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 (44)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
A Cristo doy mi cantoEllen Maria Huntington Gates (1835-1920) (Author)Spanish3
Come home, come home, You are weary at heartEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English33
Come sinner to Jesus O hear him entreatingEllen M. H. Gates (Author)4
Consider the lilies how they growEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Ernst ertönet GlockenschlagEllen M. H. Gates (Alterer)German1
For the tempted, Lord, we prayEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English3
Give me thy hand, my childEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English3
How many lambs are strayingEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
How many sheep are strayingMrs. E. M. H. Gates (Author)English14
I am far away from my Father's houseEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English5
I am now a child of God (Gates)Ellen M. 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)English35
I will sing you a song of that beautiful landEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English285
I will sing the storyMrs. E. H. Gates (Author)1
Ich will singen ein Lied von dem herrlichen LandEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German2
If we knew when walking thoughtless, In the noisy, crowded wayEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English14
If we knew, while here as pilgrimsEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
If you are too weak to journeyGates (Author)English2
If you cannot on the oceanEllen H. Gates (Author)English95
In our Father's many mansionsEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English5
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, O du irrende SeelEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German11
Komm heim, komm heim, du bist elend und armEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German1
Komm heim, komm heim, Es ist müde dein HerzEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German3
Let us gather up the sunbeamsMrs. E. H. Gates (Author)English3
Mein Gesang sei JesuEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German1
Nexhoo'ohtsėtsė! Nexhoo'ohtsėtsėEllen H. Gates, 1835-1920 (Author)Cheyenne2
O the clanging bells of timeEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English26
Reach me thy hand, my childMrs. Ellen H. Gates (Author)English7
Ry olo-mahantraEllen H. Gates (Author)Malagasy2
Say, is your lamp burning, my brotherMrs. E. M. H. Gates (Author)English14
Such beautiful, beautiful handsMrs. Ellen H. Gates (Author)English9
Tell us, O ye watchersEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English2
There's a beautiful home for thee, ChristianEllen M. H. Gates (Author)English2
There's many a pleasant mansionMrs. E. M. H. Gates (Author)English2
Though the messengers cameEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Tidens Klokker stedse gaaEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2
Urudi nyumbaniEllen M. H. Gates (Author)Swahili2
When angry storms are beatingMrs. E. M. H. Gates (Author)English3
Wie viele Schafe wandernEllen M. H. Gates (Author)German1
You are wearly at heartEllen M. H. Gates (Author)2

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