Ellen M. H. Gates

Ellen M. H. Gates
Short Name: Ellen M. H. Gates
Full Name: Gates, Ellen, M. H. (Ellen Maria Huntington), 1835-1920
Birth Year: 1835
Death Year: 1920

Gates, Ellen, née Huntingdon, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is the author of several popular pieces in the American Mission and Sunday School hymn-books. Of these the following have passed from the American books into Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos:—
1. Come home, come home, you are weary at heart. Invitation.
2. I am now a child of God. Saved through Jesus.
3. I will sing you a song of that beautiful land. Concerning Heaven.
4. O the clanging bells of time. Yearning for Heaven.
5. Say, is your lamp burning, my brother. Watching and Waiting.
Concerning her poem which is used as a hymn in America, "If you cannot on the ocean" (Duty), Duffield says her account of its origin is as follows:—"The lines were written upon my slate one snowy afternoon in the winter of 1860. I knew, as I know now, that the poem was only a simple little thing, but somehow 1 had a presentiment that it had wings, and would fly into sorrowful hearts, uplifting and strengthening them." (English Hymns, 1886, p. 257.)

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


Gates, Ellen, p. 1565, i., now (1906) of New York city, was born at Torrington, Conn., and married to Isaac E. Gates. Her poems, &c, were published as Treasures of Kurium, 1895. Concerning Dr. March's hymn, "Hark! the voice of Jesus crying" (q.v.), and Mrs. Gates's "If you cannot on the ocean," some confusion has arisen, mainly, we think, from the fact that the opening line of Mrs. Gates's hymn, written in 1860, and the first line of Dr. March's second stanza are nearly the same, i.e., "If you cannot on the ocean," and "If you cannot cross the ocean." The incident which associates the late President Lincoln's name with this hymn is thus set forth by Mr. Philip Phillips in his Singing Pilgrim, 1866, p. 97:—

"The words of this truly beautiful song ['If you cannot on the ocean'] were written by Mrs. Ellen H. Gates . . . When our lamented President Lincoln heard Mr. Phillips sing it at the Hall of Representatives in Washington, Feb. 29, 1865, he was overcome with emotion, and sent up the following written request [given in facsimile on p. 97] to Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Chairman, for its repetition:—' Near the end let us have "Your Mission" [the title of the hymn] repeated by Mr. Phillips. Don't say I called for it. A. Lincoln.' "

It was through this incident that the hymn became known through America as " President Lincoln's favourite hymn." [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

Texts by Ellen M. H. Gates (41)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
A Cristo doy mi cantoEllen M. Huntington de Gates, siglo XIX (Author)Spanish3
Come home, come home, You are weary at heartMrs. Ellen M. H. Gates (Author)28
Come sinner to Jesus O hear him entreatingEllen M. H. Gates (Author)4
Consider the lilies how they growEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
For the tempted, Lord, we prayEllen M. H. Gates (Author)3
Give me thy hand, my childEllen M. H. Gates (Author)3
How many lambs are strayingEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
How many sheep are strayingEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English12
I am far away from my Father's houseEllen M. H. Gates (Author)4
I am now a child of God (Gates)Mrs. E. H. Gates (Author)English2
I shall not cry, ReturnEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
I will sing for Jesus, With his blood he bought meEllen M. H. Gates (Author)36
I will sing you a song of a beautiful landMrs. Ellen H. Gates (Author)2
I will sing you a song of that beautiful landMrs. Ellen H. Gates (Author)English272
I will sing the storyMrs. E. H. Gates (Author)1
Ich will singen ein Lied von dem herrlichen LandEllen M. H. Gates (Author)3
If we knew when walking thoughtless, In the noisy, crowded wayEllen M. H. Gates (Author)14
If we knew, while here as pilgrimsEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
If you can not on the ocean Sail among the swiftest fleetEllen M. H. Gates (Author)4
If you cannot on the oceanE. H. Gates (Author)88
In our Father's many mansionsEllen M. H. Gates (Author)5
In the name of Jesus March to meet the foeEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Jesus am I near to theeEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Kom hjem, kom hjemEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Komm heim, komm heim, Es ist muede dein HerzEllen M. H. Gates (Author)3
Komm heim, komm heim, O du irrende SeelEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German12
Komm heim, komm heimm, du bist elend und armEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German1
Let us gather up the sunbeamsMrs. E. H. Gates (Author)2
O the clanging bells of timeEllen M. H. Gates (Author)23
Reach me thy hand, my childEllen M. H. Gates (Author)7
Ry olo-mahantraEllen H. Gates (Author)Malagasy2
Say, is your lamp burning, my brotherEllen M. H. Gates (Author)13
Such beautiful, beautiful handsEllen M. H. Gates (Author)9
Tell us, O ye watchersMrs. Ellen M. H. Gates (Author)2
There's a beautiful home for thee, ChristianEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
There's many a pleasant mansionEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Though the messengers cameEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Tidens Klokker stedse gaaEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
When angry storms are beatingEllen M. H. Gates (Author)3
Wie viele Schafe wandernEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German1
You are wearly at heartEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2

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