with a similar name: Vicente T. Mendoza (1894-1964), a Mexican Methodist musicologist,...

Samuel Ralph Harlow

HARLOW, Samuel Ralph. b. Boston, Massachusetts, 20 July 1885; d. Northampton, Massachusetts, 21 August 1972. Harlow was ordained in the Congregational Church. He received his education at Harvard (BA) and Columbia (M.A.) Universities as well as Hartford Theological Seminary (PhD). Early in his career, Harlow served as a teacher and chaplain at the International College, Smyrna, Turkey. During World War I he was the religious director of the YMCA in France as a part of the American Expeditionary...

Fortem virili pectore

Fortem virili pectore.  Silvio Antoniano* (1540-1603), translated by various hands. This was from the revision of the Roman Breviary, commissioned by Pope Clement VIII, and published in Venice in 1603, the year of Antoniano's death. It was included by John Henry Newman* in Hymni Ecclesiae (1838), for the many virtuous women, who were neither virgins nor martyrs ('Commune Sanctae Martyris Tantum, et nec Virginis nec Martyris') as a hymn for Vespers. It was translated by Edward Caswall* and...

Stand the omnipotent decree

Stand the omnipotent decree. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).  From Hymns for the Year 1756. Particularly for the Fast-Day, February 6 (1756). It was included by John Wesley* in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) in the section entitled 'Describing Judgment'. In 1756 February 6 was proclaimed a National Fast Day, following the disasters of 1755: the beginning of the Seven Years' War with France, a bad harvest, and the Lisbon earthquake on 1 November...

Charles Lockhart

LOCKHART, Charles. b. London (?), ca. 1738; d. Lambeth, London, 9 February 1815. Little is known of Lockhart's early life, and his place of birth is unknown, though it may have been London, where he lived for most of his life. He was a blind organist, who held several appointments in London, some of them simultaneously. The longest-held was at St Katherine Cree, Leadenhall Street, where he was organist from 1766 until his death. He was also organist of St Mary's Parish Church, Lambeth, from...

How like a gentle spirit

How like a gentle spirit. C. Eric Lincoln* (1924-2000). Written in 1987 for UMH in response to an invitation from the texts subcommittee, sent to thirteen poets 'to submit hymns using alternatives to the traditional repertory of metaphors and images of God' (Young, 1993, p. 411). It was entitled 'Let God be God' (stanza 2 begins 'Let God be God wherever life may be'). Among the fine images for God are 'God like a mother eagle hovers near' (stanza 3) and 'God is the sculptor, we the broken...

Joseph Grigg

GRIGG, Joseph. b. ca. 1720; d Walthamstow, 29 October 1768. The son of poor parents, he left his trade in 1743 to become the Assistant Minister to Thomas Bures at the Presbyterian Chapel at Silver Street in London. In 1747, the year Bures died, he left the ministry. He married the wealthy widow of an Army officer and moved to St Albans in Hertfordshire. His health appears not to have been good and his neighbour Thomas Greene in his elegy on Grigg's death refers to 'his old complaint' of 'Alas,...

Leith Fisher

FISHER, (Malcolm) Leith. b. Greenock, Renfrewshire 7 April 1941, d. Glasgow, 13 March 2009. Educated at Greenock Academy, he studied Arts and Divinity at the University of Glasgow 1959-65 (MA, BD), and received a Diploma in Pastoral Studies from Birmingham University (1965-66). He was licensed by the Presbytery of Greenock, May 1965. On 18 January 1967 he was ordained by the Presbytery of Glasgow while assistant minister (1966-68) at Govan Old Parish Church, the church from which in 1938 George...

Georgiana Fullerton

FULLERTON, (Lady) Georgiana Charlotte (née Leveson-Gower). b. Tixhall Hall, Staffordshire, 23 September 1812; d. Bournemouth, Hampshire, 19 January 1885. The Leveson-Gower family was a distinguished one: her father later became Earl Granville; her mother was Lady Harriet Cavendish. Her father was appointed Ambassador to Paris in 1824. She married Alexander George Fullerton, an attaché at the embassy, in 1833. In 1843 he became a Roman Catholic; she followed in 1846, after her father's...

James Merrick

MERRICK, James. b. Reading, Berkshire, 8 January 1720; d. Reading, 5 January 1769. Educated at Reading School and Trinity College, Oxford (BA 1739, MA 1742) he was ordained and became a Probationer Fellow of Trinity College in 1744 and a full Fellow in 1745. Although he was ordained, he had no parochial duties, and retired to Reading, ca. 1749, where he interested himself in the welfare of the soldiers in the garrison and the debtors in the gaol. He died there after a long illness. Merrick was...

Once to every man and nation

Once to every man and nation. James Russell Lowell* (1819-1891) and William Garrett Horder* (1841-1922). This hymn is based on Lowell's poem entitled 'The Present Crisis'. In The Writings of James Russell Lowell (1890) it was dated 'December 1844' (a year earlier than is usually stated). It consists of 90 lines of 15 syllables each, beginning 'When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast/ Runs a thrill of joy prophetic…'. It was written to oppose the war of the...

William Pierson Merrill

MERRILL, William Pierson. b. East Orange, New Jersey, 10 January 1867; d. New York, 19 June 1954. Merrill was educated at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey (BA 1887, MA 1890), and Union Theological Seminary in New York City (BD 1890), where he also served as organist. He was bass soloist in the professional quartet at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, and a music consultant for the Presbyterian Hymnal (1895) to which he contributed four tunes. Merrill was pastor of Presbyterian...

O thou who gavest power to love

O thou who gavest power to love. Mandell Creighton* (1843-1901). This is thought to be Creighton's only hymn. It was sung at the wedding of Sarah Lyttelton and J.C. Bailey on 26 April 1900 at St Margaret's Westminster: O thou who gavest power to love  That we might fix our hearts on thee,Preparing us for joys above  By that which heaven on earth we see: Thy Spirit trains our souls to know  The growing purpose of thy will,And gives to love the power to show  That purpose growing larger...

Bill Gaither

Gaither, Bill (William James). b. Alexandria, Indiana, 28 March 1936. Gaither was one of four children of the marriage of George W. (1913-2005) and Lela (née Hartwell) (1914-2001). The farming family attended the Church of God in Alexandria, a restoration group with Wesleyan holiness roots headquartered in Anderson, Indiana, (not related to Pentecostal denominations with the same name). Early on Gaither studied piano and organ, 'performing wherever he could in recitals and as an accompanist'...

In Christ alone my hope is found

In Christ alone my hope is found. Keith Getty* (1974- ) and Stuart Townend* (1963- ). Written in 2001, this was the first collaboration by Keith Getty not only with Stuart Townend, but with any other writer. It is the duo's most popular hymn, holding the number one position in the United Kingdom Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) rankings in 2006 and remaining in the top 25 songs as of 2019.  Townend gives the following account of the song's origins:  Keith and I met in the...

While Thee I seek, protecting Power

While Thee I seek, protecting Power. Helen Maria Williams* (1759-1827). This was from Williams's Poems (1786), in which it was entitled 'Hymn':  While thee I seek, protecting Power! Be my vain wishes still'd; And may this consecrated hour With better hopes be fill'd. Thy love the powers of thought bestow'd, To thee my thoughts would soar; Thy mercy o'er my life has flow'd- That mercy I adore. In each event of life, how clear, Thy ruling hand I see; Each blessing to my soul more dear,...

New Zealand hymnody

See also 'New Zealand hymnbooks'*. The history of New Zealand Pakeha (non-Maori) hymnology begins on Christmas Day, 1841, with a service of worship conducted in the presence of a largely Maori congregation by the Reverend Samuel Marsden (1765-1838) representing the Church of England's Church Missionary Society. Marsden himself led the singing of Psalm 100, to Loys Bourgeois*' tune known in England as the OLD HUNDREDTH. The Anglican presence in the new colony-to-be was followed by the arrival of...

Camp meeting hymns and songs, USA

Camp Meeting Hymns and Songs, USA Since the publication of George Pullen Jackson*'s groundbreaking and provocative White Spirituals from the Southern Uplands (Chapel Hill, 1933), a considerable body of hymnological and musicological literature has accumulated on the folk hymnody of early America. In much of that secondary literature it is presupposed that a key component of this hymnic corpus is the camp-meeting 'chorus'. This sub-genre is typically constructed from wandering rhyme pairs or...

Isaac Williams

WILLIAMS, Isaac. b. Cwmcynfelin, near Aberystwyth, 12 December 1802; d. Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire, 1 May 1865. The son of a barrister-at-law, he was educated at Harrow School (1817-21) and Trinity College, Oxford (after periods of ill-health, he took a Pass rather than an Honours degree: BA 1826, MA 1831). As an undergraduate he was befriended and encouraged by John Keble*. He became a Fellow of Trinity College (1831) and took Holy Orders, becoming Newman*'s curate at the University Church...

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

GILLETTE, Carolyn Winfrey. b. Harrisonburg, Virginia, 28 May 1961. Hymn writer and ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Raised, baptized, and confirmed in the United Methodist Church, she earned a bachelor's degree in religion from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania before going on to receive her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1985). She was ordained in 1986. Gillette has served at churches in New Jersey and Delaware, and as a hospital and hospice...

Ottiwell Heginbothom

HEGINBOTHOM, Ottiwell. b. 1744; d. 1768. JJ notes that he was for a short time pastor of a nonconformist congregation at Sudbury, Suffolk, where some of the congregation left and built another chapel. This 'so preyed upon his mind, and affected his health, that his pastorate terminated with his death within three years of his appointment' (p. 506). Samuel Willoughby Duffield, writing before JJ, suggests that he may have been the son of another Ottiwell Heginbothom mentioned in The Life and...

How blest the sacred tie that binds

How blest the sacred tie that binds. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1742-1825).  This was entitled 'Pious Friendship'. It was written, when Barbauld and her husband were living in Suffolk, for the marriage of Sarah Rigby and Caleb Parry at Palgrave in October 1778. Parry was a graduate of the Warrington Academy (McCarthy and Kraft, 1994, p. 274). The hymn was published in Barbauld's Poems (1792):  How blest the sacred tie that binds In union sweet according minds! How swift the heavenly course they...

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing. Brian Arthur Wren* (1936- ). Written in April 1968, to be sung on Easter Day, ten days after the assassination of Martin Luther King: 'The hymn tried to express an Easter hope out of that terrible event, in words which could hopefully be more widely applied' (Faith Renewed, 1995, note to hymn 1). It was revised three times (1978, 1988-89, 1993). The first revision removed the 'he/man' images ('His cross stands empty to the sky') and the original imagery...

German hymnody

This account is in two parts: German Hymnody to the end of the 19th century, by J.R. Watson ; German Hymnody in the 20th century, by Cornelia Kück. The Appendix is by J.R. Watson. Introduction 'German hymnody surpasses all others in wealth.' This is the opening sentence of the article on the topic in JJ (p. 412), and there is no reason to question it, certainly with regard to the modern period (Latin hymnody has an equal claim if all ages of Christian hymnody are under consideration). The...

Jesus, thou divine companion

Jesus, thou divine companion. Henry van Dyke* (1852-1933). The first version of this hymn comes from Van Dyke's celebrated poem, The Toiling of Felix, printed in The Toiling of Felix, and Other Poems (New York, 1898). The sub-title of this was 'A Legend on a new saying of Jesus'. The 'new saying' was 'Raise the stone, and thou shalt find me; cleave the wood, and there am I' (from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas). It had four sections, entitled 'The Vision','The Student', 'The Hermit', 'The...

All beautiful the march of days

All beautiful the march of days. Frances Whitmarsh Wile* (1878-1939). According to Henry Wilder Foote, American Unitarian Hymn Writers and Hymns (Cambridge, Mass., 1959) (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/53833/53833-h/53833-h.htm), this was written ca. 1907 in Rochester with the help of her pastor, William Channing Gannett*. It had three stanzas: All beautiful the march of days,   As seasons come and go; The hand that shaped the rose hath wrought   The crystal of the snow; Hath sent the hoary...

O Lord, be with us when we sail

O Lord, be with us when we sail. Edward Arthur Dayman* (1807-1890). Written in 1865, it was published in The Sarum Hymnal (1868), edited by Dayman with Horatio Bolton Nelson* and James Russell Woodford*. In this version it had twelve stanzas, consisting of a 'General Heading', three short parts, and a doxology to be sung after each part: To Thee the Father, Thee the Son,   Whom earth and sky adore, And Spirit, moving on the deep,   Be praise for evermore. It was rapidly picked up by other...

I was there to hear your borning cry

I was there to hear your borning cry ('Borning Cry'). John Ylvisaker* (1937-2017). Ylvisaker was the author of the text and composer of the music. The following narrative from the author's website described the circumstances surrounding the composition of this song: During 1985, the ALC [American Lutheran Church] was doing a series on baptism called 'Reflections'. John began work on the song before any footage for the video had been shot. When the media team met to put the music with the...

Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen

Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen. Paul Gerhardt* (1607-1676). First published in Johann Crüger*and Christoph Runge*'s D.M. Luthers und andere vornehmen geistreichen und gelehrten Männer geistliche Lieder und Psalmen (Berlin, 1653) (the 'Crüger-Runge Gesangbuch) in twelve 8-line stanzas, all of which are found in EG in the 'Angst und Vertrauen' ('anxiety and trust') section (EG 370). It is an expansion of Psalm 73: 23, 'Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right...

Again the Lord of life and light

Again the Lord of life and light. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1743-1825).  First published in her friend William Enfield*'s Hymns for Public Worship: selected from various authors, and intended as a supplement to Dr Watts's Psalms (Warrington, 1772), where it was entitled 'For Easter-Sunday'. It appeared in Barbauld's Poems (1773), as 'Hymn III', with the same title. It had eleven stanzas.  Many different selections from the eleven stanzas have been made, beginning with William Bengo...

They come from the east and west

They come from the east and west. Thoro Harris* (1874–1955). This gospel hymn, 'They Come', first appeared in Harris' convention collection Revival Praise: Erikson Campaign Special (Chicago, 1917), where he is listed as the translator of a German text. The first musical score available in Hymnary.org is in Soul Inspiring Songs (1929), edited by R.E. Winsett (1876–1952), with the tune by Russell DeKoven, Harris's pseudonym. This collection indicates that the text is Harris' translation of 'Sie...

West Gallery music

'West Gallery music' has become the accepted name for a distinctive kind of sacred music that developed in rural England and flourished in Britain and its colonies from ca. 1700 to the late 19th century. Unlike the music of cathedrals and collegiate churches, it was written for, and frequently by, people with no formal training in music, who followed local traditional practice and their own instincts in performance and composition. Because organs were rare (and harmoniums not invented), from...

F. Bland Tucker

TUCKER, Francis Bland. b. Norfolk, Virginia, 6 January 1895; d. Savannah, Georgia, 1 January 1984. The son of an Episcopalian Church bishop, he was educated at school in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (BA 1914). After service with the Medical Corps in World War I, he trained for the priesthood at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria (BD, 1920, h. c. DD, 1942). He was ordained (deacon 1918, priest 1920), serving parishes at Brunswick County, Virginia...

Lord of glory, Who hast bought us

Lord of glory, Who hast bought us. Elizabeth Sibbald Alderson* (1818-1889). Written in 1864, and submitted to the committee for the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M. It was included in the section entitled 'Almsgiving'. Alderson asked the committee to agree that the tune could be written by her brother, John Bacchus Dykes*. It was accepted for the Appendix; the tune was called CHARITAS, an odd coinage (one would expect CARITAS) from the last word of the final verse (5). The...

Greville Phillimore

PHILLIMORE, Greville. b. London, 5 February 1821; d. Ewelme, Oxfordshire,  20 January 1884. He was the son of Joseph Phillimore, Regius Professor of Civil Law, of Shiplake House, Henley-on-Thames. He was educated at Westminster School and then, as 'An Exhibitioner on the Foundation' at the Charter House, before studying at Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1842, MA 1844). He took Holy Orders in 1845, and served curacies at Henley-on-Thames (1846), Shiplake (1847-48), Wargrave and Fawley (1848-49), and...

Sound the Bamboo

Sound the Bamboo: CCA Hymnal (2000). The CCA Hymnal was published in 1963 by the East Asia Christian Conference, hence the original title EACC Hymnal. The text editor was Dr Daniel Thambyrajah Niles*, one of the founding fathers of the EACC and then the General Secretary, a famous theologian, a prolific writer and poet. The music editor was Professor John Kelly, then an American Missionary in Japan. The EACC Hymnal contained 200 hymns, among which 97 were written by Asians and 103 were...

Jesus, my Saviour, full of grace

Jesus, my Saviour, full of grace. Benjamin Ingham* (1712-1772).  This hymn appeared in the Inghamite hymnal, A Collection of Hymns for the Use of Those that seek, and Those that have Redemption in the Blood of Christ (Kendal, 1757), known as the 'Kendal Hymn Book'. It had six stanzas:  Jesus, the Saviour of my soul,  Be Thou my heart's delight;Remain the same to me always,  My joy by day and night.  Hungry and thirsty after Thee,  May I be found each hour; Humble in heart, and happy kept  ...

Frederick Lucian Hosmer

HOSMER, Frederick Lucian. b. Framingham, Massachusetts, 16 October 1840; d. Berkeley, California, 7 June 1929. Following graduation from Harvard (BA, 1862) he served for two years as headmaster of Houghton School, Bolton, Mass. He attended Harvard Divinity School (BD 1869), and in the same year he was ordained into the Unitarian ministry. He served the First Congregational Church at Northboro, Massachusetts (1870-72), and the Second Congregational Church, Quincy, Illinois (1872-77); and other...

Charismatic hymnody

Christian charismatic communities and churches are extremely diverse in their theology and ecclesiology. This analysis will be mainly focused on material emanating from John Wimber*'s Vineyard Churches, the 'Toronto Blessing' movement, and the like. They have been chosen because of their pre-eminent status in contemporary Charismatic Renewal: their songs have affected styles and concepts in worship that have touched virtually every denomination in every corner of the globe. Wimber, indeed,...

Here, O Lord, your servants gather

Here, O Lord, your servants gather.  Tokuo Yamaguchi* (1900-1995), translated by Everett M. Stowe (1897-1979).  This hymn was composed for the 14th World Council of Christian Education Convention, held in 1958 in Japan. It was first published in the convention's program booklet, Christian Shimpo (Christian Faith, 1958), and included in the section on the church's 'Nature and Unity'. It then appeared in Hymns of the Church (Tokyo, 1963) published by the United Church of Christ in Japan. The...

Samuel Augustus Ward

WARD, Samuel Augustus.  b. Newark, New Jersey, 28 December 1847; d. Newark, New Jersey, 28 September 1903.  Ward composed MATERNA, found in most American hymnals with Katharine L. Bates*'s poem 'O beautiful for spacious skies'*, also known as 'America the beautiful.' Ward's parents were George S. Ward (1822?-1900), a shoemaker, and Abbie Ann (née Tichenor) Ward (1824?-1894).  Possibly Ward studied music at an early age in New York City, and some accounts name pianist Jan Pychowski (1818-1900)...

John Pike Hullah

HULLAH, John Pike. b. Worcester, 27 June 1812; d. London, 21 February 1884. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music (1833-35). He wrote an opera, The Village Coquettes (1836), to a libretto by Charles Dickens. He studied singing at Paris, and taught many thousands of pupils by the continental 'fixed-doh' method, a system that was superseded by John Curwen*'s moveable 'doh' method, the popular 'Tonic Sol-fa'*. For a time, however, his influence was important. As Nicholas Temperley* has pointed...

Friedrich Adolf Krummacher

KRUMMACHER, Friedrich Adolf (or Adolph). b. Tecklenburg, Westphalia, 13 July 1767; d. Bremen, 4 April 1845. The son of the Burgomaster of Tecklenburg, he was the father of Friedrich Wilhelm Krummacher*, and grandfather of Cornelius Friedrich Adolf Krummacher*. He was educated at Lingen and at the University of Halle (1787-89). He was a private tutor in Bremen, and then con-rector of the Gymnasium at Hamm (1790-93). He was rector of the Gymnasium at Mörs (1793-1800), where his son Friedrich...

Albert (William Thomas) Orsborn

ORSBORN, Albert (William Thomas). b. Maidstone, Kent, 4 September 1886; d. Boscombe, Hampshire, 4 February 1967. He was the son of Salvation Army officers who had helped to pioneer Army work in Norway in 1888; he became one of the Army's most significant writers of congregational song in the 20th century.  His early efforts at writing poetry, as a junior clerk, aged about 15, were despised by his office manager, but were encouraged by the editors of The War Cry, the Salvationist newspaper,...

If it had not been for the Lord

If it had not been for the Lord ('Where would I be'). Margaret Pleasant Douroux* (1941- )  Of the 300 songs written by Margaret Pleasant Douroux, two of her signature compositions are 'Give me a clean heart'* (1970) and 'If it had not been for the Lord' ('Where would I be') (1980). The latter song is inspired directly by African American experience in the United States and from the psalter. Compare the eight verses of Psalm 124 with the refrain and first stanza of Douroux's song: If it...

Praise the source of faith and learning

Praise the source of faith and learning. Thomas Troeger* (1945- ). From New Hymns for the Church: to make our prayer and music one (New York and Oxford, 1992), reprinted in Borrowed Light (1994). It was commissioned by Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, to be a hymn on its motto, 'Faith and Learning'. It is in four 8-line verses, based on Proverbs 2:6, in which 'the Lord gives wisdom'. It emphasizes not only the importance of faith and scholarship, but also the need for humility before...

Rejoice in the Lord (1985)

Rejoice in the Lord: A Hymnal Companion to the Scriptures (1985) The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America (see Reformed hymnody, USA*) appointed a committee in 1980 to prepare a new hymnal for the denomination. The committee secured the services of Erik Routley*as its editor. Routley's career had involved many components: clergyman, teacher, theologian, author, composer, hymn writer, editorial consultant and member of hymnal committees, and long association with the hymn societies...

I don't know about tomorrow

I don't know about tomorrow. Ira Forest Stanphill* (1914-1993). Written in 1950 during the break-up of Stanphill's first marriage, and published in one of Stanphill's 'Hymntime' publications (later sold to Zondervan and now copyrighted under the Singspiration imprint). It is a hymn of trust in God, that has evidently comforted many people, with its message that 'I don't know about tomorrow/ I just live from day to day'. It uses homely phrases, such as the skies turning to grey, and the climbing...

Guy Warrack

WARRACK, Guy (Douglas Hamilton). b. Edinburgh, 8 February 1900; d. London, 12 February 1986. He studied at Winchester College, Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Royal College of Music (with Ralph Vaughan Williams* and Adrian Boult, and where he was on the teaching staff, 1925-35). He conducted the BBC Scottish Orchestra (1936-45) and Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet (1948-51). He composed Variations for Orchestra (1924), an 'Edinburgh' Symphony (1932), Divertimento Pasticciato (1938), songs, a Te...

Free at last

Free at last. African American spiritual*.  The concept of freedom is integral the theology of the spirituals according to liberation theologian James H. Cone (1936-2018):  The divine liberation of the oppressed from slavery is the central theological concept in the black spirituals. These songs show that black slaves did not believe that human servitude was reconcilable with their African past and their knowledge of the Christian gospel. They did not believe that God created Africans to be...

Guthrie Foote

FOOTE, Guthrie. b. Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 15 January 1897; d. 11 January 1972. He studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music and (after war service in the Great War) conducting at the Royal College of Music. He was conductor of the Carl Rosa Opera Company before joining the music department of Oxford University Press, where he later took charge of the publication of hymnbooks and worship books. He was music editor of Infant Praise (1964): the Press copy (in the Pratt Green Collection, Durham...

Christian popular music, USA

Christian popular music, USA Introduction and antecedents Christian popular music (hereafter CPM) is an umbrella category for a sonically diverse repertoire of late 20th- and early 21st-century evangelical Protestant commercial popular music. It encompasses several distinct subcategories based on musical genre, industrial context, or function, including, but not limited to, Jesus Music, Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), Praise & Worship music, and Christian rock. CPM is characterized by...

Egbert Foster Horner

HORNER, Egbert Foster. b. Greenwich, London, 11 February 1864; d. Paddington, London, 8 October 1928. He was a pupil of Frederick Bridge* at the Royal College of Music. He taught harmony and counterpoint at Trinity College, London, where he was Director of Examinations (1917-27). He was also an external examiner for Durham and Birmingham Universities. He was organist of St Alphege's, Southwark (1884-86), of St Barnabas', Tunbridge Wells (1886-90), St John's Westminster (1890-1919), and Holy...

Jazz and congregational song, USA

  Jazz is a unique type of 20th-century music created by African Americans characterized by melodic variation, the use of 'blue notes', syncopated rhythms, extended and altered harmonies, improvisation by the performers, and an open-sounding timbre. Initially, jazz was the music of the dance hall and club, but it gradually gained acceptance in the church. Jazz used in worship now includes keyboard, instrumental, and choral music, as well as accompaniments of sung liturgies and congregational...

Unitarian hymnody, British

The group of British churches which collectively came to be known as Unitarian have been characterized by significant and continuous developments in their theological positions, moving from an broadly Arian position at the beginning of the 18th century to a clear Unitarian Christian position by the end of the 19th. Since the beginning of the 20th century some ministers and congregations who have adopted a more Universalist (and not necessarily Theistic) theology have even begun to challenge...

William Henry Havergal

HAVERGAL, William Henry. b. High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, 18 January 1793; d. Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, 19 April 1870. He was educated at Merchant Taylor's School, London and Saint Edmund Hall, Oxford (BA 1816, MA 1819). He took Holy Orders in 1816, and served at two curacies, one in Somerset, the other in Bristol, before becoming rector of Astley, Worcestershire in 1829. In the same year he was thrown out of a carriage, an accident which affected his sight and forced him to resign his...

Henry Hallam Tweedy

TWEEDY, Henry Hallam. b. Binghampton, New York State, 5 August 1868; d. Brattleboro, Vermont, 11 April 1953. Educated at Binghampton schools, Phillips Andover Academy, and Yale University, Tweedy undertook further study in preparation for the Congregational ministry at the Union Theological Seminary, New York, and the University of Berlin. He was ordained to the ministry at Utica, New York in 1898, serving there and at Bridgeport, Connecticut before being appointed Professor at Yale Divinity...

Father most holy, merciful and loving

Father most holy, merciful and loving. Latin 10th century, translated by Alfred Edward Alston* (1862-1927). This is Alston's translation of a 10th-century Latin hymn found in many breviaries, beginning 'O pater sancte, mitis atque pie'. It is in the common Sapphic metre, popular in medieval hymnody, which Alston retains. The hymn is unusual in allowing one sentence to run over three stanzas: Father most holy, merciful and loving,Jesu, Redeemer, ever to be worshipped,Life-giving Spirit,...

Rise, my soul, adore thy Maker

Rise, my soul, adore thy Maker. John Cennick* (1718-55). This hymn, in the same metre as the better known 'Ere I sleep, for every favour'*, was published in Cennick's Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, in the Days of their Pilgrimage, Second Edition, part 1 (1741). It was entitled 'Another', following 'A Morning Hymn'. It had seven 4-line stanzas: Rise, my Soul, adore thy Maker;        Angels praise,        Join thy LaysWith them be Partaker. Father, Lord of ev'ry Spirit,        In thy...

The Lord my pasture shall prepare

The Lord my pasture shall prepare. Joseph Addison* (1672-1719). From The Spectator, no 441, Saturday, 26 July 1712. It comes at the end of an essay beginning 'Man, considered in himself, is a very helpless and a very wretched Being. He is subject every Moment to the greatest Calamities and Misfortunes.' The great comfort is to trust in God, 'one who directs Contingencies, and has in his Hands the Management of every Thing that is capable of annoying or offending us.' Psalm 23 is very suitable...

I want to be an angel

I want to be an angel. Sidney P. Gill (19th century, dates unknown). Sidney P. Gill is (unusually) the name of a woman. Information about her comes solely from JJ, p. 559, where a letter is quoted from her sister dated 6 February 1873. The letter dates the hymn at ca. 1854, when Sidney Gill was 'then a very young lady', which would make her date of birth ca. 1834. According to her sister, the composition of the hymn was as follows: She had been teaching a lesson [in the Sunday School] on...

Behold a little child

Behold a little child. William Walsham How* (1823-1897). This is one of the many hymns written by How for children. It first appeared in the SPCK Children's Hymns (1872) and was later included in the Children's Hymn Book (1881), edited by Frances Carey Brock*. It was then included in the Supplement (1889) to the Second Edition of A&M, remaining in A&M until it was dropped by A&MR. How's original is in five stanzas. The most recent books to print it, HP and RS, print 'child' in...

Fellowship Hymn Book

Fellowship Hymn Book (1909, 1933). This book was initially published in 1909 by the National Council of Adult School Unions together with the National Council of P.S.A. Brotherhoods (P.S.A. meant 'Pleasant Sunday Afternoons', intended to keep people pleasurably occupied between services on the Sabbath Day). The National Adult School Union had been founded in the 1790s: by the early 20th century, when it was at its most flourishing, it advocated an access to the Bible unhampered by...

Once in royal David's city

Once in royal David's city. Cecil Frances Alexander* (1818-1895). First published in Hymns for Little Children (1848) in six stanzas. Alexander wrote hymns for the articles of the Apostles' Creed: this one is on 'was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary'. It was printed in the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M, together with the tune by Henry John Gauntlett* entitled IRBY; since that time it has featured in the Christmas section of almost every hymn book. It has...

There is a happy land

There is a happy land. Andrew Young* (1807-1889). This children's hymn was written in 1838, when Young was a headmaster at Niddry Street School, Edinburgh. There are two accounts of its composition. The first is that he was spending the evening with a Mrs Marshall, the mother of some of his pupils, when he heard her playing an Indian tune on the piano called 'Happy Land'; the other is that he heard it while on holiday at Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute. The hymn was sung by the children at...

Robert Burns

BURNS, Robert.  b. Alloway, Ayrshire, 25 January 1759; d. Dumfries, 21 July 1796. The son of a 'cotter', an agricultural labourer too poor to own his own house, Burns was given a good local education, read much as a child, and began to write poems while still at school. His family remained very poor, before and after his father's death in 1784. With his brother Gilbert he continued to farm, so unsuccessfully that he contemplated emigration to Jamaica. Before leaving, however, he sent his poems...

Ralph Harrison

HARRISON, Ralph. b. Buxton, Derbyshire, 30 August 1748; d. Manchester, 24 November 1810. He spent part of his childhood at Chinley in Derbyshire. He was educated at the Warrington Academy, where he was taught by Joseph Priestley, among others. After a short period as a minister at Shrewsbury (1769-71) he became co-minister of Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester, from 1771 until 1809. He also founded a grammar school for boys in Manchester in 1774, and was one of the founders of the...

Hymnody on social issues

The concern of the Church about the problems of living in society has a long history, reflected in its hymnody. In the Magnificat* (Luke 1:46-55) Mary celebrated God her Saviour, who 'hath put down the mighty from their seats, and hath exalted the humble and meek'; and the concern of the Old Testament prophets for the establishing of a just and fair order of society has been the source of much significant later writing on the subject. A hymn such as Albert Bayly*'s 'What does the Lord...

Malcolm David Archer

ARCHER, Malcolm David. b. Lytham-St-Annes, Lancashire, 29 April 1952. He was educated at King Edward VII School, Lytham, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He was Assistant Organist of Norwich Cathedral and Organist of Bristol and Wells Cathedrals before his appointment in 2004 as Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral, a post he relinquished in 2007 to become Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College. In addition to his reputation as a fine trainer of choirs and as an editor of...

Metra

To the Greeks, 'metre' was a pattern to which the words could naturally be adapted, for there was a fairly clear distinction between long and short syllables in the language. So the Homeric epic could easily be couched in a series of long-short-short patterns (with occasional variations such as long-long), to make a hexameter. The Romans greatly admired Greek poetry, so Classical Latin writers aped this metrical system, despite Latin being less naturally dragooned into such a format....

Wunderbarer König, Herrscher von uns allen

Wunderbarer König, Herrscher von uns allen. Joachim Neander* (1650-1680). First published in A und Ω. Joachimi Neandri Glaub- und Liebesübung: auffgemuntert durch einfältige Bundes Lieder und Danck-Psalmen (Bremen, 1680). It is found in the 'Loben und Danken' section of EG in four 9-line verses (EG 327). In 1680 it was entitled 'Inciting oneself to the praise of God'. The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal points out that verse 1 line 4 was originally 'Deine Vaters Güte' ('thy fatherly...

Reginald Heber

HEBER, Reginald. b. Malpas, Cheshire, 21 April 1783; d. Trichinopoly (now Tiruchirappalli), India, 3 April 1826. His father was rector of Malpas and squire of Hodnet, Cheshire. He was educated at Whitchurch Grammar School, privately at Neasden, and at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize for his poem 'Palestine' (later set to music by William Crotch) in 1803. He was elected a Fellow of All Soul's College in 1805, and after travelling in several countries including Norway,...

Come, pure hearts, in sweetest measures

Come, pure hearts, in sweetest measures. Latin, translated by Robert Campbell* (1814-1868). First published in Campbell's Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane (Edinburgh, 1850), where it was entitled 'Commemoration of Evangelists'. It was a translation of three stanzas from two anonymous Sequences of the 12th century, 'Iucundare, plebs fidelis'*, and 'Plausu chorus laetabundo'* (altered by Clichtoveus*: see...

Hugh T. McElrath

  McELRATH, Hugh Thomas. b. Murray, Kentucky, USA, 13 November 1921; d. Penney Farms, Florida, USA, 8 May 2008. Renowned Southern Baptist hymnologist, seminary professor, church musician, and music missionary who combined high intellectual achievement and skilled musicianship with a devout Christian faith rooted in Baptist tradition. McElrath attended Murray State College [today Murray State University], Murray, Kentucky (BA, 1943), and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS),...

Lord, in this Thy mercy's day

Lord, in this Thy mercy's day. Isaac Williams* (1802-1865). This is from Williams's The Baptistery; or, The Way of Eternal Life (1842). This book consisted of 32 'Images'. This hymn was from 'Image the Twenty-second', a long poem entitled 'The Day of Days; or, the Great Manifestation'. It had 105 three-line stanzas (the stanza form probably modelled on the 'Dies irae, dies illa'*). It was prefaced by Ecclesiastes 12: 14: 'God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing,...

Edith Gilling Cherry

CHERRY, Edith Gilling. b. Plymouth, Devon, 9 February 1872; d. Plymouth, 29 August 1897. Edith Cherry's poems were published after her death as The Master's Touch: and other Poems, edited by her mother, Matilda S. Cherry, and published in London and Cheltenham (n.d.). Its title poem,'The Master's Touch', is based on Matthew 8: 15: 'He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose and ministered unto Him.' This is given additional poignancy by the fact that Cherry was an invalid for...

How lovely are thy dwellings fair

How lovely are thy dwellings fair.  John Milton* (1608-1674). This metrical version of Psalm 84 was one of the Psalms 80-88, dated 'April, 1648 . J.M.' published in Poems, &c. upon Several Occasions (1673). The date of 1648 marks a period between the end of the Civil War and the execution of Charles I, in which there was much tension between the army and Parliament. Milton's most recent biographers suggest that 'the psalms chosen have a particular resonance in the context of the impending...

Joseph Barnby

BARNBY, (Sir) Joseph. b. York, 12 August 1838; d. London, 28 January 1896. He was a chorister at York Minster and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music. After being organist of Mitcham Parish Church, he was successively organist of St Michael's, Queenhithe (1858); St James-the-Less, Westminster; St Andrew's, Wells Street (1863-71); and St Anne's, Soho (1871-86). He became Precentor of Eton College (1875-92) and Principal of the Guildhall School of Music (1892-96). Barnby's earliest hymn...

Arthur Seymour Sullivan

SULLIVAN, (Sir) Arthur Seymour. b. London, 13 May 1842; d. London, 22 November 1900. Born in Lambeth, he was the son of an Irish bandmaster. He became a chorister in the Chapel Royal in 1854 and entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1856 where he studied under William Sterndale Bennett*. Between 1858 and 1861 he was a student at the Leipzig Conservatory where he gained notable approbation for his incidental music to The Tempest. After returning to England he made his living as an organist in...

This is my Father's world

This is my Father's world. Maltbie Davenport Babcock* (1858-1901). This hymn consists of stanzas from a poem of sixteen 4-line stanzas, normally shortened to three 8-line ones. The most usual text is that of stanzas 2-5, 14, 16 of the poem. It appeared in Alleluia (Philadelphia, 1915), a supplement to The Presbyterian Hymnal (1911), edited by Franklin L. Sheppard, who provided a tune, TERRA BEATA ('BLESSED EARTH'), apparently arranged from the traditional English melody RUSPER (see EH, 379)....

Reformation hymnody

A distinctive feature of the Reformation of the 16th century, as it developed in different ways across Europe, was the introduction of congregational hymnody into the newly-devised Protestant forms of worship. While this psalmody and hymnody in these new contexts was 'new' in the experience of the worshippers, the Reformers who introduced congregational singing knew that they were not creating something that had never been done before, but rather re-introducing an established practice of the...

Ernest Edward Dugmore

DUGMORE, Ernest Edward. b. London, 16 January 1843; d. Salisbury, 10 March 1925. He was educated in London and at Wadham College, Oxford (BA 1867, MA 1869). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1867, priest 1870), and was assistant curate, St Peter's Vauxhall, London (1867-72), and vicar of Parkstone, Dorset (1872-1910). He was made a canon of Salisbury Cathedral and prebendary of Gillingham Major (1890-1917); he was then prebendary of Netheravon (1917- ) and honorary chaplain to the bishop of Salisbury...

Isle of Man hymnody

I was agreeably surprised. I have not heard better singing either at Bristol or Lincoln. Many, both men and women, have admirable voices; and they sing with good judgement. Who would have expected this in the Isle of Man? So wrote John Wesley*, in tones of some surprise, on 6 June 1781. His diary entry is one of the very first eye-witness accounts of Manx singing and suggests that there was already established on the Island a firm tradition of a congregational style that would have been...

Andrew Kippis

KIPPIS, Andrew. b. Nottingham, 28 March 1725; d. London, 8 October 1795. Kippis was educated (1741-46) at the dissenting academy at Northampton run by Philip Doddridge*. He became a minister, holding charges at Boston, Lincolnshire, and Dorking, Surrey, before becoming the minister of Princes Street Chapel, Westminster in 1753. He remained there until his death, and was regarded as 'the leading Presbyterian minister in the metropolis' (JJ, p. 625). He was a voluminous writer, contributing to...

Robert Hall Baynes

BAYNES, Robert Hall. b. Wellington, Somerset, 10 March 1831; d. Headington, Oxford, 27 March 1895. He was educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford (BA 1856, MA 1859). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1855, priest 1856), and was successively curate of Christ Church, Blackfriars, London (1855-58), perpetual curate of St Paul, Whitechapel (1858-62) and Holy Trinity, Maidstone (1862-66), and vicar of St Michael and All Angels, Coventry (1866-79). In 1870 he was made Bishop-Designate of Madagascar, but...

He is gone—beyond the skies

He is gone—beyond the skies. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley* (1815-1881). First published in Macmillan's Magazine (June 1862), in seven 8-line stanzas, entitled 'Hymn of the Ascension'. According to Moffatt and Patrick (1935) it was written in 1859 for a friend whose children had said that there was no suitable hymn for Ascension Day (they were evidently unaware of 'Hail the day that sees him rise'* by Charles Wesley*). A much shortened form of this hymn in three quatrains appeared as 'All the toil...

O Word Incarnate, full of grace

O Word Incarnate, full of grace.  Thomas Rawson Birks* (1810-1883). This hymn originally began 'O covenant Angel, full of grace'. It was published in the revised edition (1841) of Edward Bickersteth*'s Christian Psalmody (1833), headed 'For the circumcising, &c. Luke ii. 21'. It is less concerned with the circumcision of Christ than with his being given a name. In the edition produced by Bickersteth's son entitled Psalms and Hymns. Based on the Christian Psalmody of the late Rev. Edw....

Joel Barlow

BARLOW, Joel. b. Reading, Connecticut, 24 March 1754; d. Żarnowiec, Poland, 26 December 1812. Poet, diplomat, newspaper publisher, lawyer, French politician, and American revolutionary patriot, Barlow graduated from Yale College (now University) (1778) and continued there for additional study. During this time he published his first work, The Prospect for Peace (1778), an anti-slavery poem. Following service during the Revolutionary War as a chaplain, he established a weekly newspaper in...

Why should cross and trial grieve me

Why should cross and trial grieve me. Paul Gerhardt* (1607-1676), translated by John Kelly* (1834-1890). This is a translation of part of Gerhardt's 'Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen'*, first published in Johann Crüger* and Christoph Runge*'s D.M. Luthers und andere vornehmen geistrichen und gelehrten Männer geistlicher Lieder und Psalmen (Berlin, 1653) ('the Crüger-Runge Gesangbuch'); it was then published in the 1656  edition of Crüger's Praxis Pietatis Melica. Kelly's translation was made...

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

SIGOURNEY, Lydia Huntley (née Huntley). b. Norwich, Connecticut, 1 September 1791; d. Hartford, Connecticut,10 June 1865. The only child of the union of Ezekiel (b.1750) and Zerviah Wentworth Huntley (nda). Known by many as 'the sweet singer of Hartford,' Sigourney published anonymously until the mid-1830s when family finances dwindled and she took a more business-like approach to her writing. Her father, who served as the handyman on the estate of Jerusha Talcott Lathrop (1717-1805) in...

James Freeman Clarke

CLARKE, James Freeman. b. Hanover, New Hampshire, 4 April 1810; d. Boston, Massachusetts, 8 June 1888. He was educated at Harvard College (graduated 1829) and the Cambridge Divinity School (graduated 1833). He was pastor of the Unitarian Church at Louisville, Kentucky (1833-40), where he edited a Unitarian periodical, The Western Messenger. He founded a new and free thinking Unitarian church, the Church of the Disciples at Boston, where he was minister from 1841 to 1850. He resigned owing to...

Sanctus

Sanctus The Latin word for 'holy' is used in the Bible in many places, but most notably in Isaiah 6: 3, in which the Seraphim cry one to another 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory' (in the Vulgate, 'et clamabant alter ad alterum et dicebant sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus exercituum plena est omnis terra gloria eius'). It is found also in Revelation 4: 8. The triple repetition of the word 'sanctus' has led to its being referred to sometimes as the...

Jewish Sabbath hymns

Introduction: Hebrew hymns and the problem of English nomenclature In discussions of Hebrew liturgy, the designation hymn poses a linguistic challenge. Neither the English term—especially in its modern Western connotations—nor its classical root has a precise or exclusive equivalent in Hebrew. Struggling to provide translations, modern Hebrew dictionaries give a series of generically loose Hebrew counterparts, none of which adequately captures the nature of the specific Hebrew liturgical forms...

Taiwanese hymnody

Christian mission in Taiwan began in 1865; the early missionaries brought with them hymns in a collection from Amoy China, entitled Iong-Sim Sin Si, which were either translation of Western hymns or written by anonymous Amoy Christians or missionaries. The first Taiwanese hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) was edited by William Campbell in 1900, but without music, and without any Taiwanese contributions. The Taiwanese hymn known to the world today 'Chin Chu Siong-te cho thi-toe'...

Mission hymnody, USA

Beginnings The beginnings of American churches' missions can be traced to the efforts of John Eliot (1604-1690) to gather 'Praying Indians' into towns for worship, preaching, language instruction and Bible study; the churches and day schools established by John Sargent (1710-1749) in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and Eleazar Wheelock (1711-1779) in Connecticut; and the organization of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge among 'Indians' in North America in Massachusetts (1762). The...

Devotio Moderna

The Devotio Moderna (Modern Devotion or New Devotion) was a movement of religious revival that started in what is now the Netherlands in the late 14th century. Its main characteristics were an inward-looking piety, asceticism and the fostering of the virtuous life. Its instigator was Geert Grote (1340-1384). After having started an ecclesiastical career, a period of severe illness led to a process of inner conversion (1372). After several years of retreat he re-entered public life in 1379,...

Richard Wainwright

WAINWRIGHT, Richard. b. Manchester, 1757 (baptized 8 July); d. Liverpool, 20 August 1825. He was the younger son of John Wainwright* and younger brother of Robert*. He became organist of the Collegiate Church, Manchester in 1775, and also of St Ann's Church. He moved to Liverpool in 1782 to succeed his brother as organist of St Peter's Church: he played there until 1804, when he moved to Preston and became organist of the parish church until ca. 1810. He returned to St Peter's, Liverpool, in...

Now Israel

Now Israel. William Whittingham* (ca. 1525/1530- 1579).  This is one of the two metrical versions of Psalm 124: the other begins 'Had not the Lord been on our side'. According to Millar Patrick*, the metrical version of 'Now Israel' in French and the tune are by Théodore de Bèze*, in Pseaumes octante trois de David, mise en rime francoise. A savoir quarante neuf par Clement Marot. et trente quatre par Theodore de Besze (Geneva, 1551). The first stanza of this, the better known version...

Bread of the world in mercy broken

Bread of the world, in mercy broken. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826). First published in Heber's Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), published after his death by his wife Amelia. It was originally printed in two 4-line stanzas with the heading 'Before the Sacrament'. The majority of hymnbooks which include it now show it as a single 8-line stanza: Bread of the world, in mercy broken; Wine of the soul, in mercy shed;By whom the words of life were spoken,  And...

Christ in Song

Christ in Song (1869). This was the title of a major anthology by Philip Schaff*, published in New York in 1869, with the preface dated 5 October 1868. The full title was ΙΧΘΥΣ. Christ in Song. Hymns of Immanuel: Selected from all ages, with notes. Another page has the Chi/Rho symbol/ 'Christo Sacrum'/ Φριστòς τà πáντα εν πασιν ('Christ is all in all')/ a verse from F.W.H. Myers*' poem 'St Paul': Thro' life and death, thro' sorrow and thro' sinning Christ shall suffice me, for He hath...

Plymouth Collection

The Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes; for the Use of Christian Congregations (New York, 1855). The Plymouth Collection was edited by Henry Ward Beecher*, then minister of Plymouth Congregational Church, New York. He delegated responsibility for the tunes to John Zundel* and to his brother, the Revd Charles Beecher (1815-1900). They provided 367 tunes, set to 1374 texts. Each tune was printed with the texts beneath: sometimes, but rarely, with a single text; more often, with several texts...

Shaker hymnody

The shakers, or 'Shaking Quakers' (in worship they were 'taken with a mighty trembling' or 'a mighty shaking') were a dissident group of Quakers who emigrated from Manchester, England to the USA in 1774, led by Ann Lee (1736-1784), known as 'Mother Ann'. The full title of this body was 'The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing'; it was one of many millenarian sects that flourished at this time, but it was more interesting and successful, and more creative, than many of the...

Sylvia Dunstan

DUNSTAN, Sylvia G. b. Simcoe, Ontario, Canada, 26 May 1955; d. 25 July 1993. She was raised by her grandparents, who had Methodist and Salvation Army backgrounds. She read History at York University, Toronto (BA, 1977), and then studied at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto (MDiv, 1980). In 1980 she was ordained in the United Church of Canada. Her first pastorate was in a two-point charge in Alma-Albert, New Brunswick. Following her return to Toronto she became duty chaplain of a...

Daniel B. Merrick

MERRICK, (Jr.), Daniel B. b. Bloomington, Illinois, 29 April 1926; d. Raymore, Missouri, 11 November 2004. An ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), he served churches in Wisconsin, Illinois, and the Panama Canal Zone. Merrick attended Phillips University, Enid, Oklahoma  (AB 1948) and the Phillips University Graduate Seminary (now Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa, Oklahoma) ( BD 1954). He received the latter's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996. A congregational...

The Internet and Congregational Song

This essay examines four ways the Internet has influenced the study, accessibility, proliferation and practice of congregational song: the digitization of materials in the public domain, the born-digital and twinned digital combined with print materials, making digital objects findable and visible, and the emerging pedagogies. The main focus of this entry is on those resources that offer the full text or image of a hymn. Serious scholars should devote attention to The Hymn Tune Index*. See...

Sunday school hymns, USA

 Sunday schools were founded in the UK and the USA in the late 18th century to teach reading, and the Bible to children, and others who worked six days a week. The American version of the Sunday school had a significant impact on many aspects of American society, not the least the school's distinctive song, which was an important laboratory for public and church music education, a leading participant in the dynamic growth, visibility and popularity of music during the century of expansion, and...

Iste confessor domini sacratus

Iste confessor domini sacratus. Latin, ca. 8th century. This hymn for the Common of a Confessor is found in many of the monastic breviaries (Sarum, York, Aberdeen, and the Mozarabic and Roman Breviaries). A text from the Moissac hymnal is found in Analecta Hymnica 2. 77 (no 101) (cf. AH 51. 134, no 118). Milfull (Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church, pp. 403-5) prints it with the title 'Ymnus de uno confessore', noting that it is anonymous and written in Sapphic metre. The text is given in Daniel,...

Jesu, thy wandering sheep behold

Jesu, thy wandering sheep behold. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), Part II, in eleven 4-line stanzas. Six stanzas (1-5, 8) were included in the 1831 supplement to A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), and in the 1876 edition ('Wesley's Hymns') , with the second and third lines, 'See, Lord, with yearning bowels see/The souls that cannot find the fold', amended in 1876 to 'See, Lord, with tenderest pity see/The...

John Arlott

ARLOTT, (Leslie Thomas) John. b. Basingstoke, Hampshire, 25 February 1914; d. Alderney, Channel Islands, 14 December 1991. Educated at Queen Mary's School, Basingstoke, he became a 'diet clerk' in Park Prewett Mental Hospital, Basingstoke (1930-34), and worked in the Police Force at Southampton (1934-45). During this period he became increasingly interested in literature, and had begun to broadcast. In 1945 he left the Police Force for the BBC, for which he worked until 1953, at first concerned...

Robert L. Edwards

EDWARDS, Robert Lansing. b. Auburn, New York, 5 August 1915; d. Hartford, Connecticut, 15 January 2006. He came from a distinguished family (he was a descendant of Thomas Hooker and Jonathan Edwards, and his mother was a sister of John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Eisenhower). After school at Deerfield Academy, he studied at Princeton University (BA 1937) and Harvard University (MA, 1938), and then served in an intelligence unit during World War II. Following the war he...

George Whitefield

WHITEFIELD, George. b. Gloucester, 16 December 1714; d. Newburyport, Massachusetts, 30 September 1770. He was the son of an innkeeper, who died when he was two years old. His mother remarried, unhappily, and the inn was mismanaged by his step-father. Whitefield's childhood cannot have been a settled one, although he was educated at Gloucester Cathedral School and the Crypt School. In 1732 he matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford, as a 'Servitor', performing menial tasks in order to pay for...

John Wesley

WESLEY, John. b. Epworth, Lincolnshire, 17 June 1703; d. London, 2 March 1791. He was the son of Samuel Wesley (I)*, rector of Epworth, the younger brother of Samuel Wesley (II)* and the older brother of Charles Wesley*. As a child of five John was saved from a dangerous fire at the rectory, 'a brand plucked from the burning'. He was educated at home under his remarkable mother, Susanna, 'the mother of Methodism', and then at Charterhouse School and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1724, MA 1727). He...

Latvian Lutheran hymnody

History The territory of present-day Latvia, a country of approximately 25,400 square miles, situated on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, has been inhabited since 9,000 BCE and by Baltic tribes since 2,000 BCE. These tribes settled various regions that have come to be known by their tribal names – Kurzeme (Courland), Zemgale (Semigallia), Latgale (Letgallia) and Vidzeme (Livland). These regions differed linguistically, with all but the Livs, who were Finno-Ugric speakers like their...

Harriet Spaeth

SPAETH, Harriet Reynolds Krauth (Harriet Krauth). b. Baltimore, Maryland, 21 September 1845; d. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 May 1925. Spaeth was an author and translator of hymn texts and composer of hymn tunes, and a music editor. Her best known translations are 'As each happy Christmas' and verses 3 and 4 of 'Lo, how a rose e'er blooming' (see 'Es ist ein' Ros entsprungen'*). She was the daughter of Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823-1883) and Susan Reynolds Krauth (1821-1853).  C. P. Krauth,...

John Tufts

TUFTS, John. b. Medford, Massachusetts, 26 February 1689; d. Amesbury, Massachusetts, 17 August 1750.  Tufts was a minister, merchant, probably a singing teacher, and possibly a composer.  He compiled An Introduction to the Art of Singing Psalm-Tunes (1721?), considered the first American music textbook. John Tufts was the third son of Captain Peter Tufts (1648-1721) and Mercy Cotton Tufts (1666-1715).  He graduated from Harvard College (AB, 1708), and was ordained on 30 June 1714 in...

Come, ye that know and fear the Lord

Come, ye that know and fear the Lord. George Burder* (1752-1832). First published in Burder's A Collection of Hymns, from Various Authors. Intended as a Supplement to Dr Watts's Hymns, and Imitation of the Psalms (Coventry, 1784). It was entitled 'God is love', and was signed 'B'. It had nine verses, three of which were in square brackets (a practice borrowed from Watts). Since variant texts of this hymn exist, it is useful to have the original form: Come, ye that know and fear the Lord, ...

Laurence Bévenot

BÉVENOT, Ludovic Eloi Isidore Jean Joseph (Monastic name: Laurence) OSB. b. Birmingham, 21 June 1901; d. 22 October 1990. He was born to French immigrant parents: his father was professor of Romance Languages at Birmingham University. He was educated at Mount St Mary's Preparatory School, Derbyshire (1909-14) and Ampleforth College, Yorkshire (1914-19). He joined the monastic community at Ampleforth in 1919. He read Mathematics at St Benet's Hall, Oxford University (1922-25). From 1928 to 1951...

Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley

RAWNSLEY, Hardwicke Drummond. b. Shiplake-on-Thames, 18 September 1851; d. Grasmere, Westmorland (now Cumbria), 28 May 1920. The son of the rector of Shiplake, he was educated at Uppingham School and Balliol College, Oxford (BA 1874). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1875, priest 1877, after serving as chaplain of Clifton College Mission). He became vicar of Low Wray, near Windermere (1878-83), and in 1883 he became vicar of Crosthwaite and rural dean of Keswick. From 1888 to 1895 he served on...

'Twixt gleams of joy and clouds of doubt

'Twixt gleams of joy and clouds of doubt. John Campbell Shairp* (1819-1885). Written in 1871, this poem was included in Shairp's Glen Desseray and other poems: lyrical and elegiac (1888), edited by Francis Turner Palgrave*, his friend from Balliol College days. The editors of the Scottish Church Hymnary (1898) had the wit to perceive that this would be a good hymn to include. It had four stanzas: 'Twixt gleams of joy and clouds of doubt   Our feelings come and go; Our best estate is tossed...

Georgian hymnody

See also 'Byzantine hymnody'*, 'Byzantine rite'*, 'Greek hymnody'*, 'Rite of Constantinople'*, 'Rite of Jerusalem'*, 'Greek hymns, archaeology'*. History The history of Georgian Orthodox hymnody can be traced back to the first centuries of Christianity, and is directly connected with the conversion of Georgia. In the first century AD, Christianity was preached in Georgia by the apostles St. Andrew and St. Symeon Cananeli (Symeon of Canania). Christianity became the state religion in the...

Eternal Monarch, King most high

Eternal Monarch, King most high. Latin, author unknown, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). The Latin text, 'Aeterne Rex altissime'* appears in many forms in different breviaries, sometimes associated with Vespers at the Feast of the Ascension. Neale's translation in six 4-line verses was made for The Hymnal Noted Part I (1851). It was much altered by the compilers of the First Edition of A&M, where it appears as 'O Lord most High, Eternal King'. It continued in this form until it...

Joachim Neander

NEANDER, Joachim. b. Bremen, 1650; d. Bremen, 31 May 1680. Born the son of a schoolmaster (the family name was Neumann or Niemann, and this was changed to the Greek form by Joachim's grandfather). He was educated at the Academic Gymnasium ('Gymnasium illustre') of Bremen. According to his first biographer, Reitz, Neander was scornful of religion as a young man, entering St Martin's Church, Bremen to make fun of the proceedings and of the pastor, Theodor Undereyk (1635-1693). He was so affected...

Benjamin Keach

KEACH, Benjamin. b. Stoke Hammond, near Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire, 29 February 1640; d. London, 18 July 1704. He was apprenticed to a tailor. His early reading and experience inclined him towards Calvinism and adult baptism, and by 1658 he was preaching and ministering to a Baptist congregation at Winslow, Buckinghamshire. In 1664 he published The Child's Instructor, a book which contained not only the basic educational information (reading, writing, arithmetic) but also material...

Frederick John Gillman

GILLMAN, Frederick John. b. Devizes, Somerset, 25 February 1866; d. Jordans, Buckinghamshire, 19 February 1949. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and an active member of the National Adult School Union for many years. He lived for some time in York, and ca. 1905 he was private secretary to Arnold S. Rowntree, one of the MPs for the City of York. He was also active in the foundation of Adult Schools in Leeds and York. His work for the Adult School movement resulted in The Story of the...

Reginald Ley McAll

McALL, Reginald Ley. b. Bocking, Essex, England, 20 August 1878; d. Meredith, New Hampshire, 9 July 1954. McAll was an organist, administrator, and humanitarian. His parents were Robert McAll (1837–1890), a Congregational minister, and Elizabeth Lonsdale McCall (1844–1932). After immigrating to New York in 1897, he earned the BA degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1900 and studied at the Peabody Conservatory. McAll became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1923.  Following brief...

Signing hymns

Sign language is a visual form of communication developed by and for Deaf people world-wide. (A general history of signing is included in Costello, 2009). Signed languages, which differ from region to region in the same way that spoken languages differ, consist of formal, standardized lexicons containing hand shapes, movements of hands, arms, and body and facial expression to convey meaning. A skilled interpreter takes words or phrases in the source language, in this case the written or...

Auf, auf, ihr Reichgenossen

Auf, auf, ihr Reichgenossen. Johann Rist* (1607-1667). First published in Rist's Sabbahtische Seelenlust (Lüneburg, 1651). The book is arranged with hymns for the Sundays of the Christian year, and this one is set for the first Sunday in Advent ('Arise, arise...'). It had twelve 8-line stanzas, with the title 'Uber das Evangelium am Ersten Advents Sontage/ Welches beschrieben wird vom heiligen Evangelisten Mattheuss / in seinem Evangelien Buche am 21 Kappitel: Da Sie nun nahe bei Jerusalem...

George Dyson

DYSON, (Sir) George. b. Halifax, West Yorkshire, 28 May 1883; d. Winchester, 28 September 1964. His father was a blacksmith and his mother a weaver. Although from a working — or rather artisan — class background in the industrial north, Dyson was very much the product of musical parents whose encouragement led to his first celebrity as the organist of his local Baptist church, North Parade Baptist Church; the young Dyson became an FRCO at the age of sixteen. Winning an open scholarship to...

Henry Ware, Jr.

WARE, Henry, Jr. b. Hingham, Massachusetts, 21 April 1794; d. Framingham, Massachusetts, 25 September 1843.  Ware, a teacher, influential Unitarian minister, writer, and author of hymns (see Unitarian-Universalist hymnody, USA*),  was born of the marriage of Henry Ware (1757-1845) and Mary Clarke Ware (1752-1805).  His father was a Minister of First Parish (originally Puritan, then Unitarian-Universalist), Hingham, Massachusetts, 1787-1805, and Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard College,...

Hymnological research in the USA

The study of hymns has been approached in many ways in the USA. The initial development of hymnology as a field of study with rigorous standards took place in the second half of the 19th century as the scientific method of inquiry was incorporated into university education. This application of these standards and of increasingly exacting means of studying textual, musical, and historical aspects of the literature can be traced through extant publications. Influential books constitute the...

Harry Emerson Fosdick

FOSDICK, Harry Emerson. b. Buffalo, New York, 24 May 1878; d. Bronxville, New York, 5 Oct 1969. Fosdick was educated at Colgate College, Hamilton, New York (BA, 1900); Union Theological Seminary (BD, 1904), and Columbia University (MA, 1908)., the latter two in New York City. Following Baptist ordination in 1903, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey (1904-15), and then taught homiletics and practical theology at Union Theological Seminary in 1915, interrupted by a...

Henry Burton

BURTON, Henry. b. Swannington, Leicestershire, 26 November 1840; d. West Kirby, Hoylake, Cheshire, 27 April 1930. As a young man Burton went with his family when they emigrated to the USA in 1856. They settled in Wisconsin, and Henry studied at Beloit College, then fairly new (founded 1846). He became a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was in charge of a church at Monroe, Wisconsin, for a short time. He then returned to Britain: he was ordained into the Wesleyan Methodist...

We gather here to bid farewell

We gather here to bid farewell.  Margaret Clarkson* (1915-2008). This hymn, dated 1987, is the only hymn by Clarkson in VU (the British book, Praise! (2000), prints thirteen of them, but not this one). It is an unassuming but effective hymn, which can be used for different occasions: the phrase in stanza 1 about 'those who leave for other parts' could be used at a service to bid farewell to missionaries, or it can be useful just as a 'goodbye' hymn, sung to friends. Given Clarkson's long...

Jesus, I my cross have taken

Jesus, I my cross have taken. Henry Francis Lyte* (1793-1847). In JJ (p. 599) it is noted that this was first printed in an anthology, Sacred Poetry  (Third Edition, Edinburgh, 1824). It was then chosen by James Montgomery* for inclusion in The Christian Psalmist (Glasgow, 1825). In both cases it was ascribed to 'G'. In Montgomery's book it was in the section entitled 'Scripture Subjects', and headed 'Forsaking all to follow Christ. – Mark x. 28.' This is the verse in which Peter says to our...

Great Awakenings, USA

Great Awakenings, USA The Great Awakenings is the name given to periods of religious revival that occurred in colonial British North America and the United States in the early to mid-18th century, in the early national period to the middle of the 19th century, and in the Reconstruction era to about 1910. These awakenings profoundly changed the course of American religious history, and to a lesser degree that of other countries. By the middle of the 19th century, the dominant character of...

Frances Carey Brock

CAREY BROCK, Frances Elizabeth Georgina (née Baynes). b. St Martin's, Guernsey, Channel Islands, 7 September 1827; d. St Martin's, 30 December 1905. She was a writer of a number of religious books, some for children. She married Carey Brock (1824–1892), rector of St Pierre du Bois Church, Guernsey; he became Dean of Guernsey in 1869, holding office until 1891. At her marriage, she took his Christian name as well as surname. Among her publications were 'Almost Persuaded': a tale of village life,...

Lo, round the throne, a glorious band

Lo, round the throne, a glorious band. Rowland Hill* (1744-1833) and others. This hymn is based on a hymn published in Hill's A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, chiefly Intended for Public Worship (1783). It began 'Join, ye redeemed heirs of grace', headed 'Rev. v. 9, &c':   Join ye redeemed heirs of grace  In a new song of lofty praise;  Jesus is worthy to receive  The utmost glories ye can give. Stanza 2 is the original of the modern stanza 4 (in the Appendix to the First Edition...

All things which live below the sky

All things which live below the sky. Edward John Brailsford* (1841-1921). First published in the Wesleyan Methodist School Hymnal (1911), and then in SofPE, with seven stanzas: All things which live below the sky,  Or move within the sea,Are creatures of the Lord most high,  And brothers unto me. I love to hear the robin sing,  Perched on the highest bough;To see the rook with purple wing  Follow the shining plough. I love to watch the swallow skim  The river in his flight;To mark, when day...

Christ is gone up; yet ere he passed

Christ is gone up; yet ere he passed. John Mason Neale* (1818-1866).  This is from Neale's Hymns for Children, intended chiefly for village schools (1842). It had seven stanzas. The opening line of stanza 2 has almost always been used to begin the hymn:  Now to our Saviour let us raise The noblest hymn we may; For with the voice of joy and praise God is gone up to-day.  Christ is gone up: yet ere He pass'd From earth in heav'n to reign, He form'd one holy Church to last Till He...

Breviary

This is the title given to a book containing all the material necessary for performing the Divine Office — prayers, chants, and readings. The readings are usually abbreviated, hence the name. Breviaries first appeared in the 11th century, and contained so much material that they were often divided into summer and winter volumes. For a detailed introduction to the contents of Breviaries see Tolhurst (1942). Breviaries were useful for monks and clerics who were not able to attend the office...

William Sterndale Bennett

BENNETT, (Sir) William Sterndale. b. Sheffield, 13 April 1816; d. London, 1 February 1875. He was the son of Robert Bennett (1788-1819), organist of Sheffield Parish Church from 1811. After his father's death, Bennett was brought up by his paternal grandparents in Cambridge, where his grandfather, John Bennett (1754-1837) was a bass lay clerk in the choir which served the colleges of King's, St John's and Trinity. At the age of seven, Bennett became a chorister in King's College Chapel and from...

Hail glorious angels, heirs of light

Hail glorious angels, heirs of light. John Austin* (1613-1669). First published in Austin's Devotions in the Antient Way of Offices (Paris, 1668), in the section 'Office of the Saints', where it was prescribed in 'Lauds for Saints'. It is a selection from a hymn of eleven 4-line stanzas, beginning with two not used in modern books:  Wake all my hopes, lift up your eys,    And crown your heads with mirth·  See how they shine beyond the skys,    Who once dwelt on our earth. Peace busy...

Translation of hymns

This entry is in two parts: the first by Marcus Wells, the second by JRW Principles of Hymn Translation Hymns have been written for centuries and, through translation, many of them have become known beyond the borders of their country of origin. This has been an increasing trend recently, motivated by ecumenism. It is indeed a great thrill at international gatherings to hear the participants praising God in song, all in their own language: a foretaste of Revelation 7: 9-10. Hymn...

David McK. Williams

WILLIAMS, David McKinley.  b. Caernarvonshire, Wales, 20 February 1887; d. Oakland, California, 13 March 1978.  One of the most dynamic 20th-century leaders of American church music, he is often identified with the music of St Bartholomew's Church in New York City, where he was organist and choirmaster from 1920 to 1947.  Williams served on the Joint Commission on Church Music of the Episcopal Church and the Joint Commission on Revision of the Hymnal (H40).  He composed hymn tunes and descants,...

Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go

Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go. Jessie Brown Pounds* (1861-1921). One of Pounds' early hymns, written when she was still Jessie Brown, this was published in Hymns Old and New No 1, edited by Daniel B. Towner* (Chicago/New York, 1887). It had three stanzas: Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go;Anywhere He leads me in this world below;Anywhere without Him dearest joys would fade;Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid. Anywhere with Jesus I am not alone;Other friends may fail me, He is still...

Edward Hopper

HOPPER, Edward. b. New York City, 17 February 1816; d. New York City, 23 April 1888 [not to be confused with the USA painter Edward Hopper, 1882-1967]. Hopper graduated from New York University (1839), and Union Theological Seminary (1842). He led the Sag Harbor Presbyterian Church on Long Island for 11 years, and spent the remainder of his life at the Church of the Sea and Land, in New York City, where he became well-known for his ministry to sailors; nautical imagery is apparent in his best...

Every time I feel the Spirit

Every time I feel the Spirit. African American spiritual*. While not as commonly sung as 'Go tell it on the mountain'* or 'Let us break bread together on our knees'*, this spiritual still has a significant presence in many hymnals. Its roots may be found in the antebellum South. One often-cited report indicates that Abraham Lincoln heard a group of escaped slaves led by 'Aunt Mary' Dines singing this spiritual, among others, during one of his visits to the 'contraband' camp at Seventh Street...

Christian Gregor

GREGOR, Christian. b. Dirsdorf, Silesia, 1 Jan 1723; d. Berthelsdorf, Herrnhut, 6 Nov 1801. Born the son of a humble peasant farmer, he associated with the Brethren at Herrnhut from 1742, serving as organist. In 1748 he moved to Herrnhaag as director of music, and in 1749 to Zeist, returning to Herrnhut in 1753. From 1764 he was a member of the directing board of the Unitas Fratrum and was given the task of editing a hymnal which would collect and preserve what was valuable of the vast corpus...

Come unto me, ye weary

Come unto me, ye weary. William Chatterton Dix* (1837-1889). This hymn appeared in The People's Hymnal (1867) and in 1875 it was taken into the Second Edition of A&M. Several tunes were used, including COME UNTO ME, which John Bacchus Dykes* wrote to accompany it in A&M. It is said that the hymn was written at a time when Dix was suffering from illness and depression, and that he looked on its composition as the turning-point which led to his recovery. The hymn has much in common with...

Henry Thomas Smart

SMART, Henry Thomas. b. London, 26 October 1813; d. London, 6 July 1879. He was the son of a professional violinist, Henry Smart (brother to the conductor, organist and composer (Sir) George Smart*), was educated in Highgate and articled to a solicitor before deciding to make music his career. He served as organist of Blackburn Parish Church (1832-38); St Giles, Cripplegate (1836-38); St Philip's, Regent Street (1838-44?); St Luke's Old Street (1844-64) and St Pancras Parish Church (1865-79)....

Show pity, Lord, O Lord, forgive

Show pity, Lord, O Lord, forgive. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748).  From The Psalms of David imitated in the language of the New Testament, and apply'd to the Christian State and Worship (1719). It was entitled 'Psalm LI. First Part. Long Metre. A Penitent Pleading for Pardon.' It had six stanzas:  Shew pity, Lord, O Lord forgive, Let a repenting Rebel live: Are not thy Mercies large and free? May not a Sinner trust in Thee?  My Crimes are great, but not surpass The Power and Glory of thy Grace:...

Anna Letitia Barbauld

BARBAULD, Anna Letitia (née Aikin). b. Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, 20 June 1743; d. Stoke Newington, London, 9 March 1825. At Kibworth her father was a Presbyterian minister teaching at the dissenting academy (her maternal grandfather, John Jennings, had taught Philip Doddridge* there). In 1753 her father moved to the celebrated Warrington Academy, where she thrived in the cultural and intellectual freedom and began to write, publishing (with her brother John) Poems (1773) and...

George MacDonald

MacDONALD, George. b. Huntly, Aberdeenshire, 10 December 1824; d. Ashstead, Surrey, 18 September 1905. Educated at King's College, Aberdeen (MA 1845), MacDonald moved to London where he was briefly a student at Highbury Theological College (1848- ). Although he did not complete the course, he was ordained at Arundel Congregational Church in 1950. He resigned in 1853, and moved to Manchester, where he became a writer, publishing a dramatic poem, Within and Without (1855), Poems (1857), Hymns and...

Still will we trust, though earth seem dark and dreary

Still will we trust, though earth seem dark and dreary. William H. Burleigh* (1812-1871). This hymn was published in The Christian Hymn Book (1865), and then by Charles Dexter Cleveland* in Lyra Americana (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1865; Lyra Sacra Americana, London and New York, 1868). It had five 4-line stanzas: Still will we trust, though earth seem dark and dreary,  And the heart faint beneath his chastening rod: Though rough and steep our pathway, worn and weary,  Still will...

How are thy servants blest, O Lord

How are thy servants blest, O Lord.  Joseph Addison* (1672-1719). This is from The Spectator 489 (20 September 1712). In this number Addison addresses a painter. Addison is concerned with the sublime, especially as found in storms on the ocean, which he claims to have experienced on his travels: of all Objects I have ever seen, there is none which affects my Imagination so much as the Sea or Ocean... Such an Object naturally raises in my Thoughts the Idea of an Almighty Being, and convinces...

Khatchatur Taronatsi

KHATCHATUR Tarōnetsi. fl. 13th century. Khatchatur of Tarōn was a poet and musician, and he occupies a special place among the authors of Armenian hymns. His best known hymn is 'Khorhurd khorin' ('Mystery profound') which is also called 'The Hymn of Vesting', sung at the beginning of Holy Mass. Successive 4-line quatrains spell out the author's name (KHATCHATUR). According to certain sources, Khatchatur composed it on the occasion of an open-air liturgy organised at the request of Prince...

William Blake

BLAKE, William. b. 28 November 1757; d. 12 August 1827. Born in London, the son of a hosier. He did not go to school ('Thank God, I never was sent to school/ To be flogged into following the style of a fool') but attended a drawing school and in 1772 was apprenticed to James Basire, engraver to the Society of Antiquaries. He became a student at the Royal Academy in 1779. With the help of friends he set up a print shop in Broad Street, London, in 1784, and for the remainder of his life he earned...

Far round the world thy children sing their song

Far round the world thy children sing their song. Basil Mathews* (1879-1951). Written in 1909 for a Sunday-School Anniversary at Bowes Park, London. It had three verses, verses 1 and 2 of the hymn as usually printed ('Far round the world thy children sing their song' and 'Guide of the pilgrim clambering to the height') and a final verse: Smile on our work, our laughter, and our play ; Lift us at eve to slumber on thy breast; Shine on the praise and worship of thy day; Breathe on our sleep...

I have read of a beautiful city

I have read of a beautiful city. Jonathan Burtch Atchinson* (1840-1882). This is dated in JJ (p. 89) ca. 1874 or 1875, and published in an 'early edition' of Gospel Hymns (according to Hymnary.org it was Gospel Hymns No. 3 (New York and Cincinnati, 1878): I have read of a beautiful city, Far away in the kingdom of God; I have read how its walls are of jasper, How its streets are all golden and broad; In the midst of the street is life's river, Clear as crystal and pure to behold; But not half...

Margaret Rizza

RIZZA, Margaret (née Lensky). b. 19 August 1929. She studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and the National School of Opera, and completed her opera training in Italy (Siena and Rome). For two decades she sang, as Margaret Lensky, at such prestigious venues as Glyndebourne, La Scala, and Sadler's Wells, and worked with celebrated composers including Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten*, and Leonard Bernstein. After marriage to George Rizza, a music publisher, and the birth of a daughter,...

O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben

O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben. Paul Gerhardt* (1607-1676). First published in Johann Crüger*'s Praxis Pietatis Melica (1648). It had sixteen 6-line stanzas. EG prints a thirteen-stanza text (EG 84), omitting stanzas 2, 8 and 12: GerhardtJohn Kelly, 1867 2. Tritt her und schau mit Fleiße: Sein Leib ist ganz mit Schweiße Des Blutes überfüllt; Aus seinem edlen Herzen Vor unerschöpften Schmerzen Ein Seufzer nach dem andern quillt. 8. Du springst in Todes Rachen, Mich frei und los zu...

Songs of Grace and Glory

Songs of Grace and Glory (1872). The full title of this book was Songs of Grace & Glory for Private, Family, & Public Worship. Hymnal Treasures of the Church of Christ from the Sixth to the Nineteenth Century. It was edited by Charles Busbridge Snepp*, vicar of Perry Barr, near Birmingham. The Preface was dated November 1871. It contained 1025 hymns, followed by 12 doxologies. For the music it used Havergal's Psalmody and Century of Chants from 'old Church Psalmody' (1871) prepared by...

Herbert Howells

HOWELLS, Herbert Norman. b. Lydney, Gloucestershire, 17 October 1892; d. Putney, London, 23 February 1983. Howells was an articled student (with Ivor Gurney and Ivor Novello) of Herbert Brewer at Gloucester Cathedral (1909-12) and went on to study with Stanford* and Charles Wood* at the Royal College of Music (1912-17). He joined the teaching staff of the RCM in 1920 and taught there until 1979. Succeeding Gustav Holst*, he was also director of music at St Paul's Girls' School, Hammersmith...

My son, know thou the Lord

My son, know thou the Lord. Robert Carr Brackenbury* (1752-1818). According to JJ, p. 1581, this was published anonymously in Rebecca Wilkinson's Short Sermons for Children, To which are added Short Hymns suited to the Subject (ca. 1795), and with Brackenbury's name in Joseph Benson's Hymns of Children and Young Persons (1806). Benson (1749-1821) was an important figure in early Methodism.  The New York printing of this book in 1822 probably accounts for the hymn's early popularity in the...

John Ellerton

ELLERTON, John. b. London, 16 December 1826; d. Torquay, 15 June 1893. He was educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was president of the Addison Society (BA 1849, MA 1854). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1850, priest 1851) and during the next ten years served as curate at Easebourne, Sussex (1850-52) and St Nicholas', Brighton, where he was also 'Evening Lecturer' at St Peter's (1852-60). In 1860 he became Vicar of Crewe Green, Cheshire and...

Have Thine own way, Lord

Have Thine own way, Lord. Adelaide Addison Pollard* (1862-1934). This hymn was written in 1902 when Pollard was unhappy and frustrated in her failure to raise funds to enable her to go to Africa as a missionary. Based on Jeremiah 18: 1-6, it was written after a prayer meeting in which Pollard acknowledged her submission to God's will, using Jeremiah's description of the clay in the potter's hand. This is the foundation of stanza 1 ('Have Thine own way, Lord! have Thine own way!/ Thou art the...

May we, O Holy Spirit, bear your fruit

May we, O Holy Spirit, bear your fruit. Paul Wigmore* (1925-2014). This was the first of the author's hymn texts. It was written at Pinner, Middlesex, for the nearby Emmanuel Church, Northwood. In 1981 its clergy felt that there were very few hymns specifically or mainly about the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23); Albert Bayly*'s 'The Spirit of God, like an orchard, bears fruit' had been written only in 1979 and was not widely known. Richard Bewes*, the vicar of Northwood, was also a...

Now is eternal life

Now is eternal life. George Wallace Briggs* (1875-1959). This text was submitted in unpublished form to the compilers of CP (1951). It was printed there in the original 5 verses, which are preserved in RS (with some inclusive language changes), though other books (100HfT, HP, A&MCP) omit the final verse, and WOV and NEH omit verses 2 and 5. It contrasts the 'now' (the first word, which returns in verse 5) with the timeless, the human time of 'life's passing day' with 'eternal years'. The...

Social Gospel hymnody, USA

The 'Social Gospel' is a North American Christian movement, with roots in the Third Great Awakening (See Great Awakenings, USA*), which flourished from about 1890 to 1940, most prominently in the early 1900s. The main idea of the movement was application of Christian principles to bring about the transformation of society. At the end of the 19th century, mainline Protestant theology viewed individuals as fallen and in need of redemption; the Social Gospel extended this view to apply to society....

Text and tune: an introduction

  'Music . . . the exaltation of poetry.  Both of them may excel apart, but sure they are most excellent when they are joyn'd' (Henry Purcell). The primary hallmark of excellence in vocal music, whether sacred or secular, is the depth of poetic unity between words and music. Arguably, it is the quality of the relationship between tune and text that is likely to be the most effective in quickening the emotions of both performer and listener and, in the case of sacred vocal music, of...

Reformed hymnody, USA

Hymnody and Hymnals of the Reformed Church in America. The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is an offshoot of the Dutch Reformed Church, or Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk. It dates itself from the founding of a congregation in New Amsterdam (now New York City) by Jonas Michaelius (1577-1638) in April of 1628. Now with approximately 1,000 congregations in the United States and Canada, the RCA claims the oldest continuous Protestant ministry in North America, as well as the oldest theological...

William Hiley Bathurst

BATHURST, William Hiley. b. Mangotsfield, Somerset, 28 August 1796; d. Lydney, Gloucestershire, 25 November 1877. He was born the son of a politician, the Rt Hon Charles Bragge, who changed his name to Bathurst. He was educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford (BA 1818). He took Holy Orders, and was rector of Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire, from 1820 to 1852. He resigned on doctrinal grounds in 1852, and lived thereafter at Lydney, Gloucestershire. He was one of the early Church of England...

A hymn for martyrs sweetly sing

A hymn for martyrs sweetly sing. Bede* (673/4-735), translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This hymn, 'Hymnum canentes Martyrum', is found in an anthology, Hymni Ecclesiastici (Cologne, 1556), ascribed to the Venerable Bede. Neale's translation of some of the verses appeared in Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences (1851), with a first line 'The hymn for conquering martyrs raise', and a note saying that it was 'a Hymn for the Holy Innocents'. It appeared in the First Edition of A&M with the...

Carlos Rosas

ROSAS, Carlos. b. Linares, Nuevo León, Mexico, 4 November 1939; d. San Antonio, Texas, 12 February 2020. Catholic hymn writer, composer, church musician, and lecturer, and son of Anastacio Rosas and Isabel Delgado, he was the tenth of twelve children. He and his wife María Teresa de León (1940-2011), a citizen of the United States, were married on December 26, 1965. He resided in San Antonio, Texas, near his five children, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.  Rosas's compositions...

Caryl Micklem

MICKLEM, (Thomas) Caryl. b. Oxford, 1 August 1925; d. Pocklington, Yorkshire, 2 June 2003. Born into a distinguished Congregationalist family, he was educated at Mill Hill School and then read English at New College, Oxford. He began theological training at Mansfield College, Oxford, but owing to his father's ill health, moved to Oundle to assist his father in his Congregational ministry. He was ordained in 1951 and undertook ministries at Banstead, Surrey (1953-58), Allen Street, Kensington...

Hugh Martin

MARTIN, Hugh. b. Glasgow, 7 April 1890; d. East Grinstead, Sussex, 2 July 1964. He was educated at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Baptist College. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Student Christian Movement in 1914, and worked for the SCM until 1950; he was one of the founders of the SCM Press, and later editor of the Press. An eminent Baptist, he was Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, 1953-54. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1955. For the SCM Press he wrote...

Thomas Hughes

  HUGHES, Thomas. b. Uffington, Berkshire, 20 October 1822; d. Brighton, Sussex, 22 March 1896. He was educated at Rugby School under the great Thomas Arnold, and at Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1845). He was called to the Bar in 1847, and became a Queen's Counsel in 1869. He was a friend of Charles Kingsley* and Frederick Denison Maurice, and was closely associated with them in the early years of the Christian Socialist movement. He is most famous for his novel, Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857),...

Karl Johann Philipp Spitta

SPITTA, Karl Johann Philipp. b. Hannover, 1 August 1801; d. Burgdorf, 28 September 1859. He was born into a Huguenot family; his father was a teacher of French. He was apprenticed to a watchmaker, but left the craft in 1818 to study at the Gymnasium at Hannover and then at the University of Göttingen (1821-24). He became a private tutor to the family of a judge at Lüne (1824-28), before being ordained as a Lutheran pastor at Südwald in the Grafschaft (County) of Hoya (1828-30). He became a...

William Chatterton Dix

DIX, William Chatterton. b. Bristol, 14 June 1837; d. Cheddar, Axbridge, Somerset, 9 September 1898. Dix's father was James Dix, a surgeon with literary interests, whose publications included a life of the poet Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), after whom he named his son. William attended Bristol Grammar School: after a commercial training, he became the manager of a marine insurance firm in Glasgow. On retirement, he returned to south west England, where he lived at Cheddar. A committed high...

John Mason Neale

NEALE, John Mason. b. London, 24 January 1818; d. East Grinstead, Sussex, 6 August 1866. The son of a Church of England clergyman, he was educated privately in Shepperton by the Revd William Russell, then at schools in Blackheath; Sherborne, Dorset; and Farnham, Surrey. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1836, and was the best classicist of his year; but weakness in mathematics meant he only gained a pass degree in 1840. Neale entered Cambridge as an Evangelical, but emerged...

Father of all, to Thee

Father of all, to Thee. John Julian* (1839-1913). Written in 1874, this was published in Godfrey Thring*s The Church of England Hymn Book* (1882) and in the 1889 Supplement to the Second Edition of A&M. It had four unpretentious and admirable stanzas, with a flash of true poetic insight in the imagery of an unstrung instrument in stanza 2: Father of all, to Thee   Our contrite hearts we raise, Unstrung by sin and pain,   Long voiceless in Thy praise; Breathe Thou the silent chords along,...

Light up this house with glory, Lord

Light up this house with glory, Lord. John Harris* (1802-1856). Written, presumably, for the opening of a chapel, and first published in the New Congregational Hymn Book (1859) not long after Harris's death. It is found in the 'Special Occasions' section under 'Founding and Opening Places of Worship'. The original text in 1859 was as follows: Light up this house with glory, Lord;   Enter, and claim Thine own; Receive the homage of our souls,   Erect Thy temple throne. We rear no altar, –...

Martin Luther

LUTHER, Martin. b. Eisleben, Thuringia, probably 10 November 1483; d. Eisleben, 18 February 1546. Born the son of a miner who later became a mine-owner, he was educated at schools at Mansfeld, Magdeburg and Eisenach, before entering the University of Erfurt in 1501 (BA 1501, MA 1505). After a very brief period studying law, he decided to become an Augustinian friar, entering the cloister at Erfurt in July 1505. He entered the Order formally in 1506, becoming a priest in 1507 and saying his...

New Version

A New Version of the Psalms of David, Fitted to the Tunes Used in Churches, by Nahum Tate* and Nicholas Brady* (1696) was a response to mounting criticism of Sternhold* and Hopkins*'s psalm paraphrases of 1562. It made slow headway against the Old Version*, but eventually gained an acknowledged place as an alternative psalm book for Anglican use. From about 1770 to 1830 it was probably the most widely used word book in the church, being frequently bound at the back of the Book of Common Prayer....

Unsern Ausgang segne Gott

Unsern Ausgang segne Gott. Hartmann Schenck* (1634-1681). This hymn ('God bless our going out') is found at EG 163, entitled  'Gesänglein, wann der Gottesdienst zu Ende ist' ('Short hymn for the end of a service'). It was the last stanza of a three-stanza 6-line hymn, printed in The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) beginning 'Nun Gott Lob, es ist vollbracht/ Singen, Beten, Lehren, Hören.' The translation in that book began 'Now, the hour of worship o'er,/ Teaching, hearing, praying, singing'. There is...

Arthur Hutchings

HUTCHINGS, Arthur James Bramwell. b. Sunbury-on-Thames, 14 July 1906; d. 13 November 1989. Before the Second World War, in which he served with the Royal Air Force, Hutchings was a schoolmaster and organist, and a contributor to music periodicals. After the war he was Professor of Music at the University of Durham (1947-68) and the University of Exeter (1968-71). He retired to Colyton, Devon. His publications included Schubert (1941, 5th Edition, 1978); Edmund Rubbra (1941), Delius (Paris,...

Edward Bairstow

BAIRSTOW (Sir) Edward Cuthbert. b. Huddersfield, 22 August 1874; d. York, 1 May 1946. His first significant musical studies were with John Farmer, a lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford. At the age of 18 he became an articled pupil of Frederick Bridge* at Westminster Abbey and, from 1893, took lessons from Walter Alcock, then an organ professor at the Royal College of Music and organist at Holy Trinity, Sloane Street. A year later he took the appointment of organist at All Saints, Norfolk Square...

Ad Den Besten

 Den Besten, Adriaan Cornelis ('Ad'). b. Utrecht, the Netherlands, 11 March 1923; d. Amstelveen, 31 March 2015. He went to primary and secondary school in Utrecht, and after graduating in 1941 he went to Utrecht University to study theology. Two years earlier, he had made his literary debut in Opwaartsche Wegen, a magazine for young protestant poets. In 1943 he was forced to abandon his studies as Utrecht University was closed by order of the German occupying forces. Den Besten and other...

Anna Hoppe

HOPPE, Anna Bernardine Dorothy. b. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 7 May 1889; d. Milwaukee, 2 August 1941. Hoppe, a Lutheran Wisconsin Synod member, penned around 600 original hymns and chorale translations that remained uncollected and unpublished until 75 years after her death. She was born to German-Lutheran immigrants Albert and Emilie Hoppe. Baptized and confirmed by pastor Johann Bading of St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, she alone of her five siblings attended the parochial school there,...

Dear Angel! ever at my side

Dear Angel! ever at my side. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). There are two entries in JJ for this hymn, both under the heading 'Dear Angel! ever at my side', which was Faber's own first line. The first gives the printing in Faber's Jesus and Mary; or, Catholic Hymns (1849). The entry in the 'New Supplement', p. 1627, also gives the date of publication as 1849, in Faber's St Wilfrid's Hymns (Faber, converted in 1846, had founded the 'Brothers of the Will of God of the Congregation of St...

Lee Hastings Bristol, Jr.

BRISTOL, Lee Hastings, Jr. b. Brooklyn, New York, 4 September 1923; d. Syracuse, New York, 11 March 1979. Bristol was born into an illustrious family, long associated with the village of Clinton, New York. It included Dr Seth Hastings (1745-1830) father of 11 children (one son the hymn-tune composer Thomas Hastings*), and William McLaren Bristol (1860-1935), co-founder of the Bristol-Myers Company and father of Lee Hastings Bristol (1892-1962). William McLaren Bristol was well aware, and proud,...

John Core

CORE, John Albert. b. Camp Rucker, Alabama, 17 February 1951; d. Morgantown, West Virginia, 9 May 2017. Educated in the public schools of Cicero, Illinois, and Morgantown, West Virginia, he was awarded a Bachelor Of Arts degree in Speech Communication from West Virginia University (May 1974). From 1975 onwards, he served as a library associate in the metadata unit of the WVU Downtown Campus Library, where his principal responsibility was for the cataloging of music materials. He retired in 2017...

Mark Miller

MILLER, Mark Andrew. b. Burlington, Vermont, 7 January 1967. Mark Miller is a pianist, organist, singer, composer, choral conductor, church musician, educator, and active lay person in the United Methodist Church. He is currently an Associate Professor of Church Music, Director of the Chapel, and Composer-In-Residence at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey, and since 2006, a Lecturer in the Practice of Sacred Music in the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. Miller also...

Savior, I follow on

Savior, I follow on. Charles S. Robinson* (1829-1899).  This hymn of discipleship bears the inscription fom Isaiah 42: 16: 'And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them'(KJV). Written from the perspective of first person singular, the four stanzas are composed in 6.4.6.4.6.6.6.4 (or 10.10.12.10). The second...

Thomas A. Dorsey

DORSEY, Thomas Andrew. b. Villa Rica, Georgia, 1 July 1899; d. Chicago, 23 January 1993. Born into a Baptist preacher's family that moved to Atlanta when he was five, Dorsey studied music there and came under the influence of local blues pianists. He moved to Chicago in 1915, where he studied at the Chicago College of Composition and Arranging, and played in nightclubs as 'Georgia Tom' or 'Barrelhouse Tom', accompanying blues singers such as Tampa Red, Ma Rainey, and Bessie Smith. Because of...

By cool Siloam's shady rill

By cool Siloam's shady rill. Reginald Heber* (1783-1826). First published in the Christian Observer (April 1812), in a different metre, and beginning 'By cool Siloam's shady fountain'. It was entitled 'Christ a Pattern for Children. Luke ii. 40'. It was rewritten in the present Common Metre, and published in Heber's Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), for the First Sunday after Epiphany. It had six stanzas: By cool Siloam's shady rill How sweet the...

Cyril Argentine Alington

ALINGTON, Cyril Argentine. b. Ipswich, Suffolk, 22 October 1872; d. St Weonard's, Herefordshire, 16 May 1955. He was the son of an Inspector of Schools. Alington was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Oxford (BA 1895). He was a Fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford (1895-1904), Assistant Master at Marlborough College (1896-99), and at Eton College (1899-1908). He was Headmaster of Shrewsbury School (1908-16) and of Eton College (1917-33). He was Dean of Durham (1933-51), before...

Congregational Christian Church and United Church of Christ hymnody, USA

Congregational Christian Church and United Church of Christ hymnody, USA The United Church of Christ (UCC) was formed by a 1957 merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church, and has a present membership of 1.1 million with 5100 churches in the United States. The diversity of theology among local congregations is great, from liberal to conservative and all points in between, with individual congregations enjoying 'local church autonomy'—a remnant of the...

Arthur Campbell Ainger

AINGER, Arthur Campbell. b. Blackheath, London, 4 July 1841; d. Eton, Berkshire, 26 October 1919. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He returned to Eton as Classics Master in 1864 and taught there for 37 years, until 1901. After retirement he continued to live at Eton, in close touch with the school, until his death. As a hymn writer he is chiefly known as the author of the robust 'God is working his purpose out'*; another of his hymns, 'Let all our brethren join in one'*,...

How happy is he born and taught

How happy is he born and taught. Sir Henry Wotton* (1568-1639).  According to Logan Pearsall Smith (1907) this was written during one of the times when Wotton, who led a hectic and adventurous life, was out of favour with King James I. It was published by Isaak Walton in Reliquiae Wottonianae (1651) with the title 'The character of a happy life'. It had six stanzas:  How happy is he born and taught, That serveth not another's will? Whose armour is his honest thought: And simple truth his...

Cast thy bread upon the waters

Cast thy bread upon the waters. Phebe Ann Hanaford* (1829-1921). Dated 1852, and therefore very early in Hanaford's writing career, this hymn is based on Ecclesiastes 11.1: 'Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days.' It had four stanzas: Cast thy bread upon the waters,   Thinking not 'tis thrown away; God himself saith, thou shalt gather   It again some future day. Cast thy bread upon the waters;   Wildly though the billows roll, They but aid thee as thou...

Manuel Francisco

FRANCISCO, Manuel ('Manoling'). b. Quezon City, Philippines, 26 October 1965. Educated at the Ateneo de Manila High School, he grew up playing keyboard, and trained for a career in classical piano. After his uncle, his mother's first cousin, Benigno Aquino, was killed in 1983, Francisco became a student activist. At the age of 20, while in his second year in college, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Novaliches. Ordained in 1997, his first assignment was as a priest and school director of an...

So nimm denn meine Hände

So nimm denn meine Hände. Julie Hausmann* (1826-1901). First published by Gustav Knak* in a collection devoted to 'silence' and 'quietness' ('die Stille'), Maiblumen. Lieder der Stillen im Lande (Berlin, 1862). It is a very beautiful and simple hymn of trust in good times and bad ('in Freud und Schmerz', stanza 2) and asks to be led through the night ('auch durch die Nacht', verse 3) through life and into eternity. It became very popular and has rightly remained so; it is found in EG in the...

When Stephen, full of power and grace

When Stephen, full of power and grace. Jan Struther* (1901-53). Written for SofPE, for St Stephen's Day (26 December). It is a vivid hymn about the martyrdom of St Stephen, in which he appears as an unarmed knight, without sword or shield, going out to do battle against evil: When Stephen, full of power and grace,  Went forth throughout the land,He bore no shield before his face,  No weapon in his hand;But only in his heart a flame  And on his lips a swordWherewith he smote and overcame  The...

Philip Phillips

PHILLIPS, Philip. b. Chautauqua County, New York, 13 August, 1834; d. Delaware, Ohio, 25 June 1895.  Phillips, widely known as the 'Singing Pilgrim' was an evangelistic singer, song-writer, compiler of hymnals, and owner of a music company. According to the Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, New York (Philadelphia, 1891) the paternal grandfather of Philip Phillips, who was also named Philip Phillips, moved to Cassadaga, Chautauqua County, in 1816.  His son, Sawyer...

Bay Psalm Book

The Bay Psalm Book (BPB), or—to use its actual title—The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre ([Boston], 1640), is one of the most famous books ever printed in what is now the United States. Its press run was only 1700 copies. The dozen or so that still survive are almost beyond price today. Their value rests chiefly on the BPB's standing as the first book written and printed in English-speaking North America, and as a symbol of the country's beginnings. Much research...

E.G. Monk

MONK, Edwin George. b. Frome, Somerset, 13 December 1819; d. 3 January 1900. Monk received his earliest musical education on the piano and organ in Bath before moving to London. There he attended John Pike Hullah's* singing classes and became a private pupil of Henry Philips and G. A. Macfarren. After appointments as organist of Midsomer Norton and Frome, he became the first organist and music master of St Columba's College, Rathfarnham near Dublin in 1844 (the first public school in Ireland...

Syriac hymnody (Western church)

History of the Syrian Church Syriac Christianity has grown out of the Aramaic speaking population of Mesopotamia and its environs which, around the beginning of the Christian Era, was divided into two empires: the Roman-Byzantine Empire in the West and the Parthian-Persian Empire in the East. It had its early centre in Edessa in the West, a relatively independent kingdom, where the majority of the population spoke Aramaic. Edessa was christianised from Antioch as early as the 2nd century. The...

Thee will I love, my Strength, my Tower

Thee will I love, my Strength, my Tower. Johannes Scheffler* (1624-1677), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791).   Scheffler's hymn, beginning 'Ich will dich lieben, meine Stärke', was published in his Heilige Seelen-lust, oder Geistliche Hirten-Lieder (Breslau, 1657). Wesley would have found it in Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735), the book brought by the Moravians on the voyage to Georgia. It had eight 6-line stanzas, of which Wesley translated seven, omitting stanza 2 ('Ich...

My Maker and my King

My Maker and my King. Anne Steele* (1717-1778). From Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional (1760), where it was entitled 'God my Creator and Benefactor'. It had six stanzas in Short Metre:   My Maker and my King,   To thee my all I owe; Thy sovereign bounty is the spring,   From whence my blessings flow.   Thou ever good, and kind,   A thousand reasons move, A thousand obligations bind,   My heart to grateful love.   The creature of thy hand,   On thee alone I live: My God, thy benefits...

Erik Routley

ROUTLEY, Erik Reginald. b. Brighton, Sussex, 31 October 1917; d. Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 8 October 1982. He was the only child of John, a businessman and town councillor who was Mayor of Brighton in 1936-37, and Eleanor, a homemaker and musician. He attended Fonthill Preparatory School, 1925-31 and Lancing College, 1931-36. He read Literae Humaniores (nicknamed 'Mods' and 'Greats': classics/ ancient history and philosophy) at Magdalen College, Oxford (BA 1940, MA 1943). He became an...

Old Version

'Old Version' (1562). This is an informal name often used, from the mid-17th century onwards, for The Whole Booke of Psalmes, by Thomas Sternhold*, John Hopkins* and others, which was first published under that title by John Day* (London, 1562). It is sometimes termed simply 'Sternhold & Hopkins'. In popularity and durability it far exceeds any other psalm or hymnbook in English history. For nearly three centuries it was the standard English version of the metrical psalms. One psalm, one...

Go down, Moses

Go down, Moses ('Let my people go'). African American spiritual*, 19th century This song of liberty is of unknown date, but certainly existed before December 1861, when it was published in sheet music form as 'The Song of the Contrabands', 'O Let my people Go', with words and music written down by a chaplain to the escaped slaves, the Revd L.C. Lockwood, and arranged by Thomas Baker. The 'Contrabands' were given that name because they were 'contraband of war'. They were 'the fugitive slaves...

For my sake and the Gospel's, go

For my sake and the Gospel's, go. Edward Henry Bickersteth* (1825-1906) Bickersteth was a strong supporter of Christian missions. This hymn was first published in The Church Missionary Hymnbook (1899). It was written for, and perhaps inspired by, the splendid tune by Arthur Sullivan*, BISHOPGARTH. Sullivan's tune had been written two years earlier to words written for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria by William Walsham How*, 'O King of kings, Whose reign of old'*. Sullivan hoped that the...

From every stormy wind that blows

From every stormy wind that blows. Hugh Stowell* (1799-1865). First published in Stowell's collection The Winter's Wreath (London and Liverpool, 1828) and then in his Selection of Psalms & Hymns Suited to the Services of the Church of England (1831) and his The Pleasures of Religion; with other poems (1832). It was entitled 'The Mercy Seat': every stanza ends with that phrase. It had six stanzas:  From every stormy wind that blows, From every swelling tide of woes, There is a calm, a sure...

Jesus, King of glory

Jesus, King of glory. W. Hope Davison* (1827-1894). This has the same first line, and is written in the same metre as a hymn by Edward Harland*, published in his Church Psalter and Hymnal (1855). According to JJ, Davison's hymn was first published in one of two 'Services of Song for Passiontide', but this has not been found: the hymn exists in papers held in Bolton Archives and Local Studies Collections, entitled 'Sermons & Lectures. W.H. Davison Senr.' Harland's hymn began: Jesus! King...

Amanda Husberg

HUSBERG, Amanda. b. Chicago, 7 December 1940; d. New York City, 15 February 2021. Amanda Husberg graduated from Concordia Teacher's College (Seward, Nebraska, B.S., 1962) where she studied education, and organ performance with Jan Bender*. Subsequently, she completed her study in early childhood education from Hunter College (New York City, M.S., 1971).  From July 1964 onwards she was the Director of Music at St. John the Evangelist Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Concurrent with...

Come, all whoe'er have set

Come all whoe'er have set. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788) From Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), the two volumes issued by Charles Wesley in his own name. This was headed 'Another'; it was one of three poems entitled 'On a Journey'. The first prays for guidance, but the other two are confident expressions of a progress towards the promised land, 'the New Jerusalem above,/ The seat of everlasting love' (verse 2 lines 5-6). The hymn had five 6-line stanzas, marking a steady progress through this...

Lord, now the time returns

Lord, now the time returns. John Austin* (1613-1669).  First printed in Austin's Devotions in the Antient Way of Offices (Paris, 1668), in the section 'The Office of our B. Saviour', where it is part of 'Complin for our B. Saviour'. It had eight 4-line stanzas: Lord, now the time returns,  For weary man to rest;  And lay aside those pains and cares  With which our day's opprest: Or rather change our thoughts  To more concerning cares:  How to redeem our mispent time,  With sighs,...

Mormon hymnody

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church, was established in 1830 with six individuals. Joseph Smith (1805-44) received a series of visions in his teenage years, resulting in a church believed to contain restored doctrines and organizations long lost by disobedient humanity. The Book of Mormon was a document associated with Smith's revelations and the new church, which together influenced mission work...

United Church of Canada hymnals

The Methodist Church Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada and 70% of the Presbyterian Church in Canada united to form The United Church of Canada on 10 June 1925. The first hymnbook of the new church, The Hymnary, was published in Toronto in 1930 by The United Church Publishing House. In 1971 the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada issued a joint hymnal entitled The Hymn Book. It was the only product of a thirty-year dialogue towards church union. Voices United: the...

John Webster Grant

GRANT, John Webster. b. Truro, Nova Scotia, 27 June 1919; d. Toronto, 16 December 2006. He was educated at Pictou Academy and Dalhousie University, Halifax (BA 1938, MA 1941). He attended Princeton University on a graduate scholarship before enrolling in Pine Hill Divinity Hall at Halifax. Ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada in 1943, he was appointed director of information to the non-Roman Catholic churches with the Wartime Information Board and chaplain to the Royal...

Swing low, sweet chariot

Swing low, sweet chariot. African American spiritual*. In A Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies (Cincinnati, 1883), edited by Marshall W. Taylor, this has six stanzas, with a tune attributed to Jesse Munday. One source attributes it to Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman in what is now Oklahoma, whose singing was written down by Alexander Reid, a minister. It has a strong element of the 'revival' tradition, with an emphasis on salvation: The brightest day that ever I saw,Coming...

The night is come like to the day

The night is come like to the day. Sir Thomas Browne* (1605-1682). These lines are taken from a poem by Browne published in his Religio Medici (1643). Browne was a doctor in Norwich at a time when members of that profession were suspected of a tendency to scepticism in religion. His book 'on the religion of a doctor' has a section near the end of Part II (Everyman edition, 1906, pp. 85-6) in which Browne plays on the traditional comparison of sleep to death (Virgil's 'consanguineus leti...

Aesthetics and theology in congregational song

The singing practices and repertoire of any Christian congregation offer a site of aesthetics and theology. The act of singing itself is always culturally embodied and embedded, thus revealing complex relations between the musical 'sounding' of the poetry and the received theology of texts. What we learn to sing together in public worship and in devotion is at once experiential and formative of belief. Hymns, psalms and spiritual songs are central to every congregation's faith experience over...

Presbyterian hymnody, Canadian

Presbyterian hymnody, Canadian Canadian Presbyterian congregations for the most part have adopted hymnals sanctioned by their General Assemblies for congregational singing of hymns: Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada was issued in 1880 (full music edition in 1881), and The Book of Praise in 1897, 1918, 1972 and 1997. Two seminal figures in the hymnody of the early Presbyterian Church in Canada were Daniel James Macdonnell (1843-1896), whose career within the church is extensively...

Now that the daylight fills the sky

Now that the daylight fills the sky. Latin, 8th century or earlier, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). This is a translation of the original text of the morning hymn 'Iam lucis orto sidere'*, found in all medieval breviaries as a hymn for Prime in the Daily Office. Neale's translation appeared in The Hymnal Noted Part I (1851). It was included in an altered form in the First Edition of A&M, and that form, with further slight changes, was also found in Church Hymns (1871). The...

Lucy Larcom

LARCOM, Lucy. b. Beverly, Massachusetts, 5 March 1826; d. Beverly, 17 April 1893. The ninth of ten children, she worked from the age of 13 in the cotton-mills at Lowell, Massachusetts, to which she moved on the death of her father, a sea captain. She became an elementary school teacher, and was then trained at Monticello Female Seminary at Alton, Illinois (1849-52). She continued to work in education. She was a friend of John Greenleaf Whittier*, and wrote a poetic tribute to him for the...

At thy feet, O Christ, we lay

At thy feet, O Christ, we lay. William Bright* (1824-1901). First published in the Monthly Packet of Evening Readings for Members of the English Church (October 1867), and then in the Second Edition of Bright's Hymns and Other Poems (1874). It became widely known after its printing in the Second Edition of A&M (1875). It is a morning hymn, meditating upon human weakness, but its simplicity of line, and the rhyming couplets, also make it suitable for children. It has been frequently...

The north wind is tossing the leaves

The north wind is tossing the leaves. John Harry Rupert Angior Wheeler* (1901-84). John Wheeler was born in the small town of Colac in the state of Victoria, Australia, and there is a local anecdote that the text was written as the result of a very hot and windy day in Colac. Leaves from the plane trees lining the streets were blowing round the poet's feet and those of his friend the composer William James*, and both men were attempting to keep the dust out of their eyes. Wheeler reportedly...

When for me the silent oar

When for me the silent oar. Lucy Larcom* (1824-1893). Published in Larcom's Poems (Boston, 1869), where it was entitled 'Across the River'. It began: When for me the silent oar   Parts the Silent River, And I stand upon the shore   Of the strange Forever, Shall I miss the loved and known? Shall I vainly seek mine own? The poem is a meditation on a problem that exercised many people in Larcom's time: shall we meet and know our loved-ones in heaven? The publication of Darwin's The Origin of...

Church Hymns

Church Hymns (1871), Church Hymns with Tunes (1874). The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) had printed hymns since 1837, when it added them to a reprint of Tate* and Brady*'s Metrical Psalms, the New Version*. In subsequent editions, more hymns were added, and then printed separately from the Psalms in 1852. Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship followed in 1855, with an Appendix in 1863, edited by Berdmore Compton, then rector of Barford, Warwickshire. Some churches, such as St...

Arlo Duba

DUBA, Arlo Dean. b. Brule County, South Dakota, 12 November 1929. Duba was raised in a Bohemian Presbyterian farming family whose Hussite/Czech forebearers settled in the Dakotas in the 1880s. He attended the University of Dubuque, majoring in music and religion (BA 1952), and Princeton Theological Seminary (BD 1955, PhD 1960). His dissertation title was 'The Principles of Theological Language in the Writings of Horace Bushnell and Paul Tillich and Their Implications for Christian Education...

Peter Henry Kelway Tongeman

TONGEMAN, Peter Henry Kelway. b. Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, 21 November 1929. Educated at Palmer's School, Grays, Essex, and Spurgeon's College, London, he became a Baptist minister, serving at Luton, Northampton, Enfield, New Milton, Tunbridge Wells and Romsey, Hampshire (he retired to Romsey). He was President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (1995-96). He was active in the educational work of the Scripture Union, editing its Teaching over 13s from 1976 to 1981, and writing Thirteen Plus...

Pretty Little Hymns for Good Little Children

Pretty Little Hymns for Good Little Children (1850). This is the title of a hymn book by a certain Louisa Watts, whose preface is dated from St John's Wood Terrace, April 1850. It contained 130 hymns. Its title suggests that it was one of the many books intended to indoctrinate children with impossible ideas of goodness, although the preface makes it clear that it was a sequel to Louisa Watts's Pretty Little Poems for Pretty Little People (Halifax, 1847), which had had 'a sale so large as to...

Sunday's palms are Wednesday's ashes

Sunday's palms are Wednesday's ashes. Rae E. Whitney* (1927- ). This was published initially in the first of four collections of hymns, With Joy Our Spirits Sing: The Hymns of Rae E. Whitney (Pittsburgh, 1995). It begins: Sunday's palms are Wednesday's ashesas another Lent begins;thus we kneel before our Makerin contrition for our sins. We have marred baptismal pledges, in rebellion gone astray; now, returning, seek forgiveness; grant us pardon, God, this day! (Words © 1991 Selah Publishing...

Andrew Reed

REED, Andrew. b. London, 27 November 1787; d. London, 25 February 1862. He was the son of a watchmaker, who was also a lay preacher. He became a watchmaker himself, but sold his tools and entered Hackney College in 1807 to train for the Congregational ministry. He was ordained in 1811 to a chapel at New Road, East London. He built a new chapel called Wycliffe in Commercial Road, Whitechapel, and became minister of the congregation there in 1831; he retired in November 1861, after thirty years...

Laura Ormiston Chant

CHANT, Laura Ormiston (née Dibbin). b. Woolaston, Gloucestershire, 9 October 1848; d. Banbury, Oxfordshire, 16 February 1923. She was the daughter of a civil engineer. She was educated at home, before working briefly as a schoolteacher and for some years as a nurse at the London Hospital. She married Thomas Chant, a surgeon, in 1877. She worked for a time as an assistant manager of a lunatic asylum. Her nursing experience was put to good use when in 1897 she took six nurses to Crete to give...

Saviour, send a blessing to us

Saviour, send a blessing to us. Thomas Kelly* (1769-1855). First published in four stanzas (not three, as is sometimes stated) in Kelly's Hymns on Various Passages from Scripture (Dublin, 1804): Saviour, send a blessing to us,    Send a blessing from above: All thy truth and mercy shew us,   Be thou here, in pow'r and love,     Grant thy presence, Be it ours thy grace to prove. Art thou here? – then have we blessing;    Art thou not? – we nothing have;   All our good in thee possessing, For...

Thomas Pestel

PESTEL (Pestell), Thomas. b. Leicester, 1586 (baptized 9 October); d. Leicester, 1667 (buried 2 July). He was the son of a tailor who must have been prosperous and well connected, because Pestel's career was determined by patronage. He was an undergraduate at Queens' College, Cambridge; after ordination he was presented to the living of Coleorton, Leicestershire by Sir Thomas Beaumont (1611). He became vicar of the next village, Packington, in 1622, holding both appointments until he...

Fred Kimball Graham

GRAHAM, Fred Kimball. b. Oshawa, Ontario, 8 April 1946. He was educated at the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT 1966) and the University of Toronto (Mus. Bac. in Education 1967), winning a graduating scholarship and a Canada Council bursary which took him to Germany for three years to study sacred music and conducting. He completed a Fellowship in the Royal College of Organists in London in 1970. Returning to Canada as a parish musician, he taught instrumental and choral music in Ottawa, and...

Father, I know that all my life

Father, I know that all my life. Anna Laetitia Waring* (1823-1910). This was written in 1846, and first published in A Selection of Scriptural Poetry (Third Edition, 1848), edited by Lovell Squire. It was then published in Hymns and Meditations by A.L.W. (1850) as the first hymn in that book, under the title 'My times are in Thy hand' (from Psalm 31: 15). It had eight 6-line stanzas. It has frequently been shortened, in early years to seven stanzas, and more recently to six (MHB) or five (CP)....

Hymns of the City

Hymns of the City (1989). This is the title of a collection edited by John J. Vincent, a Methodist minister, and published by the Urban Theology Unit at Sheffield (1989, revised 1998). It is a collection of 31 texts (32 in the second edition), attempting to give voice to Christians living in cities, providing hymns for and from small congregations in inner city and housing estate churches. The preface claims that such hymns are about people's real experience and not 'the endless praise for no...

I love Thy kingdom, Lord

I love Thy kingdom, Lord. Timothy Dwight* (1752-1817). This is Dwight's metrical version of the 'Third Part' of Psalm 137, in his edition of Isaac Watts*'s The Psalms of David (Hartford, Connecticut, 1801). It had eight 4-line stanzas. It was printed in the American Episcopal Church Hymnal in 1826, and has remained in successive editions. It is 'the earliest American hymn text remaining in common use' (Glover, 1990-1994, volume 3B, p. 979). Most books, including H82, omit stanzas 2-4: 2. I...

Mary Jane Walker

WALKER, Mary Jane (née Deck). b. Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, 27 April 1816; d. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 2 July 1878. She was the sister of James George Deck*. Little is known of her life except that she married Edward Walker in 1848 (JJ, p. 1231). He served a curacy in Manchester, and his early career was spent there: at the time of the marriage he was curate of St George's and lecturer of St Saviour's, Manchester, and (in the same year) of Silverdale, Lancaster. He was the incumbent of St...

When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old

When a knight won his spurs, in the stories of old. Jan Struther* (1901-53). This was written for SofPE (1931), to fit the tune STOWEY, so named because it was a Somerset folk tune collected by Cecil Sharp* from an 85-year-old man at Bridgwater, near Nether Stowey. Its arresting first line was calculated to arouse the interest of children, although the second stanza brings them down to earth with a jolt, insisting that 'the knights are no more and the dragons are dead': When a knight won his...

Hugh Thomson Kerr

KERR, Hugh Thomson. b. Elora, Ontario, Canada, 11 February 1871; d. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 27 June 1950. Kerr was educated at the University of Toronto, and at Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. After being ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1897, he was pastor of congregations in Kansas and Illinois before having a distinguished and lengthy ministry through two world wars at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh (1913-46). He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the...

How lovely on the mountains

How lovely on the mountains. Leonard E. Smith, Jr.* (1942- ). The full first line is 'How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him'. Based on Isaiah 52: 7-10, this worship song was written at Riverton, New Jersey in 1973. With its refrain ('Our God reigns') it was first sung in the New Covenant Community Church, where Smith was a worship leader. Copyrighted in 1974, three further stanzas were added in 1978. The song became widely known through its use by evangelists. Its effect comes from...

Julia Cory

CORY, Julia Bulkley (née Cady). b. New York City, 19 November 1882; d. Englewood, New Jersey, 1 May 1963. Her famous architect father, J. Cleveland Cady (1837-1919), was also an amateur hymnologist and the superintendent of the Church of the Covenant's Sunday school, New York City, for 52 years. Partly because of his influence, Julia began to write hymns from the early age of eight. 'We praise thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator'* is her most memorable text; 'There is a tender shepherd' is found...

Daniel Thambyrajah Niles

NILES, Daniel Thambyrajah. b. Jaffna, north Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) 4 May 1908; d. 17 July 1970. He was born into a Tamil Christian family: his grandfather was a Methodist minister, and his father was a lawyer. He studied law, but then chose to become a Methodist minister; he was ordained in 1936. As a young district evangelist, he was a delegate to the International Missionary Council Tambaram Conference of 1938; he then became YMCA evangelism secretary in Geneva (1939-40), before returning to...

Philip Pusey

PUSEY, Philip. b. Pusey, Berkshire, 25 June 1799; d. Oxford, 9 July 1855. His father, son of the first Viscount Folkestone, gave up the family name (Bouverie) on inheriting an estate at Pusey. Philip's younger brother, Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882) became the distinguished but somewhat reluctant leader of the Anglo-Catholics at Oxford during the turbulent years of the Oxford Movement*. Philip was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1817, but left without taking a...

Christian Science Church hymnody and hymnals

Origins and chief tenets of the Christian Science Church The Christian Science Church or, as it is more formally called, the First Church of Christ (Scientist) was officially incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy* (1821-1910). Eddy's seminal publication, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, appeared in Boston in 1875 followed by the first official denominational hymnal (Boston, 1892). Reading the Bible alongside Science and Health is fundamental to the...

Take my life, and let it be

Take my life, and let it be. Frances Ridley Havergal* (1836-1879). Written on 4 February 1874, not long after Havergal's experience of 'the blessedness of true consecration' on Advent Sunday 1873. She described the composition herself, in an account of a visit to Areley House (near Stourport, Worcestershire): I went for a little visit of five days. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer,...

Richard Frederick Littledale

LITTLEDALE, Richard Frederick. b. Dublin, 14 September 1833; d. London, 11 January 1890. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he had a distinguished career (BA 1855, MA 1858, LL.D, 1862). He took Holy Orders, and was curate of St Matthew's, Thorpe Hamlet, Norwich (1856-57), and curate of St Mary the Virgin, Crown Street, Soho, London (1857-61). In 1861 he retired from the parish priesthood through ill health, although he continued to hear confessions until the end of his life (he...

Father, behold us here

Father, behold us here. John Murray* (ca. 1740-1815).  This is the third of five hymns, all first published in the 1782 edition of Christian Hymns, Poems and Sacred Songs, Sacred to the Praise of God, Our Saviour, compiled by English Universalist James Relly and his brother John Relly.  The book was first published in London in 1754, and the 1782 edition was published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Noah Parker (1734-1787), a convert of Murray's and preacher in Portsmouth (Brewster, pp....

Around the throne a glorious band

Around the throne a glorious band. Rowland Hill* (1744-1833). Part of this hymn is from Hill's  A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, Chiefly Intended for Public Worship (1783). It was originally in the form of a dialogue. The stanzas were labelled alternately 'Q' and 'A', and the hymn was entitled 'The Same', referring to the previous hymn entitled 'A Dialogue'. The present one followed Revelation 7: 12-17, in which the interlocutor asks 'What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And...

Is this thy will, and must I be

Is this thy will, and must I be. Susanna Harrison* (1752-1784).  From Songs in the Night (1780). It is an interesting example of a hymn by an uneducated woman writer who is nervous about her work appearing in the public domain, with herself as a 'living witness'. It had a note at the foot of the page: 'Composed after being made acquainted that her verses were designed to be printed.' She claims to be unworthy of this, but this serves as an artifice which allows her to declare to all the saints...

George N. Allen

ALLEN, George Nelson.  b. near Mansfield, Massachusetts, 7 September 1812; d. Cincinnati, Ohio, 9 December 1877. Allen is primarily remembered in hymnody as the probable composer of the hymn tune MAITLAND. Allen studied music in Boston under Lowell Mason* before leaving Boston in 1832  to follow the famous Boston preacher Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) to Cincinnati, Ohio, when Beecher became president of Lane Seminary.  However, because of illness, Allen stayed in northern Ohio, where he attended...

Timothy Swan

SWAN, Timothy.  b. Worcester, Massachusetts, 23 July 1758; d. Northfield, Massachusetts, 23 July 1843.  Swan, a composer and hat maker, is of particular interest to modern music historians, in part for the originality and distinctiveness of his melodies, as well as the extent to which related research sources have been preserved. Swan's primary musical publication was New England Harmony, Containing a Variety of Psalm Tunes in Three and Four Parts, Adapted to All Metres:  Also a Number of Set...

Croatian hymnody

Introduction Between the 16th and the beginning of the 19th century, Croatian congregational hymns ('Kirchenlied') and sacred folk songs ('geistliches Volkslied') played a role that significantly surpassed their primary sacred and spiritual purpose. This corpus of liturgical and paraliturgical music, distinguished from Croatian art music of the time, did not reach the heights of artistic expression, but its function was not dependent on its aesthetic merit. The most notable efforts to promote...

Alexander Schreiner

SCHREINER, Christian Alexander Ferdinand. b. Steinbühl, a suburb of Nürnberg (Nuremberg), Bavaria, Germany, 31 July 1901; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 15 September 1987.  Schreiner was associated with the Mormon Tabernacle as an organ recitalist for many years and was the Chief Organist from 1965 to 1987. As a member of the General Music Committee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), he assisted in the preparation of the 1948 LDS hymnal, which includes 10 of his hymn...

Camina, pueblo de Dios

Camina, pueblo de Dios (Walk on [Go forth], O people of God). Cesáreo Gabaráin* (1936–1991) 'Camina, pueblo de Dios' (1979) looks at the Resurrection of Christ, not only as the most significant event in Christian history, but also as a sign of hope for God's people on the journey toward reconciliation and justice. The standard English translation was prepared by George Lockwood* in 1987 for UMH. His translation of the refrain follows: Walk on, O people of God;Walk on, O people of God!A new...

Frederick Bridge

BRIDGE, Sir John Frederick. b. Oldbury, Worcestershire, 5 December 1844; d. London, 18 March 1924. Though born in Worcestershire, his formative years were spent in Rochester where, until 1859, he was a chorister in the cathedral together with his lay-clerk father and his younger brother, Joseph Cox Bridge (who later became organist at Chester Cathedral). Articled to J. L. Hopkins at Rochester, he later accepted the posts of organist at Shorne Parish Church (1861) and Strood Parish Church...

Thy life was given for me

Thy life was given for me. Frances Ridley Havergal* (1836-1879). Written in 1858, with a dramatic first line, 'I gave My life for thee' (Christ is speaking). It was published in leaflet form in 1859 and in Good Words (February 1860). In The Ministry of Song (1869) it had the title 'I did this for thee! What hast thou done for Me?', followed by a parenthesis: '(Motto placed under a picture of our Saviour in the study of a German divine)'. JJ (p.555) quotes from a manuscript by Maria...

Let avarice from shore to shore

Let avarice from shore to shore. Samuel Stennett* (1727-1795).  The extraordinary first line of this hymn did not prevent it from becoming very popular in the 19th century in Britain and America. It is characteristic of Stennett in its robust condemnation of worldly greed. It was included by John Rippon* in his Selection of Hymns* (1787), under the title 'The Riches of God's Word'. It had six stanzas: Let Avarice from Shore to Shore  Her fav'rite God pursue; Thy Word, O God, we value more ...

At the Lamb's high feast we sing

At the Lamb's high feast we sing. Latin, Roman Breviary, 1632, translated by Robert Campbell* (1814-1868). This Easter Communion hymn is a translation of 'Ad regias Agni dapes'*, a hymn in the Roman Breviary (1632) derived from 'Ad cenam Agni providi'* (pre-8th-century). Campbell's translation appeared in his Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane (Edinburgh, 1850). It was then printed with alterations in the...

Baptist Wriothesley Noel

NOEL, The Hon. Baptist Wriothesley. b. Edinburgh, 10 July 1799; d. Stanmore, Middlesex, 19 January 1873. Born into a noble family (see Burke's Peerage, 1939, p. 1055; the name 'Baptist' was common in the family), he was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1821). He studied law, and entered Lincoln's Inn, but against the wishes of his family he became an Anglican priest, curate of Cossington, Leicestershire, and then minister of a proprietary chapel in London (St...

Christ, in highest heaven enthronèd

Christ, in highest heaven enthronèd. Jean-Baptiste de Santeuil* (1630-1697), translated by William Palmer* (1811-1879). de Santeuil's hymn, 'Christe qui sedes Olympo'*, was published in a Cluniac Brevary (1686), and then in de Santeuil's Hymni Sacri et Novi (1689), in seven 6-line stanzas.  The subject is the victory of St Michael over the dragon, as portrayed in many visual representations: First of all those legions glorious, Michael waves his sword of flame, Who in heavn'ly war...

Frances Elizabeth Cox

COX, Frances Elizabeth. b. Oxford, 10 May 1812; d. Oxford, 28 September 1897. She was a pioneer in the translation of German hymnody, publishing Sacred Hymns from the German in 1841 and Hymns from the German in 1864. The former contained 50 hymns in 1841, written in the same metre as the German, with the German text placed opposite the English. The preface stated that the hymns were 'taken from the large and interesting collection of Chevalier Bunsen, and it is hoped that the translations will...

Let earth and heaven agree

Let earth and heaven agree. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns on God's Everlasting Love (1742) in ten 6-line stanzas, it appeared in the second edition (1765) of Select Hymns and in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), where stanzas 6 and 8 were omitted: 6. For me, and All Mankind, The Lamb of God was slain, My Lamb His Life resign'd For Every Soul of Man: Loving to All, He none pass'd by, He...

Turn back, O Man, forswear thy foolish ways

Turn back, O Man, forswear thy foolish ways. Clifford Bax* (1886-1962). This poem was first published in a book entitled The Motherland Song Book (1919), though written earlier, during World War I. It was written at the request of Gustav Holst*, who composed a motet on the tune OLD 124th, and who wanted a new text for his music, which had hitherto been associated with the 124th metrical psalm in Scotland, and with two not very successful hymns in EH, 'The dying robber raised his aching brow'...

I would not live alway

 I would not live alway. William Augustus Muhlenberg* (1796-1877). A version of this hymn is said to have been written in 1824 at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for a lady's album, where it began: I would not live alway; no, no, holy man, Not a day, not an hour, should lengthen my span. This suggests the jeu d'esprit of a young clergyman, although it was based on Job 7: 16: 'I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.' The original text had six 8-line stanzas. The text given in...

Gospel songs and hymns, USA

The gospel song or gospel hymn is a genre of Christian worship-song that developed in revivals held in Great Britain and the USA, 1865-74. Its primary antecedents were camp meeting songs which joined personal witness and freedom of expression. and the widely popular Sunday school song. Start-up music publishers (see Publishing and publishers, USA*), exploited the product of pittance-paid, albeit talented songwriters and composers, and banded with organizers, preachers and song leaders of white...

Souls of men! why will ye scatter

Souls of men! why will ye scatter. Frederick William Faber* (1814-1863). First published in eight verses in Oratory Hymns (1854), and expanded in Faber's Hymns (1862) to thirteen verses, with the title 'Come to Jesus'. It is frequently shortened, and the order of verses is different in many books. The most common opening in modern books is now Faber's verse 4, beginning 'There's a wideness in God's mercy'*. This not only avoids the non-inclusive language of the original opening line, but has...

Fisk Jubilee Singers

The original Jubilee Singers was a choral group of students sponsored by Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee (founded 1866), and sponsored by the American Missionary Association (see Anderson 2010). From Oct. 1872 until June 1878 the singers toured the northern U.S. and England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, and Germany singing a repertory of hymns, parlor songs, and most significantly, spirituals. They were responsible for popularizing spirituals in mainstream white society and...

Jesu, the world's redeeming Lord

Jesu, the world's redeeming Lord.  Latin, 9th century, translated by William John Copeland* (1804-1885). This is a translation of the Latin hymn 'Jesu, Salvator saeculi', dated by Walter Howard Frere* as from the 9th century in Hymns Ancient and Modern, Historical Edition (1909, p. 233). It was made by Copeland for his Hymns for the Week, and Hymns for the Seasons: translated from the Latin (1848), and included in the First Edition of A&M (1861). Copeland's original was stilted and...

Guide my feet

Guide my feet. African American spiritual*.    'Guide my feet' is a spiritual about Christian journey, drawn from Hebrews 12:1–2:  Guide my feetwhile I run this race.Guide my feetwhile I run this race.Guide my feetwhile I run this race,for I don't want to run this race in vain! (race in vain). Welsh Methodist William Williams*' famous hymn 'Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (Redeemer)'* was a well-known antebellum precursor on this theme in the African American community. This hymn's rich...

A mighty mystery we set forth

A mighty mystery we set forth. Mary Peters* (1813-1856), altered by George Rawson* (1807-1889). This hymn appeared in Psalms and Hymns for the use of the Baptist Denomination (1858). In the Baptist Church Hymnal (1900) it was credited to Rawson. He has continued to be named as the author in some books, such as HP. The hymn is based on one by Mary Peters beginning 'O Lord, whilst we confess the worth', published in her Hymns intended to help the Communion of Saints (1847), a book published by...

Glory, love, and praise, and honour

Glory, love, and praise, and honour. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788).  This is from Graces before and after Meat. To which is Added, Gloria Patri; or, Hymns to the Trinity (Dublin, 1747). The first two stanzas are hymn XIII, the second of those designated for use 'At or After Meat'. After XIII was written 'To – Angels speak, let Man, &c. Hymn 2.' This refers to the tune for hymn 2 in John Frederick Lampe*'s Hymns on the Great Festivals (1746). It was a two-stanza grace:  Glory, Love, and...

O Thou who this mysterious bread

O Thou who this mysterious bread. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745), which contains the abridgement by John Wesley* of The Christian Sacrifice and Sacrament (1673) by Daniel Brevint (1616-1695), followed by hymns by Charles Wesley. This hymn is from Part II, 'As it [the Sacrament] is a Sign and a Means of Grace'. It had four stanzas: O Thou who this Mysterious Bread Didst in Emmaus break, Return herewith our Souls to feed And to thy Followers...

Captain of Israel's host, and guide

Captain of Israel's host, and guide. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Short Hymns on Select Passages of the Holy Scriptures (1762), in two 6-line stanzas, on Exodus 13: 21. It was reprinted in A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), where John Wesley altered verse 2 line 3, 'The light of man's direction need' to 'We shall not full direction need'. The word 'nor' was substituted for the original 'or' at the beginning of the next line in the 1831 Supplement to...

Henry Ainsworth

AINSWORTH, Henry. b. Swanton Morley (north west of Norwich), Norfolk, 1569 (baptized 15 January 1570); d. 1622. He was educated at Swanton Morley and at St John's College, Cambridge, moving to Gonville and Caius College, where he excelled at Hebrew but left in 1591 without taking a degree. He developed Separatist views, and was at variance with the Church of England, and also with other sectarians. At some point in the 1590s he emigrated to Holland, living in Amsterdam, where he continued his...

Now praise we great and famous men

Now praise we great and famous men. William George Tarrant* (1853-1928). First published in Tarrant's Songs Devout (1912). Based on Ecclesiasticus/ Sirach 44, it was popular in the 20th century (MHB, CP, BHB, and many other books), but its use of the non-inclusive 'men' throughout has made it unacceptable in its original form ('Now praise we great and famous men/ The fathers, named in story'). However, Unitarian books, anxious not to lose such a good hymn, have modified the text. In Hymns for...

Come with us, O blessed Jesus

Come with us, O blessed Jesus. John Henry Hopkins, Jr.* (1820-1891). First published in the Second Edition, enlarged, of Hopkins's Carols, Hymns, and Songs (New York, 1872). It was entitled 'Retrocessional for Christmas Day'; it provides a fine conclusion to a service on that day. After having been neglected for many years, the first stanza of this hymn was printed in H40, with a tune by Johann Schop*, sometimes called WERDE MUNTER, after the hymn by Johann Rist*, 'Werde munter, mein...

Bring many names

Bring many names. Brian Wren* (1936-). In his book What Language Shall I Borrow? God-talk in Worship: A Male Response to Feminist Theology (Eugene, Oregon, 1989),the poet discusses the significance of ascribing names for God:  Naming God truthfully is important, since to name God untruthfully is to delude ourselves and worship an idol. Naming God truthfully is especially important if language shapes and angles thinking and behavior, since untruthful God-language will then hinder our...

Henry Sloane Coffin

COFFIN, Henry Sloane, b. New York City, 5 January 1877; d. Lakeville, Connecticut, 25 November 1954. Coffin was educated at Yale University (BA, 1897; MA, 1900) and Union Theological Seminary, New York City (BD 1900). He also studied Theology at New College, Edinburgh, immediately after his undergraduate education, followed by a brief period at the University of Marburg, Germany. He was ordained a Presbyterian pastor in 1900 and served churches in New York City, notably serving as the pastor of...

Ere I sleep, for every favour

Ere I sleep, for every favour. John Cennick* (1718-55). First published in Cennick's Sacred Hymns for the Children of God, in the Days of their Pilgrimage, Second Edition, part 1 (1741). It was entitled 'Another', following 'An Evening Hymn' beginning 'Bless'd be the God, whose tender Care'. It had seven verses, sometimes printed in a different order. The original was as follows: E'er I sleep, for ev'ry Favour      This Day show'd      By my GOD,I will bless my Saviour. O my Lord, what shall...

Jill Jenkins

JENKINS, Jill. b. Ealing, west London, 14 October 1937. She was educated at Blackheath High School for Girls, and as an external student at Napier University, Edinburgh. She has worked as a Personal Assistant in the London Probation Service and as a volunteer administrator of a Bereavement Support Service (one of her hymns on HymnQuest is 'Gracious God of might and mercy', written for a friend whose grand-daughter had died of leukaemia). Jenkins is the author of two hymns, 'Living God, your...

Sacred Songs and Solos

Sacred Songs and Solos. This is the name given to a collection compiled ca. 1873 by the evangelist-musician team of Dwight L. Moody* and Ira D. Sankey* for use in England during their first revivals abroad. The hymnal ultimately grew into a bestselling volume of 1,200 hymns that remains in print today. Sankey notes in his autobiography that he brought along his pump organ and a scrapbook of gospel songs by American revival musicians Philip P. Bliss*, Philip Phillips* and others that he had...

Let sighing cease and woe.

Let sighing cease and woe. Charles Coffin* (1676-1749), translated by William John Blew* (1808-1894). Coffin's hymn, 'Iam desinant suspiria'* was written for Matins on Christmas Day. Blew's translation was dated 1852 by JJ, p. 577, where it was stated as 'not in C.U.' It was rescued from oblivion by the editors of EH, probably influenced by Percy Dearmer*, who, as a Christian Socialist, and a lover of the childlike, would have admired some of the stanzas, such as 4, 6 and 7 (the last):   We...

The Galilean fishers toil

The Galilean fishers toil. Christopher Wordsworth* (1807-1885). First published in The Holy Year (1862), where it was assigned to the fourth Sunday in Advent. It relates to the Collect for that day which asks God to 'succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us'. It recalls the miraculous draught of fishes, the calming of the storm, Peter's denial...

There's a land that is fairer than day

There's a land that is fairer than day.  Sanford Fillmore Bennett* (1836-1898).  The phrase 'In the sweet by and by', which has been the basis for many songs and arrangements, was used by Bennett for the refrain of this hymn: In the sweet by and by  We shall meet on that beautiful shore;In the sweet by and by  We shall meet on that beautiful shore. There were three stanzas: There's a land that is fairer than day,  And by faith we can see it afar;For the Father waits over the way  To prepare...

Abecedary hymns

The practice of using the letters of the alphabet to begin successive lines or stanzas of a verse composition is found already in the Hebrew Old Testament. Quite a few Psalms (9-10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, and 145) are composed using an alphabetical format. Psalm 119 is the longest (176 verses) and most elaborate of these, with each letter of the alphabet used to begin eight verses in succession. A section of Proverbs (31:10-31), the opening verses of Nahum, and the first four chapters of...

Siegfried August Mahlmann

MAHLMANN, Siegfried August. b. Leipzig, 13 May 1771; d. Leipzig, 16 December 1826. He was educated at the University of Leipzig. After a period as a private tutor, he became a bookseller and writer, later editing a journal, Zeitung für die elegante Welt (1806-16), and the newspaper Leipziger Zeitung (1810-18). He wrote a novel, Albano der Lautenspieler (1802) and a play, Der travestirte Doktor Faust (Berlin, 1806). His poems were published in 1825, and in further editions during the 19th...

William Vaughan Jenkins

JENKINS, William Vaughan. b. Bristol, 6 Sept 1868; d. Bitton, near Bristol, 30 June 1920. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School, and became a Chartered Accountant. He was a member of the National Council of Adult School Unions, and Secretary of its Bristol branch. He was an active member of several local churches, including Tyndale Baptist Church and Highbury Congregational Church. At some time he went to live at Bitton, six miles east of Bristol. After his death, a collection of his...

With hearts renew'd, and cleansed from guilt of sin

With hearts renew'd, and cleansed from guilt of sin.  David Thomas Morgan* (1809-1886). This is a translation of a Latin hymn, 'Vox clarescat, mens purgetur', dated from a manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale as 13th century (JJ, p. 1229). It was first published in Morgan's Hymns of the Latin Church (1871), and included in his Hymns and other Poetry of the Latin Church, Arranged according to the Calendar of the Church of England (1880). The 1871 book was the source of the text in the...

Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott

Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott. Martin Luther* (1483-1546). The date of this metrical psalm is uncertain. The text is a commentary on Psalm 46 in Christological terms. The first printing given in Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied III. 20, is from Form und ordnung Gaystlicher Gesang und Psalmen (Augsburg, 1529), so it may date from that year, the year of the Diet of Speyer, in which the German princes made their formal 'protest', thus becoming 'Protestants'. Jenny, no 28, states that it is...

Robert Carr Brackenbury

BRACKENBURY, Robert Carr. b. Panton House, Panton, Lincolnshire, 1752; d. Raithby Hall, near Spilsby, Lincolnshire, 11 August 1818. Born into a wealthy Lincolnshire family, he was educated at Felsted School and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. At Cambridge he was 'convinced of sin, though not by any outward means, and soon after justified.' He met with a Methodist preacher in Hull, and became 'clearly convinced that it was his duty to joined with the people called Methodists' (Smith, 1859,...

Thou hidden Source of calm repose

Thou hidden source of calm repose. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Volume I of Hymns and Sacred Poems (Bristol, 1749), published under Charles Wesley's name alone. It was in 'Part II', entitled 'Hymns for Believers', where it was Hymn XXXI. It was in four stanzas: Thou hidden Source of calm Repose,   Thou all-sufficient Love Divine, My Help, and Refuge from my Foes,   Secure I am, if Thou art mine, And lo! from Sin, and Grief, and Shame I hide me, Jesus, in thy Name. Thy mighty Name...

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book

The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (ELHB 1912) was the first, official English-language hymnal of the Missouri Synod branch of American Lutheranism. It was published at a time when the Missouri Synod was slowly, and reluctantly, making the transition from German to English in its worship forms and ecclesial culture. As such, ELHB 1912 assisted in a far-reaching transformation of this immigrant, Lutheran church body by bringing a large portion of its German hymnody into English, while at the...

Arno Pötzsch

PÖTZSCH, Arno. b. Leipzig, 23 November 1900; d. Cuxhaven, 19 April 1956. He entered the teacher's college at Bautzen in 1915. After an illness, he worked during the First World War in a grenade factory and served in the navy. After the end of the war he found refuge at Herrnhut, working as a teacher and studying from 1925 to 1927 at the seminary for mission, training as a social worker and finally beginning to study theology. While continuing his responsibilities and his work with young people,...

Not now, but in the coming years

Not now, but in the coming years. Maxwell N. Cornelius* (1842-1893) According to Sankey* (1906) the stanzas of this hymn, dated 1891, were published 'in a Western newspaper' (pp. 222-3). This would have been during the years that Cornelius was a Presbyterian pastor in California (1885-91). They were found in the newspaper by Daniel Webster Whittle*, who (according to Sankey) added the refrain: Then trust in God thro' all the days; Fear not, for he doth hold thy hand; Though dark thy way,...

O solemn hour, so strange and still

O solemn hour, so strange and still. John Henry Lester* (ca. 1845-ca. 1904). First published in the Lichfield Church Mission Hymn Book (1883). The date of composition is not known. It was subsequently printed in the Mirfield Mission Hymn Book* (1907), where the four stanzas were separated into two parts, the second 'To be sung kneeling': O solemn hour, so strange and still,   When all goes cold in death! When I must bid a last farewell   To all I've loved on earth. And shall I pass away alone...

Jean M.T. Gower

GOWER, Jean Milne Taylor.  b. Ionia, Michigan, 7 September 1868; d. Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 4 November 1957. The composer of the hymn tune LIVERMORE, and at least two hymn texts, Gower was better known as a poet, author of short plays, and an animal-rights activist. She was the wife of organist and hymn tune composer John Henry Gower*. The Gowers appear to be the only American married couple who both published hymn tunes before 1900.  Jean Taylor's parents were George Philo Taylor...

Patrick Matsikenyiri (1)

MATSIKENYIRI, Patrick. b. Biriri, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), 27 July 1937; d. Mutare, Zimbabwe, 15 January 2021. Patrick Matsikenyiri's career included virtually all aspects of church music—singing, choral directing, composition, hymnal editor, festival leader, professor, and enlivener of global songs in venues worldwide. In the spirit of a Shona proverb—'If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance'—he believed music was for everyone.  After serving as a headmaster for...

Harold W. Friedell

  FRIEDELL, Harold William.  b. Jamaica, Queens, New York, 11 May 1905; d. Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, 17 February 1958.  Friedell was an organist, choirmaster, teacher, and composer of over 100 choral, organ and instrumental works. A 'Profile' in the Hudson Dispatch (New York), 16 September 1936, compared Friedell's anthems, in 'artistic temperament to the school of English composers who are writing a new chapter in the music on the ancient “modes” as opposed to the schools which are...

O North, with all thy vales of green

O North, with all thy vales of green. William Cullen Bryant* (1794-1878).   This was Hymn XIX in Bryant's Hymns (1864). It was headed 'Thou hast put all things under his feet' (from Psalm 8: 6, quoted in 1 Corinthians 15: 27 and Ephesians 1; 22). It had four stanzas:  Oh, North, with all thy vales of green! Oh, South, with all thy palms!From peopled towns and fields between Uplift the voice of psalms.Raise, ancient East! the anthem high,And let the youthful West reply.  Lo! in the clouds...

Jesu, Lord of life and glory

Jesu, Lord of life and glory. John James Cummins* (1795-1867). First published in Cummins's Seals of the Covenant Opened or the Sacraments of the Church considered in their Connexion with the Great Doctrines of the Gospel (1839), a book prepared for his family. It was entitled 'Litany'. It was described by JJ as 'a sweet and musical Litany' (p. 600). It had seven 4-line stanzas, each with the refrain added, 'By Thy mercy,/ O deliver us, Good Lord'. It was included in the Appendix (1868) to...

Above the clear blue sky

Above the clear blue sky. John Chandler* (1806-1876). First published in Chandler's The Hymns of the Church, mostly Primitive (1841). It is one of the few hymns by Chandler that are not translations. It appeared in the Second Edition of A&M (1875) in the section 'For the Young', and was at one time very well known: JJ described its use as 'somewhat extensive' (p.8): Above the clear blue sky,In heaven's bright abode,The Angel host on highSing praises to their God:       Alleluia!  They...

William Arnold

ARNOLD, William. b. 1768; d. 1832. He was a shipwright in the dockyard at Portsmouth, and choirmaster at Daniel Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Portsmouth. He published Original Psalm & Hymn Tunes, with 57 tunes, in the early years of the 19th century; the British Library catalogue gives [1810?] as the date. According to James T. Lightwood (The Music of the Methodist Hymn Book, 1935, p. 400) he composed some of his tunes at work and wrote them down on pieces of wood, but this does not...

Hana irodoru haru wo ('Spring, symbol of hope')

Hana irodoru haru wo ('Spring, symbol of hope'). Mie Kamishima* (1961– ). 'Hana irodoru haru wo' is a unique contribution to Hymnal 21 (Sambika 21)*, the hymnal for the United Church of Christ in Japan. Written by on the subject of 'Memorial', it begins with a description of the each of the four seasons of life, one for each stanza: 1) spring, symbol of hope; 2) summer, symbol of brightness; 3) autumn, symbol of maturity; 4) winter, symbol of meditation. Each stanza concludes with a plea for...

Lutheran hymns and hymnals, USA

Immigration and Organization Danish Lutherans came to Hudson Bay in 1619 with Rasmus Jensen (d. 1620) and probably Den danske Psalmebog (Copenhagen, 1569) of Hans Thomissøn (1532-73) (see Danish hymnody*). Within a year they died or returned home. Lutherans from the Netherlands came to New York City in 1623. In 1657 when Johannes Gutwasser (fl. 1650s) led services, he was arrested by the Reformed authorities and in 1659 sent home. Swedish Lutherans came in 1638 to the Delaware River with...

Creator of the earth and skies

Creator of the earth and skies. Donald Hughes* (1911-1967). First published in six stanzas in Hymns for Church and School (1964), and then, shortened and altered to four stanzas, in the British Methodist supplement, Hymns and Songs (1969). The two missing stanzas were 2 and 5: Like theirs of old, our life is death,   Our light is darkness, till we see The eternal Word made flesh and breath,   The God who walked by Galilee. Stanza 4 was: We have not loved you: far and wide   The wreckage of...

A hymn of glory let us sing

A hymn of glory let us sing. Bede* (673/4-735), translated by Elizabeth Rundle Charles* (1828-1896). Charles's translation of Hymnum canamus gloriae* appeared in her The Voice of Christian Life in Song (1858), where it had six verses: A hymn of glory let us sing, New hymns throughout the world shall ring; By a new way none ever trod, Christ mounteth to the throne of God. The apostles on the mountain stand – The mystic mount – in Holy Land; They, with the Virgin-mother see Jesus...

Christ has arisen, Alleluia (Mfurahini, Haleluya)

Christ has arisen, Alleluia (Mfurahini, Haleluya). Bernard Kyamanywa* (1938— ), translated by Howard Olson* (1922–2010). [In European collections, the English-language incipit is 'He has arisen'.]  Tanzanian Lutheran pastor Bernard Kyamanywa composed the Swahili text 'Mfurahini, Haleluya' in 1966 in response to the encouragement of his missionary professors, initially Gerhard Jasper and then Howard S. Olson. According to some sources, the tune was from the Haya people in western Tanzania...

Wenn ich, O Schöpfer! deine Macht

Wenn ich, O Schöpfer! deine Macht. Christian Fürchtegott Gellert* (1715-1769). Published in Gellert's Geistliche Oden und Lieder (Leipzig, 1757) in six 7-line stanzas, all of which are found in EG (506). It was entitled 'Preis des Schöpfers' ('Praise of the Creator'), and it is a very beautiful expression of the way in which, wherever the author looks, he sees the wonders of God's work, the sky, the sun, the stars, the wind: Wer mißt dem Wind seinen Lauf?               Who can measure the...

Keswick Convention

The Keswick Convention and its hymns The Keswick Convention, a non-denominational and evangelical annual meeting, was founded in 1875 by an Anglican, Canon T.D. Harford-Battersby, Vicar of St John's, Keswick, in collaboration with a Cumberland Quaker, Robert Wilson. It was a product of the 'Holiness movement' of the period (see 'Holiness hymnody, USA*), inspired in part by a book by William Edwin Boardman (1810-1886) called The Higher Christian Life (1859). After a series of revival meetings,...

Preaching and hymns

  Preaching and hymns From the earliest years of the Christian movement, the followers of Jesus have included in their worship the celebration of the Eucharist, prayers of praise and intercession as well as the singing of hymns and some form of preaching (e.g., 1 Corinthians 14: 1-19; Ephesians 5: 18-20; Colossians 3: 16-17). These activities, or better 'practices,' have thus been central to Christian liturgies in almost all traditions since groups of disciples began to form what we now call...

Plunged in a gulf of deep despair

Plunged in a gulf of deep despair. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). First published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book II, 'Composed on Divine Subjects, Conformable to the Word of God', where it was entitled 'Praise to the Redeemer'. It had eight 4-line stanzas. It began: Plung'd in a Gulph of dark Despair   We wretched Sinners lay, Without one chearful Beam of Hope,   Or Spark of glimmering Day. With pitying Eyes the Prince of Grace   Beheld our helpless Grief, He saw, and (O amazing Love)...

Florence Mary Hoatson

HOATSON, Florence Mary. b. Leyton, East London, 13 October 1881; d. Micheldean, Gloucestershire, 28 January 1964. She was the daughter of a Congregational minister; she spent part of her childhood in Christchurch, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia. She was a teacher, specializing in infant and primary school teaching, although for a short period (1917-20) she worked for the National Sunday School Union at its Cardiff office. Her books, such as The Palace of Gifts and other Primary Stories...

Johann Friedrich Herzog

HERZOG, Johann Friedrich. b. Dresden, 5 June 1647; d. Dresden, 21 March 1699. Herzog was the son of a priest. His father died when Johann was nine years old, and he was given a free place at the Prince's school at Meissen. He studied law at Wittenberg, and practised as a lawyer at Dresden from 1674. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Law from the University of Jena in 1678. Herzog was the author of much of the evening hymn in EG, 'Nun sich der Tag geendet hat' (EG 478). The first verse...

O holy city, seen of John

O holy city, seen of John. W. Russell Bowie* (1882-1969). The Companion to UMH (1993) quotes from an earlier work (Guide to the Pilgrim Hymnal, 1966) to the effect that this hymn was written at the request of Henry Sloane Coffin*, the great New York Presbyterian minister and preacher of the social gospel. It was published in Hymns of the Kingdom of God, edited by Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon (New York, 1910) and in many subsequent US books, including The Methodist Hymnal (1935), UMH, and...

Stand, soldier of the cross

Stand, soldier of the cross. Edward Henry Bickersteth* (1825-1906). This hymn for adult baptism was first published in Bickersteth's Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer (1870), and re-published in his The Two Brothers and other poems (1871). It had six stanzas:   Stand, soldier of the cross,  Thy high allegiance claim,And vow to hold the world but loss  For Thy Redeemer's name.   Arise, and be baptized,  And wash thy sins away;The league with God be solemnized,  Thy faith avouch'd...

Frank Baker

BAKER, Frank. b. Kingston upon Hull, UK, 15 April 1910; d. Durham, North Carolina, 11 October 1999. In a fine tribute by John E. Vickers in the Second Edition of Baker's John Wesley and the Church of England (Peterborough, 2000), we read that Frank gave his life to Jesus Christ during the 'Humberside Crusade' in the winter of 1924. This led to his becoming a local preacher and then answering the call to full-time ministry in the Primitive Methodist Church. Because of what seems today to have...

Anna and Johann Nitschmann

NITSCHMANN, Anna, b. 24 November 1715; d. 21 May 1760; Johann, b. 25 September 1712; d. 30 June 1783. Born at Kunewald, near Fulneck, Moravia; the family moved to Herrnhut when they were children in 1725. Anna was appointed Unity-Elder, with responsibility for the unmarried women of the Herrnhut community. With her friend Anna Dober*, she founded the 'Jungfrauenbund' for them. Johann studied theology at the University of Halle and became private secretary to Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf*. Anna...

Es geht daher des Tages Schein

Es geht daher des Tages Schein. Michael Weisse* (ca. 1480-1534). This morning hymn was first printed in Ein new Geseng buchlein (Jungbunzlau, 1531). It is the first of three 'Geseng auf die tagezeiten' ('Hymns for times of day'; Wackernagel, Das Deutsche Kirchenlied III. 318). This is the first of three hymns, of which 'Der Tag bricht an und zeiget sich'* was the second. It had seven 4-line stanzas. It is found in EG in six stanzas (EG 439), with slight alterations, omitting stanza...

Walter E. Buszin

BUSZIN, Walter Edwin. b. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 4 December 1899; d. Omaha, Nebraska, 2 July 1973. Walter Buszin was born to Paul Theodore Buszin (1873-1944), a Lutheran school teacher and musician, and Lydia Buszin (née Lang, 1876-1953). He was baptized at St Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His paternal grandfather, Theodor Ludwig Buszin (1834 or 1830-1892), was born into a Jewish family in Germany. His name may have been Ludwig Levin, though that is not certain. He...

Jesus, to Thee we fly

Jesus, to Thee we fly. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). This was the final hymn in Hymns for Ascension-Day, a small book of eleven pages first published in 1746, with a Second Edition in the same year. It had six stanzas:     Jesus, to Thee we fly,     On Thee for Help rely: Thou our only Refuge art,   Thou dost all our Fears control, Rest of every troubled Heart,   Life of every dying Soul.     We lift our joyful Eyes,     And see the dazling Prize, See the Purchase of thy Blood,   Freely now...

Joseph Addison

ADDISON, Joseph. b. Milston, near Aylesbury, Wiltshire, 1 May 1672; d. Kensington, London, 17 June 1719. He was the son of a clergyman who became Dean of Lichfield. He was educated at Charterhouse and (after a period at Queen's College) Magdalen College, Oxford (BA 1691, MA 1693). He became a prominent man of letters: he first made his name with a poem, The Campaign, written in 1704 to celebrate the Duke of Marlborough's victory at Blenheim. He was extremely active politically in Whig circles,...

Congregational Church hymnody

Congregational Church hymnody in Britain The term 'Congregational hymnody' is significant for all churches and liturgical traditions where the congregation takes an active and full part in the singing of hymns (contrasted with those places or occasions where the hymns are the province of a specialised choir or the practice of a religious community). This article, however, is limited to an account of hymnody in churches of the Congregational order in England and Wales, during a period beginning...

Veni creator spiritus

Veni creator spiritus. Latin, possibly by Hrabanus Maurus* (ca. 780-856). This hymn is a rich tapestry of allusion to other hymn texts, liturgical prose texts, biblical texts, and texts relating to the 'filioque' controversy (see below). Modern attributions to Charlemagne, St Ambrose* and Gregory the Great* seem to have little foundation. 'Veni creator spiritus' may have been composed for the 809 Aachen synod, at which the Carolingians concluded that the belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds...

From glory to glory advancing, we praise thee, O Lord

From glory to glory advancing, we praise thee, O Lord. Greek, from the Liturgy of St James, translated by Charles William Humphreys* (1840-1921). This is a paraphrase from the Greek text beginning 'Apo doxês eis doxan poreuomenoi', which begins the closing prayer of the 4th-century Liturgy of St James, said after the celebration of the Eucharist. A prose translation by Erik Routley* is printed in A Panorama of Christian Hymnody (edited and expanded, Paul A. Richardson*, 2005). As the Companion...

Just as I am, without one plea

Just as I am, without one plea. Charlotte Elliott* (1789-1871). First published in leaflet form and then in the 1841 Edition of The Invalid's Hymn Book, published in Dublin. It was also published in the Fourth Edition of Hours of Sorrow Cheered and Comforted (1849) with an additional final stanza. It is headed: 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out' (John 6: 37). In the original version, it was in six stanzas of three lines followed by a short refrain (the device of a short final...

O blest Creator of the light

O blest Creator of the light. Latin, author unknown, 8th Century or earlier, translated by John Mason Neale*. (1818-1866).  This translation of 'Lucis Creator optime'* is from The Hymnal Noted, Part 1 (1851). It may be helpfully compared with the translation by the compilers of the First Edition of A&M (1861):                       Neale                                                              A&M  O blest Creator of the light,                             Blest Creator of the...

Michael Weisse

WEISSE, Michael. b. Neisse, Silesia (now Nysa, Poland), ca. 1480; d. Landskron (now Landškroun, Czech Republic), March 1534. He is recorded as having been a monk at Breslau (Wroclaw, Poland), where he took priest's orders. In 1518 he and some other brothers left the monastery and joined the Bohemian Brethren. By 1522 he was the leader of the German-speaking community in Landskron, Bohemia, and then at Fulneck, Moravia. Together with Jan Roh (Johann Horn), he was in contact with Martin Luther*,...

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry

PARRY, (Sir) Charles Hubert Hastings. b. Bournemouth, 27 February 1848; d. Rustington, near Worthing, Sussex, 7 October 1918. His mother died of consumption twelve days after his birth. He grew up on his father's estate at Highnam Court, close to Gloucester. Educated at preparatory schools in Malvern and Twyford, near Winchester (where he was encouraged by G. W. Kitchin*), and at Eton College (1861-6), he took lessons from Sir George Elvey*, organist at St George's Chapel, Windsor. Elvey...

Hail Redeemer, King divine

Hail Redeemer, King divine. Patrick Brennan (1877-1952). This hymn appeared in four verses, with refrain (beginning 'Angels, saints and nations sing'), in WH (1940), set to a tune by Johann Schop*, WERDE MUNTER, originally composed for the hymn by Johann Rist*: Hail, Redeemer, King divine!Priest and Lamb, the throne is thine,King, whose reign shall never cease,Prince of everlasting peace.   Angels, saints and nations sing   'Praised be Jesus Christ, our King;   Lord of life, earth, sky and...

What service shall we render thee

What service shall we render thee. Ernest James Dodgshun* (1876-1944) Written shortly before the outbreak of World War I for inclusion on a 'Peace Hymn Sheet', and printed in a Supplement (1920) to the 1909 Fellowship Hymn Book. It was then included in RCH  and MHB . It is a fine expression of Dodgshun's Quaker pacifism, turning the normal demands of the love of one's own country ('O Fatherland we love') into peaceful channels: The service of the commonwealth   Is not in arms alone; A nobler...

Another Sabbath ended

Another Sabbath ended. T. Vincent Tymms* (1842-1921). According to JJ, p. 1190, this was one of the hymns by Tymms printed in the 1880 Supplement to the Baptist Psalms and Hymns of 1858, and in the Baptist Psalms and Hymns for School and Home (n.d.). It was included in the Baptist Church Hymnal (1900), preceded by a quotation: 'The shadows of the evening are stretched out – Jeremiah vi. 4.' It had four graceful stanzas, expressing the ideal of a Sunday that has now disappeared from British...

Eternal depth of Love Divine

Eternal depth of Love Divine. Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf* (1700-1760), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). Zinzendorf's 'Du ewiger Abgrund der seligen Liebe' was written in 1726 for the birthday of his friend Graf Henkel of Oberberg on 21 September. It was published in Zinzendorf's Sammlung geistlicher und lieblicher Lieder (Second Edition, 1728), and then in Das Gesang-Buch der Gemeine in Herrnhut (1735), where Wesley would have found it. His translation was first published in Hymns...

Jesus comes with all his grace

Jesus comes with all his grace. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), the volume published with Charles's name only, with his brother's approval and to raise money for Charles's marriage to Sarah Gwynne. It was Hymn XXXIII of 'Hymns for those that wait for Full Redemption'. It had 11 stanzas: Jesus comes with all his Grace, Comes to save a Fallen Race: Object of our Glorious Hope, Jesus comes to lift us up. Let the Living Stones cry out, Let the Sons...

Robert M. Cull

CULL, Robert Marcus. b. Los Angeles, California, 24 May 1949. In 1971 Cull graduated from Southern California College (in 1999 renamed Vanguard University of Southern California), Costa Mesa, founded by The Assemblies of God. He attended campus concerts featuring song writers and performers in the emerging Jesus Movement, such as Andraé Crouch* and Pat Boone; and attended the nearby Calvary Chapel which also featured this style of worship song. There he joined a singing group, The Accents,...

Alfred Tennyson

TENNYSON, Alfred. b. Somersby, Lincolnshire, 6 August 1809; d. Haslemere, Surrey, 6 October 1892. He was the son of the rector of Somersby, educated at Louth Grammar School, and then privately. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1827, leaving in 1831 without taking a degree, but having published Poems, Chiefly Lyrical (1830). At Cambridge he became friendly with the brilliant Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-33), whose sudden death, and the reflections upon it, were the cause of Tennyson's...

Francis Xavier

XAVIER, Francis. b. Xavier, Navarre, Spain, 7 April 1506; d. Shang Chuan, near China, 3 December 1552. He was born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta in a new castle ('Xavier' in the Basque language) belonging to his aristocratic family in the kingdom of Navarre: the kingdom was invaded and divided during his youth, and the castle was reduced in size by the order of Cardinal Cisneros (see 'Spanish hymnody'*). He was educated at the Collège Sainte Barbe in Paris (1525- ), where he met Ignatius...

Richard Whately

WHATELY, Richard. b. London, 1 February 1787; d. near Dublin, 8 October 1863. Born in London, the son of a political family of some distinction. He was educated at a private school in Bristol and at Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1808, MA 1812). He was elected a fellow of Oriel in 1812, and exercised a stimulating if bracing influence on his pupils and colleagues, including the young John Henry Newman* (from whom he later diverged). He gave up his fellowship on his marriage in 1821, becoming rector...

Sarah Flower Adams

ADAMS, Sarah Flower (née Flower) . b. Great Harlow, Essex, 22 February 1805; d. London, 14 August 1848. She was the daughter of Benjamin Flower, a radical journalist (in 1799 he was imprisoned for attacking a speech of Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff). With her sister Eliza (b. 1803) who was a fine musician, she was a member of the Unitarian chapel at Finsbury of the celebrated William Johnson Fox*, a brilliant and inspiring preacher and later Member of Parliament for Oldham. As young women...

Temperance hymns, British

Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues, and it is recorded as one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 23). St Paul preached to Felix about temperance (Acts 24: 25) and the Second Epistle General of Peter includes temperance as part of the divine nature to which Christians are to aspire (2 Peter 1: 6). It was assimilated into the Christian order of moral thought from the 'nothing too much' of Greek philosophy, and it has remained an important constituent of the Christian life,...

Ada Rundall Greenaway

GREENAWAY, Ada Rundall. b. Trivandrum, India, 12 October 1861; d. Woking, Surrey, 15 May 1937. She was the daughter of a general in the Indian army. Like many army children, she was sent to Britain as a child. She lived in Surrey in later years, first at Guildford, and finally at Woking. She had an arrangement to write improving words for the calendars and Christmas cards of Mowbrays, the religious publishers. Her 'Rise in the strength of God'* (in the Second Supplement of A&M, 1916, and in...

For beauty of prairies, for grandeur of trees

For beauty of prairies, for grandeur of trees. Walter Farquharson* (1936- ). Written in 1966, this hymn celebrates the prairie landscape and calls for responsible stewardship of the gifts of God's creation. Stanley Osborne*described it as a prayer: 'It asks us the question what have we done with the garden God has leased to us? Says the author, 'We threaten all existence with our blindness.' In the warnings of ecologists we may even hear the voice of God today, and it is clear that the author...

Rosalind Brown

BROWN, Rosalind. b. Brighton, Sussex, 3 June 1953. She was educated at Brighton and Hove High School and University College, London (BA in Geography, 1974), followed by a Diploma in Town Planning (University of Birmingham, 1982). She worked as a town planner from 1974 to 1990, when she joined the Community of Celebration, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. She undertook further study at Yale Divinity School (MDiv, 1997) and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale (Diploma in Anglican Studies, 1997). She was...

George Frideric Handel

HANDEL, George Frideric. b. Halle-an-der-Saale, Saxony, 23 February 1685; d. London, 14 April 1759. Handel received his early musical training under Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, the organist of the Marktkirche in Halle, and since many of Zachow's surviving keyboard compositions are based on German chorale melodies we can assume that this area of hymnody was a fundamental part of Handel's early musical experience. The services at the Marktkirche no doubt involved congregational chorales as well as...

Father all loving, who rulest in majesty

Father all loving, who rulest in majesty. Patrick Appleford* (1925-2018). Written ca. 1957, when Appleford was a curate at Poplar, East London, for a rally at the Albert Hall of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Entitled 'Alive for God', it was first published in Thirty 20th Century Hymn Tunes (1960), where its very traditional language, including the 'thou' form for God, was set to a modern tune by Geoffrey Beaumont*, CHESHUNT, named after the College in Hertfordshire where...

If when you give the best of your service

If when you give the best of your service (He Understands; He'll Say, ''Well Done''). Lucie Eddie Campbell-Williams* (1885-1963). This was composed in 1933 for the annual gathering of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., and quickly became one of the all-time Convention favorites. African American scholar Horace Clarence Boyer* notes:  From 1930 to 1962, [Campbell] introduced a new song each year at the National Baptist Convention. Her songs became gospel standards, sung by all...

For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the earth. Folliott Sandford Pierpoint* (1835-1917). First published in Lyra Eucharistica, edited by Orby Shipley* (2nd Edition, 1864), in eight 4-line verses with refrain, entitled 'The Sacrifice of Praise'. It is said to have been inspired by the view of Pierpoint's native city of Bath on a spring day. In its first printing it was a hymn for Holy Communion, appearing in the final section of Lyra Eucharistica, 'Miscellaneous Hymns'. It echoes part of the post-communion...

Gather us in, thou love that fillest all

Gather us in, thou love that fillest all. George Matheson* (1842-1906). Written in 1890, and first published in Matheson's Sacred Songs (1890). It is a most unusual hymn, characteristic of Matheson's unexpected turns of thought and fertile poetic imagination (although blind, he uses the rainbow image, as he does in 'O love that wilt not let me go'*). Percy Dearmer*, who included it in SofPE, described it as 'unlike any other missionary hymn, and full of originality' (Songs of Praise Discussed,...

Thou art gone up on high

Thou art gone up on high. Emma Toke* (1812-1878). This was published anonymously in the SPCK Hymns for Public  Worship (1852), in three 8-line stanzas; and, with the author's name in the index, in its successor, the SPCK Church Hymns (1871). In Church Hymns with Tunes (1874), it was set in six 4-line stanzas to a tune, ASCENSION, by Henry John Gauntlett* (the name suggests that it was written for this hymn, although it was placed in the 'General Hymns' section and not set for Ascension-tide)....

Father of everlasting grace

Father of everlasting grace. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns of Petition and Thanksgiving for the Promise of the Father (1746) in eight 6-line stanzas. It was the first of 32 'Hymns for Whitsunday', the sub-title of the book. Stanzas 1, 6, 7 and 8 of the original were included in John Wesley*'s A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) in the section 'For Believers groaning for full Redemption'; and in subsequent Wesleyan Methodist...

O Love, who formedst me to wear

O Love, who formedst me to wear. Johannes Scheffler* (1624-1677), translated by Catherine Winkworth* (1827-1878). The German text, 'Liebe, die du mich zum Bilde'*, was published in Scheffler's Heilige Seelen-lust, oder Geistliche Hirten-Lieder ('Holy soul-longing, or spiritual pastoral songs', Breslau, 1657), in six 6-line stanzas. Another stanza (4, 'Liebe die du Kraft und Leben') was added in a Geistreiches Gesangbuch published in Halle in 1697. Winkworth's translation of all seven stanzas...

The Lord is risen indeed

The Lord is risen indeed. Thomas Kelly* (1769-1855). According to JJ this was first published in Kelly's Collection of Psalms and Hymns (Dublin, 1802). It was headed 'The Lord is risen indeed. Luke xxiv.34.'. The text in Kelly's Hymns on Various Passages of Scripture (1820) was as follows:             'The Lord is ris'n indeed,'     And are the tidings true? Yes, they beheld the Saviour bleed,    And saw him living too.            'The Lord is ris'n indeed,'    Then Justice asks no more;...

Lead, Holy Shepherd, lead us

Lead, Holy Shepherd, lead us. Hamilton Montgomerie MacGill* (1807-1880). This translation was included in the hymnbook of the United Presbyterian Church, The Presbyterian Hymnal (1877). The Church had been formed in 1847 through a union between the United Secession Church and the Synod of Relief (see 'Synod of Relief hymns'*). MacGill was one of the compilers of the 1877 hymnbook.  It was a translation of a hymn by Clement of Alexandria* (Titus Flavius Clemens, ca. 150- ca. 215), entitled...

William Henry Draper

DRAPER, William Henry. b. Kenilworth, Warwickshire, 19 December 1855; d. Clifton, Bristol, 9 August 1933. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Keble College, Oxford (BA 1879, MA 1880). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1880, priest 1881) and was successively curate of St Mary's, Shrewsbury (1880-83); vicar of Alfreton, Nottinghamshire (1883-89); vicar of Holy Cross (the Abbey), Shrewsbury (1889-99); vicar of Adel, Leeds (1899-1919); and Master of the Temple (1919-30). After retirement to...

Arm of the Lord, awake, awake (Wesley)

Arm of the Lord, awake, awake. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). From Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), where it was headed 'Isaiah li. 9 &c.' ('Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?'). It had five 8-line verses. It was shortened in the 1780 Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists to six 4-line verses, using stanzas 1, 4 and 5 from 1739. It...

Christopher Walker

WALKER, Christopher Dixon Harvey. b. London, 9 June 1947. Walker became a chorister at Bristol Cathedral and later studied composition at Bristol University and Trent Park College. On leaving university he became director of music at the (then newly opened) Roman Catholic Cathedral at Clifton in Bristol. He met members of (and subsequently joined) the St Thomas More Group* before emigrating to the USA in 1990, where he became a lecturer at Mount Saint Mary College and director of music at St...

I stand all bewildered with wonder

I stand all bewildered with wonder. Wilbur F. Crafts* (1850-1922). Written at some time before 1873, when (according to hymnary.org.) it appeared in Winnowed Hymns: a Collection of Sacred Songs, especially adapted for revivals, prayer, and camp meetings. Crafts was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1872 (he later became a Congregationalist, and then a Presbyterian), so this is the work of a youthful enthusiast. It had four stanzas and a refrain:   I stand all bewildered with wonder,    And...

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned

Majestic sweetness sits enthroned.  Samuel Stennett* (1727-1795). Samuel Stennett was a friend of John Rippon*, and this hymn was first published in Rippon's Selection of Hymns from the best authors (1787), attributed to 'Dr. S. Stennett'. It was entitled 'Chief among Ten Thousand; or, the Excellence of Christ. Cant v. 10-16' [The Song of Solomon, 5: 10-16]. Although 'the chiefest among ten thousand' occurs in verse 10, the hymn itself is a remarkably free rendering of the scriptural...

Ride on! ride on in majesty

Ride on! ride on in majesty. Henry Hart Milman* (1791-1868). First published in Reginald Heber*'s Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year (1827), published after Heber's death by his widow Amelia, where it was the first of two hymns for 'the Sixth Sunday in Lent' [Palm Sunday]. It was the first hymn in Milman's Selection of Psalms and Hymns (1837), and it has remained the hymn by which he is chiefly remembered. The original text is found in EH: Ride on! ride on in...

Let him to whom we now belong

Let him to whom we now belong. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published in Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745) in four 4-line stanzas, in the section entitled 'Concerning the Sacrifice of our Persons'. In John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780), it was included in the section 'For Believers Saved'. It has remained in use in Methodist hymnbooks, and, with the addition of a verse from a different hymn, also appeared in WOV. The original text...

Let us with a gladsome mind

Let us with a gladsome mind. John Milton* (1608-1674). Together with a metrical version of Psalm 114, this paraphrase of Psalm 136 was published in Poems of Mr John Milton, Both English and Latin (1645). A note before Psalm 114 read: 'This and the following Psalm were don by the Author at fifteen yeeres old', which dates them at 1623 or 1624. This one had 24 verses, each ending 'For his mercies ay endure/ Ever faithfull, ever sure.' A six-verse selection was printed by Josiah Conder* in The...

There's a spirit in the air

There's a spirit in the air. Brian Arthur Wren* (1936- ). Written in 1969 for Pentecost when Wren was the minister of Hockley and Hawkwell Congregational Church, and published in the Baptist supplement Praise for Today (1974), without a title; then in Mainly Hymns (Leeds, 1980) with the title 'Praise the Holy Spirit'. It was 'revised 1987-9'. The note in Faith Renewed (1995) describes it as follows: 'at a time when hymnody focused mainly on the Holy Spirit's individual gifts and animating...

Carl Gotthelf Gläser

GLÄSER, Carl Gotthelf.  b. Weissenfels, Saxony (now Saxony-Anhalt, Germany), 4 May 1784; d. Barmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, 16 April 1829. He was educated at St Thomas' School, Leipzig, and was also taught music by his father. He became an accomplished violinist and a composer. He taught piano and violin at Barmen. When Lowell Mason* visited Europe in 1832 he was on the lookout for new tunes, and found one by Gläser that he named AZMON. According to Reynolds (1976, p.112) it was published in...

Joseph Mainzer

MAINZER, Joseph. b. Trier, 21 October 1801; d. Manchester, 10 November 1851. Mainzer was ordained in 1826, becoming the singing master in the seminary in Trier two years later. He attracted the attention of the police by circulating pamphlets in support of the miners and had to leave, arriving in Paris in 1834. He started free singing classes for workers in 1835, but the authorities banned them in 1839 amid growing fears of insurrection. He moved to London, and started classes there in May...

The heavenly Child in stature grows

The heavenly Child in stature grows. Jean-Baptiste de Santeuil* (1630-1697), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876) and others. The Latin text, beginning 'Divine crescebas puer', was first published in de Santeuil's Hymni Sacri et Novi (1689), in four stanzas. A doxology was added when it was published in the Paris Breviary of 1736: Qui natus es de virgine, Jesu, tibi sit Gloria Cum Patre cumque Spiritu In sempiterna saecula. It was the hymn for Lauds on Sundays from the Feast of the...

Behold the amazing gift of love

Behold the amazing gift of love. Scottish Translations and Paraphrases (1781), based on Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). Isaac Watts's Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707) contained a hymn, entitled 'Adoption; 1 John 3.1, &c. Gal. 4.6.' The first four (of six) stanzas were: Behold what wond'rous Grace The Father hath bestow'd On Sinners of a Mortal Race To call them Sons of God! 'Tis no surprizing thing That we should be unknown; The Jewish World knew not their King. God's...

Lord of the worlds above

Lord of the worlds above. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This version of Psalm 84 appeared in The Psalms of David (1719), with the title 'Longing for the House of God'. It is the third paraphrase of the psalm, headed 'as the 148th Psalm', referring to the 6.6.6.6. 44.44 metre, the traditional one for Psalm 148. It had seven stanzas, with 'Pause' written between stanzas 4 and 5. In a pre-1831 Supplement to Wesley's 1780 Collection of Hymns the Methodist compilers printed the paraphrase, omitting...

Mary Baker Eddy

EDDY, Mary Baker (née Mary Morse Baker). b. Bow, New Hampshire, 16 July 1821; d. Newton, Massachusetts, 3 December 1910. Mary Morse Baker was born and raised in New Hampshire, one of six children. She was raised a Congregationalist but in childhood questioned her parents' faith. She was chronically ill as a child but at a young age had already garnered a reputation for healing. She married George Washington Glover in 1843 but was widowed six months later. A second marriage in 1853 to Daniel...

Jesus, Savior Lord, lo to you I fly ('Saranam, saranam').

Jesus, Savior Lord, lo to you I fly ('Saranam, saranam'). Traditional Pakistani, translated by Daniel Thambyrajah Niles* (1908-1970). Asian hymns are perhaps the most neglected repertoire in Western hymnals. Hymns that are available in Asian musical idioms are rarer. The normative practice in Asian churches is to sing Western classic hymns in translation or use contemporary Christian music. Because of their experience with many Western missionaries who did not encourage composition in Asian...

Franciscan hymns and hymnals

Since the foundation of their order in 1209 or 1210, the contribution of Franciscan writers to western Christianity has been immense, particularly in the areas of theology, preaching, and hymn composition. Since their hymns address both the needs of liturgy and their vocation as preachers, Franciscan writing reflects the ambitions of learned society and the varied tastes of vernacular culture. Their major contributions include a reform in the 13th century of the chant books for the monastic...

Clement of Alexandria

Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens). b. Athens, ca. 150; d. Caesarea, Cappadocia, ca. 215/220. What little is known of Clement's life is found in the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 260/265- ca. 339/340). Clement was born at Athens and educated there, becoming familiar with Greek literature and culture. He acquired a remarkable knowledge of Plato and of other philosophers such as Philo of Alexandria. After some travelling he settled in Alexandria, where he became a renowned...

William George Tarrant

TARRANT, William George. b. Pembroke, South Wales, 2 July 1853; d. Wandsworth, London, 15 January 1928. He was born in a military barracks, the son of a soldier who was killed at the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War. He was apprenticed to a silversmith in Birmingham, where he fell under the influence of a Unitarian minister of the Churches of Christ, George Dawson. Encouraged by Dawson, he entered London University (BA, 1883), becoming the Unitarian minister of the church at Wandsworth in...

Samuel Wesley (II)

Wesley, Samuel, Jr. b. London, 10 February 1691; d. Tiverton, Devon, 6 November 1739. He was the first child of Samuel Wesley (I)* (1660-1735) and Susanna, née Annesley, and elder brother of John* and Charles*. He was educated at Westminster School (1704, King's Scholar, 1707), and Christ Church, Oxford (1711- ). Probably before leaving school, he joined his family in exchanging new poems. While still an undergraduate, he began working on 'charity hymns' (not yet identified), for the causes...

Rite of Jerusalem

The liturgical rite of Jerusalem, as the name indicates, developed and was practised primarily in the Holy City itself. The physical and organising centre of this rite was the Cathedral of Jerusalem, a complex of churches built around the cross and the tomb of Christ. Festal offices were celebrated in the Martyrium basilica (or other churches of the city) and daily offices in the Anastasis rotonda (the Church of the Resurrection, also called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). In addition,...

Anders Frostenson

FROSTENSON, Anders. b. Loshult, Kristianstad, Sweden, 23 April 1906; d. 4 February 2006. Frostenson studied history of literature and theology at the University of Lund. He served in Stockholm from 1933, first as a curate in Gustav Vasa, a big city parish, and then as a parish clergyman in Lovö parish, near to Drottningholm, one of the castles of the royal family, where he served as a preacher from 1955. In 1969 he became a member of the Swedish official hymn committee and in 1981 he was...

John Newton

NEWTON, John. b. Wapping, London, 24 July 1725; d. City of London, 21 December 1807. John Newton's father was a ship's master engaged in the Mediterranean trade, especially with Spain. His mother was a gentle and devout dissenter. She had a deep influence on her sensitive and highly intelligent son, whose early education she undertook personally. She encouraged him to learn by heart passages from the Bible, together with hymns, poems and the shorter catechisms of Isaac Watts*. During the...

John Stainer

STAINER, (Sir) John. b. Southwark, London, 13 June 1840; d. Verona, Italy, 31 March 1901. A chorister at St Paul's Cathedral (1848-56), he was organist at St Michael's College, Tenbury (1857-9), informator choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford (1860-72), organist of St Paul's Cathedral (1872-88) and Professor of Music at Oxford (1889-99). He was knighted in 1888. Stainer was also H. M. Inspector of Music in Schools and Training Colleges between 1882 and his death. Stainer is nowadays best...

Harold Riley

RILEY, Harold. b. 1903; d. Hammersmith, London, 7 March 2003. Riley was educated at the University of Birmingham (BA 1924). In 1925 he became a lay member of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, before taking Holy Orders (deacon 1927, priest 1928). He was curate of St Mark's, Washwood Heath, Birmingham (1927-31) and of St Margaret, Roath, Cardiff (1931-37); rector of Our Lady of Mercy and St Thomas of Canterbury, Gorton, Manchester (1937-44), General Secretary of the Church Union...

Man lobt dich in der Stille

Man lobt dich in der Stille. Johann Rist* (1600-1667). This is found in the 'Loben und Danken' ('Praise and Thanks') section of EG in three 12-line stanzas (EG 323). They are the last three stanzas of a hymn beginning 'Ich will den Herren loben' ('I wish to praise the Lord') in 12 stanzas, found in the 'Lob und Danklieder' section of the 1652 edition of Rist's Himlischer Lieder. It was entitled 'Der Zehende Lobgesang. Ein Danklied zu Gott/ dass er unser Gebeht so gnädiglich erhöret und...

Michael William Dawney

DAWNEY, Michael William. b. Romford, Essex, 10 August 1942. He was educated at the University of Durham, later studying with musicians such as Edmund Rubbra. He has taught at University College, Cork, Ireland, and at the Open University. His compositions include Eight Preludes on Well-known Hymn Tunes, A Celebration of Christmas, Harvest Voluntaries; four pieces for organ, and Rejoice and be Merry: a Christmas Carol Fantasia. The best known of his several fine hymn tunes are probably FELINFOEL,...

Welcome Sophia

Welcome Sophia. Janet Wootton* (1952 - ). Published in Worship Live 18 (2000). In Introducing a Practical Theology of Worship (Sheffield Academic Press, 2000) Wootton made the case for the celebration of Wisdom as a divine figure in Scripture. Wisdom is presented as female and subversive to the paternalistic influence which has permeated biblical presentation and interpretation. This hymn explores the same theme, drawing on both Old Testament and New Testament scriptural references. As a...

Johann Heermann

HEERMANN, Johann. b. Raudten, Silesia (now Rudna, Poland), 1585; d. Lissa (Leszno, Poland), 17 February 1647. He was educated at Raudten and at Wohlau. He then attended the Gymnasium at Breslau (Wroclaw) and then at Brieg (Brzeg), later matriculating as a student at the University of Strasbourg (1609). His studies were cut short by a serious eye infection, and he returned to Silesia, where he was ordained deacon in 1611, becoming assistant to the elderly pastor at Köben (now Chobienia, Poland)....

Lord, I have made thy word my choice

Lord, I have made thy word my choice. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). This appeared in The Psalms of David (1719), with the title, 'The Word of God is the Saint's satisfying Portion; or, the Excellency and Variety of Scripture.' It is headed 'Psalm 119. Eighth Part'. Watts paraphrased this psalm in eighteen parts, but by no means in verse order. None of the other parts has been included in any recent hymnbook. This purports to paraphrase verse 111 of the psalm: 'Thy testimonies have I taken as an...

Blest are the pure in heart

Blest are the pure in heart. John Keble* (1792-1866), and William John Hall* (1793-1861)/ Edward Osler* (1798-1863). The text of this hymn is normally one of four stanzas, beginning as follows: Blest are the pure in heart The Lord who left the heavens Still to the lowly soul Lord, we thy presence seek Stanzas 1 and 3 were taken from a poem by Keble dated 10 October 1819. It was entitled 'The Purification of St Mary the Virgin', with the sub-heading '“Blessed are the pure in heart: for...

Lonely the boat

  Lonely the Boat. Helen Kim* (1899-1979).   This was composed in the Korean language in 1921. It is Helen Kim's best known text. It appeared in the Korean language for the first time in ShinJung Chansongka, a revised and expanded ecumenical hymnal (Seoul, 1931). The translation, with the Korean original, appeared first in Hymns from the Four Winds (Nashville, 1983). The versification was prepared for UMH. The Korean text was translated in 1980 by Hae Jong Kim (b. 1935), the first Korean...

O Love, how deep, how broad, how high

O Love, how deep, how broad, how high. Latin, author unknown, perhaps 15th-century, translated by Benjamin Webb* (1819-1885). The Latin text, 'O amor quam exstaticus'*, is part of a longer hymn beginning 'Apparuit benignitas' found in a 15th-century manuscript at Karlsruhe, Germany (Badische Landesbibliothek, Ms. 368 (see Analecta Hymnica 48. 487–8). It had 23 stanzas, with the title I[tem] de natiuitate d[o]m[inus] y[m]pn[us]. 'O amor...' is stanza 2. The hymn has sometimes been attributed to...

We'll understand it better by and by.

We'll understand it better by and by. Charles Albert Tindley* (1851-1933).  The first line of this hymn is 'We are often tossed and driven on the restless sea of time', but it is universally known by the line that concludes each verse and the refrain. It was written ca. 1905, and, according to Young (1993, p. 685) apparently first published in Soul Echoes No. 1. Although it may have been based on John 13: 7 or 1 Corinthians 13: 12, it is primarily a heartfelt cry of someone who needs help...

Charles Villiers Stanford

STANFORD, (Sir) Charles Villiers. b. Dublin, 30 September 1852; d. London, 29 March 1924. The son of an Irish Protestant lawyer (who was himself a talented bass singer and cellist), he studied principally with Robert Prescott Stewart*, Richard M. Levey, and Michael Quarry, and Arthur O'Leary in London, before entering Queens' College, Cambridge in 1870 as organ scholar. He became conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society in 1873, and migrated the same year to Trinity College, being...

Hath not thy heart within thee burned

Hath not thy heart within thee burned. Stephen Greenleaf Bulfinch* (1809-1870).  From Bulfinch's Contemplations of the Saviour: a series of extracts from the Gospel history, with reflections and original and selected hymns (Boston, 1832). For the structure and arrangement of this book, see the entry on 'Hail to the Sabbath day'*. This hymn comes from Part VIII, 'To the Ascension of Jesus': section xlviii (the sections are numbered independently) is entitled 'Jesus appears to his disciples'. It...

Hildegard of Bingen

HILDEGARD of Bingen. b. Böckelheim, 1098; d. 17 September 1179. The last of ten children of Mechthild and Hildebert, members of the minor nobility, Hildegard was a weak child whose illness was linked throughout her life with distinctive visions. Committed to the religious life as a sort of tithe, Hildegard lived for several years with Jutta of Sponheim, who taught her to read and chant the psalter before both were enclosed as anchorites at Rupertsberg Abbey on 1 November 1112. Hildegard...

Nathaniel D. Gould

GOULD, Nathaniel Duren. b. Chelmsford (now Bedford), Massachusetts, 26 March 1781; d. Boston, Massachusetts, 28 May 1864.  Gould was a tunebook compiler and master of penmanship and engraving.  His most widely cited book is Church Music in America (1853).   Probably the most detailed description of Nathaniel D. Gould's family and change of name is found in Jeffries Wyman's biographical memoir of Gould's son, Augustus Addison Gould (1805-1866), a graduate of Harvard College and distinguished...

William Augustus Muhlenberg

MUHLENBERG, William Augustus.  b. Philadelphia, 16 September 1796; d. New York City, 8 April 1877. William Augustus was the great-grandson of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg* 'the Patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America'. His name is sometimes spelt Mühlenberg, as in JJ, but he used it without an umlaut. William Augustus became a member of the Episcopal Church in his ninth year. Educated at Philadelphia Academy and the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) (AB 1814), he was ordained deacon...

Judge eternal, throned in splendour

Judge eternal, throned in splendour. Henry Scott Holland* (1847-1918). Headed 'Prayer for the Nation', this hymn first appeared in the Christian Social magazine edited by Holland, Commonwealth, in July 1902, and then in EH (1906). The only hymn written by Holland, it reflects his concern for social reform and for justice both at home and abroad: as one of the founders of the Christian Social Union, Holland actively campaigned for social reform throughout his life, and his hymn calls on God...

Power from on high descended

Power from on high descended. Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig* (1783-1872), translated by Alan Gaunt* (1935- ). This is an original Grundtvig hymn for Pentecost, 'Kraften far den hoje', but its form is intensely traditional. It is based on a pre-Reformation vernacular hymn for Easter, and it follows its metrical pattern and uses its familiar tune. By its very form it tells us something of the way in which Grundtvig believed that the Church's hymns echo back and forth across the centuries,...

To us in Bethlem city

To us in Bethlem city. Cologne Psalter, freely paraphrased by Percy Dearmer* (1867-1936). The German text, 'Zu Bethlehem geboren'*, is a German folk carol which seems to have appeared in print first in the Kölner Psalter of 1638. It is sometimes attributed to Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld*. Dearmer translated it freely, introducing the depiction of the Child as Shepherd, which has no parallel in the German. The German text also emphasised the Deity of the Christ Child: flesh of our flesh, he...

George Vicesimus Wigram

WIGRAM, George Vicesimus. b. Walthamstow, Essex, 28 March 1805; d. London, 1 January 1879. He was the twentieth (hence the name 'Vicesimus') child of the wealthy Sir Robert Wigram (1744-1830) and his wife Eleanor, and younger brother of Joseph Cotton Wigram (1798-1867), who became Bishop of Rochester. George Vicesimus entered the army as a young man, but underwent a conversion and entered Queen's College, Oxford, with the intention of taking Holy Orders. But he left Queen's without a degree and...

Clementine Tangeman

TANGEMAN, Elizabeth Clementine (née Miller). b. Columbus, Indiana, 17 February 1905; d. Columbus, Indiana, 17 January 1996. She was a philanthropist and trustee, associated with the School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary*, Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, various other institutions of higher education, and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. She was also co-editor of Christian Hymns, copyrighted in 1945. Clementine, as she was commonly known, along with her...

Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life

Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life. Baylus B. McKinney* (1886-1952). Written in 1924 at Allen, Texas, after hearing a preacher speak the words 'Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand'. Those words, used in the refrain, are a striking variant on the common evangelical theme of coming close to Christ in doubt and affliction. It was published by the Robert H. Coleman* Company, of which McKinney was the music director, in Harvest Hymns (Dallas, 1924) and then in the...

Jesu, meek and gentle

Jesu, meek and gentle.  George Rundle Prynne* (1818-1903). This hymn is dated 1856 (JJ, p. 591). It was published in Prynne's Hymnal suited for the services of the Church, together with some introits (Plymouth, 1858), and then in the First Edition of A&M (1861). The 1861 text was preceded by the words, 'Lord, save us' (from Matthew 8: 25): Jesu, meek and gentle, Son of God most high, Pitying, loving Saviour, Hear Thy children's cry. Pardon our offences, Loose our captive chains, Break...

Finnish hymns and hymnals

Hymns before hymnals Although archaeological evidence suggests that some form of Christanity may have existed earlier, the Christian Church was brought to Finland in 1155 by the English-born Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden, together with King (Saint) Erik of Sweden. Henry, the 'apostle to Finland', met an untimely end when he was murdered by a peasant, Lalli, on an icy lake. Amazing tales began to circulate about Henry and he was later canonized. Antiphons, hymns and sequences* were written...

Eric Harding Thiman

THIMAN, Eric Harding. b. Ashford, Kent, 12 September 1900; d. Camden, London, 13 February 1975. The son of a Congregational minister, he was educated at Caterham School and the Guildhall School of Music, becoming FRCO in 1920. He was awarded the DMus degree by London University in 1927. He was Professor of Harmony and Composition at the Royal Academy of Music (1931- ), and Dean of the Faculty of Music, London University (1956-62). He was a noted teacher and recitalist, and an organist at...

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day. English Traditional.  The cosmic dance between Christ and humanity is the basis of this carol. Its unusual first-person-singular perspective and dance metaphor echoes the Apocryphal Acts of John (Second Century) in which Christ says:  I would be saved, and I would save. Amen. . . I would be born, and I would bear. Amen. . . Grace danceth. I would pipe; dance ye all. Amen. . . Whoso danceth not, knoweth not what cometh to pass. Amen. (ver. 95).  The eleven...

Colin Thompson

THOMPSON, Colin Peter. b. Exeter, 18 November 1945. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Colchester, Essex, at Trinity College, Oxford (MA, DPhil), and at Mansfield College, Oxford. He was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1971, and became a minister of the United Reformed Church in 1972. As an academic and an ordained minister, he served as a lecturer in the School of European Studies and as a University Chaplain at the University of Sussex, before becoming a Fellow and Tutor of...

Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern

LÖWENSTERN, Matthäus Apelles von. b. Neustadt, Oppeln, Silesia (now Opole, Poland), 20 April 1594; d. Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), 11 April 1648. The son of a saddler, his musical abilities led to his appointment as director of music and treasurer by Duke Heinrich Wenzel of Münsterberg (1625). He became a minister and director of finance in 1631. He then served under the Emperors Frederick II and Frederick III: the latter ennobled him ('von Löwenstern'). He became first minister to Duke Carl...

Nun danket alle Gott

Nun danket alle Gott. Martin Rinckart* (1586-1649). This famous hymn was probably first published in Rinckart's Jesu Hertz-Büchlein (Leipzig, 1636), but no copy of that book is known; it appeared in the Second Edition (Leipzig, 1663), and before that it had been printed in an edition of Johann Crüger*'s Praxis Pietatis Melica (Berlin, 1648) and the hymn book edited by Christoph Runge* for Crüger in 1653, D.M. Luthers und anderer vornehmen geistreichen und gelehrten Männer Geistliche Lieder und...

John Frederick Lampe

LAMPE, John Frederick. b. perhaps Braunschweig/Brunswick, 1702/3; d. Edinburgh, 25 July 1751. Lampe was a German-born composer and performer, who was described as coming from Brunswick in the records of the University of Helmstedt, where he studied law from 1718 to 1720. He settled in Britain from 1725/6, establishing himself as a harpsichordist and bassoonist, performing under Handel*'s direction, and also as a composer of operatic music. In the mid-1740s, he came into contact with John* and...

Joseph Swain

SWAIN, Joseph. b. Birmingham, 1761; d. London, 16 April 1796. His parents died when he was very young, and he was apprenticed to an engraver in Birmingham, completing his training in London, where he had gone to live with his brother. In 1782 he 'came under the conviction of sin' (ODNB) and was baptized in 1783 by John Rippon*. In 1792 he became minister of East Street Baptist Chapel, Walworth, South London: in spite of a split in the congregation between Strict and Particular Baptists and...

John Raphael Peacey

PEACEY, John Raphael. b. Hove, Sussex, 16 July 1896; d. Brighton, Sussex, 31 October 1971. He was educated at St Edmund's School, Canterbury. From school he joined the army: during the Great War (1914-1918) he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Sussex Royal Garrison Artillery, serving in France from 1915 to 1918, after which he was awarded the Military Cross. On demobilisation he entered Selwyn College, Cambridge as a Scholar, graduating with First Class Honours in the Theological Tripos...

Hartmann Schenck

SCHENCK, Hartmann. b. Ruhla, near Eisenach, 7 April 1634; d. Ostheim, 2 May 1681. The son of a merchant, Schenck was educated at the Gymnasium at Coburg, after which he studied theology at Helmstedt (interrupted by the plague) and Jena. He was appointed pastor at Bibra, near Meiningen (1662), and diaconus at Ostheim (1669) and priest at Völkershausen. Schenck is known for the simple and much-loved one-verse hymn 'Unsern Ausgang segne Gott' ('God bless our going out') at EG 163. Schenck's hymns...

Margaret Louise Barrell

BARRELL, Margaret (Marnie) Louise. b. Ashburton, New Zealand, 30 December 1952. Educated at Timaru and Christchurch Girls' High Schools, the University of Canterbury, where she completed a BA in Psychology, and the University of Auckland, where she completed a Bachelor of Theology degree. She is a music teacher and a Lay Preacher and Music Director at a Christchurch Anglican Church. Encouraged in 1986 by Shirley Erena Murray* to attempt hymn writing, Marnie Barrell has since written a number of...

Richard Thomas Bewes

BEWES, Richard Thomas. b. Nairobi, Kenya, 1 December 1934; d. Virginia Water, Surrey, 10 May 2019. He was educated at Marlborough College, Emmanuel College, Cambridge (BA 1958, MA 1961), and Ridley Hall, Cambridge (deacon 1959, priest 1960). He was appointed OBE in 2005. After a curacy in Beckenham, Kent (1959-65) he held incumbencies at Harold Wood, Essex (1965-74) and Northwood, Middlesex (1974-83), before becoming Rector of All Souls, Langham Place, London (1983-2004). He was also a...

Where the road runs out

Where the road runs out. Colin Gibson* (1933- ). Written in 1976 to celebrate the centenary of the author and composer's local Methodist church, it was used as the theme song for a national conference the following year focusing on 'the future'. The tune name, COLUMBUS, was chosen to symbolize an exploratory attitude to the future as well as to harmonize with the text's nautical imagery. The hymn blends biblical with New Zealand land and seascape images as it moves imaginatively from a place...

Albert Mason Patrick Dawson

DAWSON, Albert Mason Patrick. b. Wicklow, Ireland, 8 May 1880; d. 13 March 1963. He was educated in Cheshire at Frodsham Grammar School and Chester School of Science and Arts. He published two books of poetry, St Phocas and Other Poems (1923) and The Pageant of Man: Poems (1943); also 'Where love is, God is': a Modern Morality Play founded on Tolstoy's Story (1919). He was closely associated with the Adult School Movement, and was President of the Clapham and Balham Adult School, which suggests...

Now the heavens start to whisper

Now the heavens start to whisper. Mary Louise Bringle* (1953- ). Bringle's Advent/Christmas Hymn was commissioned by GIA with a request she write an Advent text 'with a Celtic flavor.' It is included in Bringle's hymn collection In Wind and Wonder (Chicago, 2006) set to the Welsh melody SUO GAN, arranged by Nicholas Palmer (1963- ). The tune's name is Welsh for 'lullaby' and the original Welsh words are a lullaby text. It is set to JEFFERSON in Celebrating Grace Hymnal (Macon, Georgia, 2010),...

Source and Sovereign, Rock and Cloud

Source and Sovereign, Rock and Cloud. Thomas Troeger* (1945- ). Written in 1987 for the Hymnal Revision Committee of the United Methodist Church, and included in UMH, this hymn was a response to a call for texts that would use multiple images for God. Thirteen authors were contacted with a list of words and phrases, and Troeger responded with this hymn, which in three verses incorporates 39 of them, ending each verse with the refrain: May the church at prayer recall that no single holy...

Ruth C. Duck

DUCK, Ruth C. b. Washington, DC, 21 November 1947. Ruth Duck graduated from Southwestern-at-Memphis University (now Rhodes College), Tennessee (BA, 1969). She attended Chicago Theological Seminary (MDiv, 1973); University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (MA, 1987); and Boston University School of Theology (ThD, 1989). The Chicago Theological Seminary awarded her a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1983. She was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1974, after which she served at Pilgrim...

Samuel Stennett

STENNETT, Samuel. b. Exeter, 1 June 1727; d. Muswell Hill, Middlesex, 24 August 1795. He was the grandson of Joseph Stennett*, and one of a line of father-to-son Baptist pastors. He was born at Exeter, where his father was pastor at the time. When he was ten his father moved to London, to the Baptist congregation in Little Wild Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. Samuel was educated in London, after which he became assistant to his father. He took over as pastor in 1758, and remained there until his...

Composers of hymn tunes

The modern idea of the author-composer relationship in hymn composition, derived from art music, is that the author writes a hymn and the composer invents a tune to suit it, also providing harmony to accompany the tune (although there are many cases where authors have written verses to go with existing tunes.) Such a notion was slow to evolve, and can hardly be traced before the Reformation. Though we now sing many tunes of medieval origin, they are either anonymous or, if a name can be...

Heloise

Heloise (other names not known) b. 1090–97; d. 16 May 1163/4. She was the daughter of Herenade, who may have been a scion of the Montmorency family (as possibly was Heloise's father) in the region of Paris. Up to about 1116 she was educated at the convent of Argenteuil where she later returned as a nun after her affair with Abelard*, the birth of their son, and Abelard's castration after their clandestine marriage (1117-18) to which she was a most unwilling partner. Their separation after these...

Sant'Iago, hymns

Most office services for St. James the Greater (Sant'Iago) use hymns from the Common of Apostles or Martyrs. However, the service at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, preserved in the 12-century Codex Calixtinus, used four proper hymns: 'Psallat chorus celestium' (f. 101v); 'Sanctissime O Iacobe' (f. 103r); 'Felix per omnes' (f. 104v); and 'Iocundetur et letetur' (f. 105v). These hymns are spread across all the feasts of James celebrated at Compostela: the vigil (July 24), the...

Cantico di frate sole

Cantico di frate sole. St Francis (ca. 1181/2-1226). This hymn, 'Canticle of brother son, praise of all creation', ('laude della creatur') is believed to be the earliest Italian Laude spirituale. It may have been written over a period of time, and finished (with the reference to death) in 1225, at a time when St Francis was suffering greatly in mind and body. It has affinities with Psalm 148, but adds its own uniquely affectionate wording, praising the elements of the creation in terms of...

The Saviour died, but rose again

The Saviour died, but rose again. Scottish Translations and Paraphrases (1781). This hymn is part of Paraphrase 48 in the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, on Romans 8: 31-39. The full paraphrase begins 'Let Christian faith and hope dispel', and may have been the work of John Logan*. It was certainly different from the draft paraphrase of Romans 8: 31-39 in the 1745 and 1751 attempts, which began: Now let our souls ascend above The fears of guilt and woe: God is for us, our Friend...

This is the day (Garrett)

This is the day. Les Garrett* (1943- ). Garrett's account is that it 'was given to us in Brisbane, Australia, in 1967. At the time we were having a very hard time, really going through a valley. Then one morning the Lord gave this song to us from Psalm 118: 24' (Adams, 1992, p. 256). Stanza 1 was published in Garrett's Scripture in Song (Brisbane, 1967). It became widely known after its publication in Sounds of Living Waters (1974). Various additions to the text have been made, most commonly...

Voices in Praise

Voices in Praise. This collection, published in 2013, is the authorised hymnal of The Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA). It is a significant milestone in the history of the MCCA, as it is the first time it has issued an authorised hymnal since its foundation in 1967. Its preface indicates Caribbean Methodism's longstanding attachment to the British Methodist Hymn Book (MHB, 1933), and, in describing its long gestation, summarises the diverse influences, cultural...

Serbian hymnody

See also 'Byzantine hymnody'*, 'Byzantine rite'*, 'Greek hymnody'*, 'Rite of Constantinople'*, 'Rite of Jerusalem'*, 'Greek hymns, archaeology'*. From conversion to the 18th century The early years Serbia converted to Christianity between 867-74. The first contacts were with Latin Church priests in coastal areas dominated by the Byzantine Empire; later contacts were with the Slavic missionaries, the Thessalonian brothers Cyril and Methodius. St. Cyril reputedly created the Slavic script,...

Catharine Hannah Dunn

DUNN, Catharine Hannah. b. Nottingham, 7 November 1815; d. 18 May 1863. The daughter of a bookseller and printer, Dunn published Hymns from The German (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1857). It contained 36 hymns. A prefatory note says 'Translations of a few of these Hymns have already appeared in the “Lyra Germanica,” and would have been withheld, but that this little book will be accessible to many who may not possess Miss Winkworth's larger collection.' It is possible that Dunn was being...

Du großer Schmerzensmann

Du großer Schmerzensmann. Adam Thebesius* (1596-1652). This is a Passion-tide hymn ('Thou great man of sorrows') published in Passionale Melicum, Das ist: Außerlesene Geist- und Trostreiche Betrachtungen deß allerschmertzlichsten Leydens und Todes unsers Einigen Heylandes und Erlösers Jesu Christi ('Exceptional spiritual and comfort-full considerations of the all-sorrowful sufferings and death of our only Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ'), edited by Martin Janus (Görlitz, 1663). This hymn was...

Fair waved the golden corn

Fair waved the golden corn. John Hampden Gurney* (1802-1862). This was first published in Gurney's Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, selected for some of the Churches of Marylebone ('The Marylebone Collection', 1851), when he was serving as rector of St Mary's, Bryanston Square. It was originally written as a children's hymn, and it was one of the hymns that D.H. Lawrence remembered from his childhood: 'I loved “Canaan's pleasant land”. The wonder of “Canaan”, which could never be...

Saviour, like a shepherd lead us

Saviour, like a shepherd lead us. Probably by Dorothea Ann Thrupp* (1779-1847). First printed in the Revd William Carus Wilson's magazine, The Children's Friend (June 1838), signed 'Lyte' (though in a different manner from a hymn attributed to Lyte in January 1838). It was then printed in Thrupp's Hymns for the Young (ca. 1830, Fourth Edition, 1836) but without an author's name.  It was found in many books including the Church Hymnary (1898) and RCH, MHB, and the Salvation Army Song Book (1953...

Summer ended, harvest o'er

Summer ended, harvest o'er. Greville Phillimore* (1821-1884) This harvest hymn was published without an author's name in The Parish Hymn Book (1863, later editions in 1866 and 1875), edited by Phillimore, Hyde Wyndham Beadon*, and James Russell Woodford*. The book was prefaced by a quotation from Isaac Barrow's Sermon on the Duty of Thanksgiving: For every beam of light that delights our eye, for every breath of air that cheers our spirits, for every drop of pleasant liquor that cools our...

We pray no more, made lowly wise

We pray no more, made lowly wise. Frederick Lucian Hosmer* (1840-1929).  Written in 1879, this was first printed in the Christian Register (Boston, 1879), entitled 'The Larger Faith'. It was subsequently included in the First Edition of The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems (Boston, 1885), which Hosmer wrote with William Channing Gannett* (Hymnary.org notes a publication in Boston,1883, in Sacred Songs for Public Worship). It had five stanzas:  We pray no more, made lowly wise,  For miracle...

Emma Toke

TOKE, Emma (née Leslie). b. Holywood, near Belfast, 9 August 1812; d. Ryde, Isle of Wight, 29 September 1878. She was the daughter of a clergyman, John Leslie, who became Bishop of Elphin (later Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh) in 1819. She married the Revd Nicholas Toke, of Godinton Park, near Ashford, Kent, in 1837 (Godinton was the seat of the Toke family, which he may have served as chaplain. He is not listed as holding a benefice, and is not found in the Clergy List after 1867; he may have died...

Dohnavur Hymns

Dohnavur Hymns were those written in various books by the missionary Amy Carmichael* (1867-1951), who founded the Dohnavur Fellowship in India in 1901. In keeping with her ideas about the importance of assimilating the local culture for missionary work, Carmichael wrote hymns for the children of the mission to suit their particular circumstances. In order to be accessible, she frequently used ideas and images from nature; one hymn, 'Sunset', paints a picture of a sunset deepening into the dark...

Behold a Stranger at the door

Behold a Stranger at the door. Joseph Grigg* (ca. 1720-1768).  From Grigg's Four Hymns on Divine Subjects; Wherein the Patience and Love of our divine Saviour is displayed (1765), where it was a hymn of eleven 4-line stanzas: Behold a Stranger at the door! He gently knocks, has knocked before, Has waited long, is waiting still; You treat no other friend so ill. But will He prove a friend indeed? He will; the very Friend you need; The Friend of sinners--yes 'tis He, With garments dyed on...

Daniel Sedgwick

SEDGWICK, Daniel. b. London, 26 November 1814; d. London, 10 March 1879. Born into a poor family, Sedgwick became a shoemaker, unsuccessfully. He was a member of a strict Baptist congregation, and developed an interest in hymnbooks, teaching himself to read and write, and beginning a small trade in second-hand books. He later opened a bookshop at 81 Sun Street, Bishopsgate. The generous tribute in JJ calls Sedgwick 'the father of English Hymnology' (p. 1037). He acquired a large collection of...

Sue Gilmurray

GILMURRAY, Sue (née Tuck). b. Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 8 April 1950. She attended Cirencester Grammar School, where she took O' and A' Level music and sang in the choir. She was already trying her hand at writing, and was pleased when her songs were used in school assemblies. She also sang as part of a trio in local folk clubs. She went on to St Anne's College, Oxford, where she read Literae Humaniores or 'Greats' (Greek and Latin, Ancient and Modern Philosophy), and sang in Chapel Choirs...

The son of consolation

The son of consolation. Maud Coote* (1851-1935). This hymn for St Barnabas' Day was written before 1871, when it was published in Church Hymns (1871, Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874), so it was the work of a young woman. It should really have been attributed to Maud Oswell, her maiden name, but in hymnbooks it is given as above. The name Barnabas means 'son of consolation' (Acts 4: 36). The hymn had five stanzas, printed in EH for St Barnabas' Day (11 June), shortened to three and radically...

Byzantine rite

The hymnody composed within the Byzantine rite is essentially a continuation of Hagiopolite hymnody (Rite of Jerusalem*), but the liturgical framework is no longer the Palestinian rite but the new rite resulting from the fusion of the Palestinian and the Constantinopolitan rites. This fusion, whose result is usually called the 'Byzantine rite', took place from the 7th century onwards in the patriarchate of Constantinople, thereafter spreading to other regions, for instance Southern Italy...

Another six days' work is done

Another six days' work is done. Joseph Stennett* (1663-1713). This hymn appeared in fourteen 4-line stanzas in The Works of the Late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett (1732). With alterations, it appeared in a greatly shortened form in several collections, notably the collection by John Ash* and Caleb Evans*, A Collection of Hymns adapted to Public Worship (Bristol, 1769; see Ash and Evans's A Collection of Hymns*), in six stanzas, entitled 'Hymn on the Sabbath'. It crossed the Atlantic...

Anders Nyberg

NYBERG, Anders. b. Malung, north-west of Västerås, Sweden, 1955. He studied choral conducting and composition at the Royal Music Academy, Stockholm. In 1978 he led a Swedish worship group called 'Fjedur' to South Africa, then under an apartheid regime. They worked in black churches, and soon after Nyberg returned to work in the township of Guglethu, Cape Town (see 'South African freedom songs'). He subsequently worked in Latin America, taking another group, 'Gondwana', to Cuba and other...

A little child the Saviour came

  A little child the Saviour came. William Robertson, of Monzievaird* (1820-1864). This hymn for Holy Baptism with its attractive first line was published in the Church of Scotland's Hymns for Public Worship (1861), and subsequently in the Scottish Hymnal (1870). It was also used by the Presbyterian Church of England, and is found in Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), and in Church Praise (1884). In JJ, p. 2, it was reported that it had become more popular in America than in Britain,...

Commit thou all thy griefs

Commit thou all thy griefs. Paul Gerhardt* (1607-1676), translated by John Wesley* (1703-1791). This is a free translation of Gerhardt's 'Befiehl du deine Wege'*. Gerhardt's hymn is a Lutheran acrostic, and Wesley makes no attempt to follow that (the omission of stanzas, and the change of language, would have made it impossible). The translation was first published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), with the title 'Trust in Providence. From the German.' Wesley himself omitted it from A...

Edward Harland

HARLAND, Edward. b. Ashbourne, Derbyshire, 1810; d. Colwich, Staffordshire, 8 June 1890. He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford (BA 1831; MA 1833). He took Holy Orders (deacon 1833, priest 1834), and was curate of Newborough, near Peterborough (1833-36) and Sandon, Essex (1836-51). In 1851 he became vicar of Colwich, and chaplain to the Earl of Harrowby. He was admitted Prebendary of Eccleshall in Lichfield Cathedral, 1873. He was the author of Index Sermonum (1858), and a popular Church...

Soldiers of Christ, arise

Soldiers of Christ, arise. Charles Wesley* (1707-1788). First published with the title 'The Whole Armour of God' at the conclusion of John Wesley*'s tract The Character of a Methodist (Bristol, 1742, first and second editions only), although there is an undated broadsheet in the British Library dated ca. 1740-1749 which may predate the 1742 text. An early manuscript copy survives, in the hand of Charles Wesley and a scribe (Frank Baker, Representative Verse of Charles Wesley, 1962, p. 388). It...

Eternal Father, strong to save

Eternal Father, strong to save. William Whiting* (1825?-1878). This is one of the most widely known hymns in English, often referred to in the United States as the 'Navy hymn'. It was written in 1860 and first appeared, after revision by the compilers, in the First Edition of A&M (1861). The story that it was written for a pupil who was travelling to America is unproved; more convincing is the suggestion that it was inspired by unusually stormy weather and numerous shipwrecks in the autumn...

Praise for Today

Praise for Today (1974). Praise for Today was published in 1974 by the Baptist Church's Psalms and Hymns Trust as a supplement to the Baptist Hymn Book (BHB,1962). It contained 104 hymns and songs arranged alphabetically. The preface noted that although only twelve years had elapsed since the publication of BHB, 'many new hymns and tunes have been written in the intervening years, and are still being written, which by their choice of contemporary themes and use of up-to-date musical idiom, have...

Walter Farquharson

FARQUHARSON, Walter Henry. b. Rosetown, Saskatchewan, 30 May 1936. He was educated at the University of Saskatchewan (BA, 1957), and at St Andrew's College, Saskatchewan (BD 1960) , with a Dip. Ed (1969). He was awarded an honorary DD by St Andrew's College, University of Saskatchewan, in 1975. Following his ordination in 1960 and a year of graduate studies at New College, Edinburgh, Farquharson was settled at the Saltcoats-Bredenbury Pastoral Charge in Saskatchewan Conference in 1961 where he...

Methodist Episcopal hymns, music, USA

Methodist Episcopal hymns, music, USA  A copy of A Collection of Psalms and Hymns (49 psalms and 38 hymns, some of each with multiple 'parts') was sent by John Wesley* to the Methodist Episcopal Church's organizing conference (Baltimore, 1784). This first 'authorized' hymnal did not include music, cite tune names or reference tune collections. The Minutes of several conversations between the Rev. Thomas Coke, LL.D., the Rev. Francis Asbury  .  .  . (Philadelphia, 1785) included instructions on...

Father of men, in whom are one

Father of men, in whom are one. Henry Cary Shuttleworth* (1850-1900). Shuttleworth published for his own church an appendix to the SPCK Church Hymns (1871, Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874), entitled The St Nicholas Cole Abbey Hymnal Appendix (1897), in which this hymn appeared. It was reprinted, with music by Shuttleworth himself, in the Church Monthly (1898). It was included, together with another of Shuttleworth's hymns, 'Father, ere yet another day is ended', in the 1903 edition of Church...

Jesus, we love to meet

Jesus, we love to meet.  Elizabeth Parson* (1812-1873) This hymn exists in several forms. It was written in the 'Thou' and 'Thee' form: 'Jesus, we love to meet/ On this, Thy holy day'. It has been modernized in some books to the 'you' form, 'On this, your holy day', as in the Psalter Hymnal (1987). It had three stanzas, and appeared in many books in the USA. A version is found in Methodist US hymnals (MH66, UMH). This is by the Nigerian musician and writer Olajida Olude*, translated by Biodun...

O blessed day when first was poured

O blessed day when first was poured. Sebastien Besnault (d. 1724), translated by John Chandler* (1806-1876) This is a translation of the Latin hymn by the Abbé Besnault, priest of St Maurice at Sens, and a contributor to the Cluniac Breviary of 1686. In the Paris Breviary of 1736 it began 'Felix dies, quam proprio'. Chandler's translation in seven stanzas was first published in his Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837). Chandler printed the Latin text in the 'Hymni Ecclesiastici' in that book,...

We pray thee, heavenly Father

We pray thee, heavenly Father. Vincent Stuckey Stratton Coles* (1845-1929). According to JJ, this was 'written for a Communicants' class' (p. 242). In a letter to W.H. Frere, dated 30 Dec 1909, Coles said that it was written before his ordination in 1869 (see Maurice Frost, Historical Companion to Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1962, p. 351). The two statements are not necessarily contradictory. It was published in the SPCK Church Hymns (1871) and in the Second Edition of A&M (1875). It is a...

Revive Thy work, O Lord

Revive Thy work, O Lord. Albert Midlane* (1825-1909). First published in the British Messenger (October 1858), it was reprinted in The Evangelist's Hymn Book (1860), and rapidly became popular. It is based on Habbakuk 3:2. It had six stanzas, the second of which has sometimes been omitted: Revive Thy work, O Lord; Disturb this sleep of death; Quicken the smouldering embers now By Thine almighty breath. For the 1860 publication, Midlane's verses were given a refrain, written by...

Eric Coates

COATES, Eric [formerly Frank Harrison Coates]. b. Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, 27 August 1886; d. Chichester, 21 December 1957. Educated at the Royal Academy of Music (1906-08), Coates began his career as a viola player in the Queen's Hall Orchestra (1910-18) until his dismissal forced him to earn his living as a freelance composer of light-orchestral music. His orchestral music has become amongst the most popular of the 20th century and included the marches Knightsbridge (London Suite), Calling...

My country, 'tis of thee

My country, 'tis of thee. Samuel F. Smith* (1808-1895). Written in 1831, this hymn was first sung on 4 July 1831 at an Independence Day celebration of the Boston Sabbath School Union at Park Street Congregational Church, Boston, Massachusetts. It had five stanzas. The original stanza 3, with its reference to British tyranny, was omitted from subsequent printings: No more shall tyrants here With haughty steps appear, And soldier bands; No more shall tyrants tread Above the patriot dead...

My soul, repeat his praise

My soul, repeat his praise. Isaac Watts* (1674-1748). Watts published two metrical versions, in Long Metre and Short Metre, of Psalm 103 in The Psalms of David (1719). The former was in two parts, the latter in three. This is the second part of the SM version. It paraphrases verses 8-18 of the psalm, and was given the heading, 'Abounding Compassion of God; or, Mercy in the Midst of Judgement.' Of the two versions, with their five parts, this second part of the SM version stands out in its...

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us. James Edmeston* (1791-1867). Published in Edmeston's Sacred Lyrics, Second Series (1821), entitled 'Hymn, Written for the Children of the London Orphan Asylum.' Edmeston took a great interest in the welfare of orphaned children, and it is significant that the metaphors he uses (stanza 1 line 3) to describe God's protection are those that might be used of an orphanage supervisor: 'Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us'. If Charles Dickens is to be believed,...

Gerhard Tersteegen

TERSTEEGEN (Ter Steegen) Gerhard. b. Moers, North Rhine-Westphalia (then part of Prussia), 25 November 1697; d. Mühlheim-an-der-Ruhr, 3 April 1769. He was educated at school in Mörs. His father's death in 1703, and the family's poverty meant that he was unable to go to the university, and he was apprenticed to a merchant at Mühlheim-an-der-Ruhr. He subsequently became a weaver, specializing in silk ribbons. From 1729 to 1724 he went through a period of depression, refusing to attend church or...

Hold thou my hands

   Hold thou my hands. William Canton* (1845-1926). According to Percy Dearmer* (Songs of Praise Discussed, 1933, p. 273) this hymn was written after Canton had seen a production of Gilbert and Sullivan*'s The Yeomen of the Guard. Phoebe's Song, 'When maiden loves', had a rhythm and melody that Canton could not get out of his head, and the words emerged to fit them. The hymn was published in Good Words (May 1893) and in The Invisible Playmate. A Story of the Unseen (1894), written for his...

We shall overcome

We shall overcome. African American Song, source unknown. The origins of this powerful song have been outlined by Eileen Southern: 'the opening and closing phrases point back to the old spiritual, “No more auction block for me”, and the [chorus] of Charles Albert Tindley*'s gospel hymn “I'll overcome some day”' (Southern, 1997, pp. 471-2). A version of the spiritual appeared under the title 'Many thousand gone' in The Story of the Jubilee Singers (Marsh, 1875).   Tindley's hymn, one of...

Methodist hymnody, USA

        Hymns were used within the Methodist movement for teaching of doctrine, for evangelism (of the unsaved and to revive those who faith was lagging), for praise and confession. Important doctrines for the Wesleyan movement are Arminianism, the understanding that Christ died for everyone, not just the elect; the Christian journey as the way of salvation, on a continuum of God's prevenient grace (which comes before one is awakened to God's call), justifying and pardoning grace (forgiveness...

The foe behind, the deep before

The foe behind, the deep before.  John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). Written in 1853, this extraordinary hymn was published in Neale's Carols for Eastertide, set to Ancient Melodies by the Rev. T. Helmore, M.A.; the words Principally in imitation of the original, by the Rev. J.M. Neale, M.A. (1854). This small pamphlet ('Price Three-Halfpence') was a companion-piece to Carols for Christmas-Tide; this one contains pages numbered from 35 to 62. According to Hymnary.org 'The foe behind…' was...

Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts

The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts.   The Fellowship is in part the successor to the National Fellowship of Methodist Musicians (NaFOMM), whose founding in the mid 1950s was prompted by that denomination's educational leaders' and curriculum editors' articulation of the theological discrepancies and inadequacies, the pedagogical practices of children's choir directors, and the texts of songs in the denomination's Sunday school literature. In 1954 a Methodist national...

I will follow thee, my Savior

I will follow thee, my Savior. perhaps by James Lawson (nda). This hymn is dated 1866 in Songs of Pilgrimage: a hymnal for the Churches of Christ (Boston, 1886), edited by Horace Lorenzo Hastings (1831-1889) and attributed to a James Lawson (in some later books 'Rev. James Lawson'). However, Gordon Taylor points out (1989, p. 90) that in The Revivalist (1872), edited by Joseph Hillman, the words and music are said to be by 'Jas. L., Elginburg, C.W.'. I will follow Thee, my Savior,  ...

In the quiet consecration

In the quiet consecration. Constance Coote* (1844-1936). Written in 1910, and first published in Lady Coote's At His Table: Thoughts on the Supper of the Lord, or Holy Communion (1912). It was prefaced by quotations from John 6: 55 and John 6: 53: 'For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed'. 'Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.'  It had six stanzas: In the quiet...

Sing Praise

Sing Praise: Hymns and Songs for Refreshing Worship (2010). Sing Praise was the latest in the line of hymnbooks stemming from Hymns Ancient and Modern* (A&M) of 1861. Published on the eve of that book's 150th anniversary, the intention of this particular compilation was to complement existing mainstream hymnbooks rather than to replace them. Sing Praise is most closely tied to Common Praise (Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd, 2000) although there is some overlap for the benefit of other users....

Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein

Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein. Paul Eber* (1511-1569). This hymn, entitled 'Das Gebet Josaphat, II. Paralip. XX' [the prayer of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20] was first published in book form in Naw Betbüchlein, published by Matthes Stöckel at Dresden (1566). JJ gives an earlier broadsheet publication, ca. 1560 (p. 319). The hymn is based on a Latin poem by Eber's teacher at Nürnberg, Joachim Kammermeister/Camerarius (1500-1574) beginning 'In tenebris nostrae et densa caligine mentis'. This...

O the delights, the heavenly joys

O the delights, the heavenly joys. Isaac Watts* (1674-1848).  This is Hymn 91 from Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Book II, 'Composed on Divine Subjects, Conformable to the Word of God'. It was entitled 'The Glory of Christ in Heaven'. The nine stanzas in 1707 were as follows:  O the Delights, the heavenly Joys, The Glorys of the Place, Where Jesus sheds the brightest Beams Of his O'er-flowing Grace!  Sweet Majesty and awful Love Sit smiling on his Brow, And all the glorious Ranks...

Believers Hymn Book

The Believers Hymn Book, with supplement, for use at Assemblings of the Lord's People, was published in 1959. It is the most recent edition of The Believers Hymn Book of 1884. The title has no apostrophe. See Brethren hymnody, British*. From 1 to 326 the hymns are arranged alphabetically. From 327 to 360 they appear in random order. From 361 ('All hail the power of Jesu's name'*) to 464 ('Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim'*) the hymns are again arranged alphabetically, followed by a...

James Cleveland

CLEVELAND, James. b. Chicago, Illinois, 5 December 1931; d. Los Angeles, California, 9 February 1991. Singer, composer, pianist, choir director, recording artist, James Cleveland is regarded as the single most important figure in African-American gospel music in the 20th century. As a young boy, Cleveland sang in the choir of Chicago's Pilgrim Baptist Church, where the ministers of music were Thomas A. Dorsey* who in 1930 had introduced the church to his 'gospel blues', and Roberta Martin...

John Addington Symonds

SYMONDS, John Addington. b. Bristol, 5 October 1840; d. Rome, 19 April 1893. The son of a well known and prosperous physician, he was educated at Harrow School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize for English poetry and became briefly a Fellow of Magdalen College (1862-63). After some years travelling in Europe, he lived in London and married (1864), and then moved to Bristol (1868). He became a prolific and much admired writer both in prose (An Introduction to the...

Orby Shipley

SHIPLEY, Orby. b. Twyford, Hampshire, 1 July 1832; d. Lyme Regis, Dorset, 5 July 1916. He came from a distinguished clerical and military family: his grandfather, William Davies Shipley, was the Dean of St Asaph in whose house Reginald Heber* wrote 'From Greenland's icy mountains'*. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge (BA 1854, MA 1857), he took Holy Orders (deacon 1855, priest 1858), becoming curate of the high-church St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, and then of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn,...

Watchman tell us of the night

Watchman tell us of the night. John Bowring*. The text, based on Isaiah 21:11-12, that first appeared in the poet's Hymns (London, 1825), 'captures a conversation between a traveler and watchman, and is filled with imagery suggestive of the oriental cities with which its author was familiar' ('TS' in Glover, 1994), as seen in stanzas 1 and 2: Watchman, tell us of the night,      what its signs of promise are?           Traveler, o'er yon mountain's height,    see that glory beaming...

Conditor alme siderum

Conditor alme siderum. Latin, author unknown. This hymn, of unknown authorship but in Ambrosian form, exists in many different versions (see JJ, p. 257). It came into the liturgy as an Advent Vespers hymn in the 9th-century New Hymnal (see Medieval hymns and hymnals*). Its precise assignment varied, and sometimes a hymn will be signalled early in a liturgical season, with the implicit expectation that it will be used throughout the season. A non-exhaustive survey (see Cantus database*) shows...

Quaker hymnody

The fact that the meetings for worship of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain are held on the basis of silence does not mean that there were no hymns in Quaker worship in the past, nor that hymns are not sung by Quakers in other parts of the world. From the beginning of their movement in 17th-century England Quakers sang psalms, but their attitude to them differed from that of other Christian groups. Robert Barclay, the early Quaker theologian, wrote in An Apology for the...

Matthew Bridges

BRIDGES, Matthew. b. Maldon, Essex, 14 July 1800; d. Sidmouth, Devon, 6 October 1894. He was brought up in the Church of England, but converted to Roman Catholicism in 1848. He lived in Quebec, Canada, for a time, but died in England at Convent Villa, a guest house of the Convent of the Assumption at Sidmouth. He wrote