Darby, John Nelson, M.A., youngest son of John Darby of Leap, King's Co., Ireland, was born at Westminster, Nov. 18, 1800; educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1819; and in due course was called to the Bar. He subsequently took Holy Orders; but in a short time allied himself with the Plymouth Brethren. In the exercise of his ministry amongst them he visited most parts of the world, and translated the Bible into English, French, and German. His published works, including a Synopsis of the Books of the Bible; Notes on Revelations, &c, are numerous. He died at Bournemouth, April 29, 1882.
His hymns in common use are:—
1. Hark, ten thousand voices crying. The Second Advent anticipated. Praise. Appeared in Hymns for the Poor of the Flock, 1837, and repeated in Psalms and Hymns and Sacred Songs, Lend., Walther, 1842, and A Few Hymns, &c, 1856. It is also given in a few collections other than those for use amongst the “Brethren."
2. O Lord, thy love's unbounded, So sweet, &c. God's unchanging Love. Given in A Few Hymns, &c., 1856, No. 82, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. Another hymn in the same collection, No. 85, begins with the same first line: "O Lord, Thy love's unbounded! So full, so vast, so free!" This is in 2 stanzas of 8 lines, and is attributed in the "S. MSS." to J. N. Darby, in common with the first.
3. Rest of the saints above. Heaven. In A Few Hymns, &c, 1856, No. 79, in 14 stanzas of 4 lines.
4. Rise, my soul, thy God directs thee. Divine Guidance. 1st published in Hymns for the Poor of the Flock, 1837; and again in Psalms and Hymns, 1842 (as above); and A Few Hymns, &c, 1856, in 10 stanzas of 41. It is also in Dr. Walker's Cheltenham Psalms and Hymns, 1855-1831.
5. This world is a wilderness wide. Following Christ. This is No. 139, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, in A Few Hymns, &c, 1856.
6. Though faint, yet pursuing, we go on our way. Divine Strength and Defence. This hymn was given anonymously in the Baptist Psalms and Hymns, 1858, No. 558, in 5 stanzas of 8 lines. In the 1871 ed. of the same collection, it appeared as by "John N. Darby (?) 1861." Here we have a doubt and an error. The doubt is with respect to the authorship; and the error is in the date. A hymn published in 1858 cannot be accurately dated "1861." The evidence for the J. N. Darby authorship is most unsatisfactory. We can simply name it "Anon."
All these hymns were published anonymously; and the ascriptions of authorship of 1-5 are given from the "S. MSS." The same manuscripts say that he edited the work above referred to: A Few Hymns and some Spiritual Songs, Selected, 1856, for the Little Flock. Lond. Groombridge & Sons.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Darby, John N. , p. 279, ii. Respecting the hymn "Though faint, yet pursuing, &c." (No. 6), Miller says in his Singers & Songs of the Church, 1869, p. 587, that Mr. Darby told him that he was not its author.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)