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H. W. Baker

H. W. Baker
Short Name: H. W. Baker
Full Name: Baker, H. W. (Henry Williams), 1821-1877
Birth Year: 1821
Death Year: 1877

Baker, Sir Henry Williams, Bart., eldest son of Admiral Sir Henry Loraine Baker, born in London, May 27, 1821, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated, B.A. 1844, M.A. 1847. Taking Holy Orders in 1844, he became, in 1851, Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire. This benefice he held to his death, on Monday, Feb. 12, 1877. He succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1851. Sir Henry's name is intimately associated with hymnody. One of his earliest compositions was the very beautiful hymn, "Oh! what if we are Christ's," which he contributed to Murray's Hymnal for the Use of the English Church, 1852. His hymns, including metrical litanies and translations, number in the revised edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, 33 in all. These were contributed at various times to Murray's Hymnal, Hymns Ancient & Modern and the London Mission Hymn Book, 1876-7. The last contains his three latest hymns. These are not included in Hymns Ancient & Modern. Of his hymns four only are in the highest strains of jubilation, another four are bright and cheerful, and the remainder are very tender, but exceedingly plaintive, sometimes even to sadness. Even those which at first seem bright and cheerful have an undertone of plaintiveness, and leave a dreamy sadness upon the spirit of the singer. Poetical figures, far-fetched illustrations, and difficult compound words, he entirely eschewed. In his simplicity of language, smoothness of rhythm, and earnestness of utterance, he reminds one forcibly of the saintly Lyte. In common with Lyte also, if a subject presented itself to his mind with striking contrasts of lights and shadows, he almost invariably sought shelter in the shadows. The last audible words which lingered on his dying lips were the third stanza of his exquisite rendering of the 23rd Psalm, "The King of Love, my Shepherd is:"—

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His Shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me."

This tender sadness, brightened by a soft calm peace, was an epitome of his poetical life.
Sir Henry's labours as the Editor of Hymns Ancient & Modern were very arduous. The trial copy was distributed amongst a few friends in 1859; first ed. published 1861, and the Appendix, in 1868; the trial copy of the revised ed. was issued in 1874, and the publication followed in 1875. In addition he edited Hymns for the London Mission, 1874, and Hymns for Mission Services, n.d., c. 1876-7. He also published Daily Prayers for those who work hard; a Daily Text Book, &c. In Hymns Ancient & Modern there are also four tunes (33, 211, 254, 472) the melodies of which are by Sir Henry, and the harmonies by Dr. Monk. He died Feb. 12, 1877.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Texts by H. W. Baker (57)sort iconAsInstances
Almighty God, Whose only SonHenry Williams Baker (Author)16
Angels we have heard on highHenry Williams Baker (Author)6
Blest Trinity, from mortal sightH. W. Baker (Author)12
Captains of the saintly bandHenry Williams Baker (Author)9
Come see the place where Jesus lay, And hear the angelic watchers sayHenry W. Baker (Alterer)2
Dia vorto restasK-ro Henry Williams Baker (Author)3
El rey de amor es mi pastorHenry Williams Baker, 1821-1877 (Author)3
Father, who didst fashion meRev. Sir Henry W. Baker, 1821- (Translator)4
From highest Heav'n the eternal Son, With God the Father ever OneHenry W. Baker (Author)2
God made me for himself, to serve him hereHenry Williams Baker, 1821-1877 (Author)6
God, the Father, from thy throneHenry Williams Baker (Author)4
God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, Three in one, spare us Holy Trinity (Baker)Henry Williams Baker (Author)2
Good it is to keep the fastHenry W. Baker (Translator (from Latin))2
Grace! 'tis a charming soundHenry Williams Baker (Author)1
Great God, who, hid from mortal sightRev. Henry Williams Baker, 1821- (Translator)5
Hodiaŭ ĝoju ĉies kor'Henry Williams Baker (Author)2
How welcome was the callHenry Williams Baker (Author)23
I am not worthy, holy LordSir Henry W. Baker (Author)52
In prayer together let us fallRev. Sir Henry Williams Baker, 1821- (Author)4
Jerusalem, my happy home, O how I long for theeH. W. Baker (Translator)1
Jesu, grant me this, I prayHenry Williams Baker (Author)15
Jesus, for the beacon lightSir Henry Williams Baker (Author)3
Kun ama zorgo paŝtas minHenry Williams Baker (Author)3
Lo the angels food is givenHenry Williams Baker (Author)2
Lord Jesus, God and man, On this our festal dayHenry Williams Baker (Author)18
Lord Jesus, God and man, For love of man a childHenry Williams Baker (Author)5
Lord, Thy word abidethHenry Williams Baker (Author)151
My Father, for another nightHenry W. Baker (Author)44
Now, my soul, thy voice upraising, Tell in sweet and mournful strainRev. Sir Henry Williams Baker (Translator)26
O Christ, Redeemer of our raceHenry Williams Baker (Author)6
O God of Bethel, by Whose handAaron Williams. (Author)1
O God of love, O King of peaceHenry Williams Baker (Author)201
O Holy Ghost thy people blessRev. Sir H. W. Baker (Author)15
O Holy Spirit, come to blessH. W. Baker (1821-1877) (Author)3
O perfect life of loveHenry Williams Baker (Author)66
O praise our God today, His constant mercy blessHenry W. Baker (Author)56
O sacred head, now woundedH. W. Baker (Translator (st. 5))1
O sacred head surrounded By crown of piercing thornHenry W. Baker (Translator)50
One Father, who's giving me lifeHenry Williams Baker, 1821-1877 (Translator)1
O what, if we are Christ'sH. W. Baker (Author)102
Of the Father's love begottenHenry Williams Baker (Translator)83
On this day, the first of daysHenry W. Baker (Translator)55
Out of the deep I call To Thee, O Lord, to TheeHenry Williams Baker (Author)48
Praise, my soul, the King of heavenRev. Sir Henry Williams Baker (Author)14
Praise, O praise our God and KingHenry W. Baker, 1821-1877 (Author)93
Redeemed, restored, forgivenHenry Williams Baker (Author)12
Rejoice today with one accordH. W. Baker (Author)43
Remember, Lord, thy works of oldRev. Henry W. Baker (Author)2
Shall we not love thee, mother dearHenry Williams Baker (Author)5
Sing praise to the Lord! Praise him in the heightsHenry Williams Baker (Author)47
Sweet flowerets of the martyr bandHenry W. Baker (Translator)4
The King of love my Shepherd isHenry W. Baker, 1821-1877 (Author)533
There is a blessed home Beyond this land of woeHenry W. Baker (Author)135
'Tis done, that new and heavenly birthHenry Williams Baker (Author)3
We love the place, O GodHenry Williams Baker, 1821-1877 (Author)47
What our Father does is wellHenry Williams Baker (Author)24
Zion's daughter, weep no moreRev. Sir Henry Williams Baker, 1821 (Translator)9

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