There’s a picture fair and bright

There’s a picture fair and bright. Julia H. Johnston* (1849-1919). This hymn is entitled ‘The Old Fireside’. It is dated 1901; it was used during the evangelistic campaigns of Reuben Archer Torrey* and Charles M. Alexander* between 1902 and 1906. It was printed in Alexander’s New Revival Hymns, edited by Charles Alexander. As used at the Torrey-Alexander meetings (London, n.d.; Philadelphia, 1907). It has something of the feel of a parlour song, and represents something of a sentimentality that is sometimes found in Gospel hymnody. The first stanza may owe something to Robert Burns*’s poem, ‘The Cottar’s Saturday Night’, in which the father of the family takes down the family Bible and...

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