Thomas Davis

Short Name: Thomas Davis
Full Name: Davis, Thomas, 1804-1887
Birth Year: 1804
Death Year: 1887

Davis, Thomas, M.A., son of Dr. H. F. Davis, Rector of All Saints, Worcester, and of Pendock, Worcestershire, was born Feb. 15, 1804. He was educated for the law, and practised as a solicitor for two years. He then entered Queen's College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. in 1833, and M.A. in 1837. On taking Holy Orders he became Curate of All Saints, Worcester. In 1839 he was preferred as Incumbent of Roundhay, Leeds. Mr. Davis's works, in which his hymns appeared, are:—
(1) Devotional Verse for a Month, 1855; (2) Songs for the Suffering, 1859; (3) The Family Hymnal, 1860; (4) Hymns, Old and New, for Church and Home, and for travel by Land or Sea; consisting of 223 selected, and 260 Original Hymns, Lond., Longmans, 1864; and (5) Annus Sanctus; or, Aids to Holiness in Verse for every day in the Year, 1877. (6) Help Homewards in Verse for Every Day in the Year, 1883. The hymns given in the earlier of these works are generally repeated in the later.

Of Mr. Davis's hymns the best Known are "O Paradise Eternal"; "Holiest, holiest, hearken in love"; "’Tis sweet on earth to wake at morn"; "Let every voice for praise awake"; and "Baptized into the Name." Many of Mr. Davis's hymns are of considerable merit, and his works should be consulted by all hymn-book compilers. The "selected " hymns in his Hymns Old & New are marked, the rest are original. From his various works the following hymns are in common use outside of his Hymns Old and New in addition to those named and others, which are annotated under their respective first lines:—
i. From Devotional Verse for a Month, 1855.
1. Come, Holy Spirit, come, Mercies revealing. Whitsuntide.
2. Dear is the eye of earthly love. The loneliness of Jesus.
3. Heavy and dark the clouds o'erhung. Good Friday.
4. I will not mourn my weakness, Lord. Affliction.
ii. From the Family Hymnal, 1860.
5. Shall I fear, O earth, thy bosom? Easter.
6. Sing, ye seraphs, in the sky. Universal Praise.
iii. From Hymns Old and New, 1864.
7. Day by day and year by year. Old and New Year.
8. Does one small voice within the soul? Conscience.
9. Faith alone breathes calm devotion. The Calm of Faith.
10. Father, vouchsafe us grace divine. Morning.
11. Great Father of our race. God the Father.
12. How kind our Father's voice. Morning.
13. I thank Thee, Lord, for every night. Morning.
14. In holy contemplation, Give me, &c. After a Bad Harvest.
15. Let every voice for praise awake. God is Love.
16. Lord, send Thy Spirit from above. For an Increase of Charity.
17. My Father kept me through the night. Morning.
18. Our God is love, O sweetly sing. God is Love.
19. The floods lift up their waves, O God. For use at Sea.
20. The Lord our God is King. God the King Eternal.
21. To all Thy servants who this day. Holy Communion.
22. To Thine own peaceful skies. Ascension.
23. What though fields of earth have yielded. After a Bad Harvest.
iv. From Annus Sanctus, 1877.
24. Christian, be thou content. Quinquagesima Sunday.
25. Keep Thou my heart that it may ne'er. Slow to Wrath.
26. More light, more life, more love. Light, Life and Love desired.
27. Unworthy though I be. Divine Guidance desired.
28. Why comes this fragrance on the summer breeze? God is Love.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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Davis, Thomas, M.A., p. 281, ii. Died at Roundhay, Nov. 11, 1887. Another of his hymns from his Devotional Verse, &c, 1855, "Two temples doth Jehovah prize" (The Temple of the Body), is also in common use. There are 23 of his hymns in Soden's Universal Hymn Book, 1885.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)


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