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John Pierpont

John Pierpont
Short Name: John Pierpont
Full Name: Pierpont, John, 1785-1866
Birth Year: 1785
Death Year: 1866

Pierpont, John, son of James Pierpont, of Litchfield, Connecticut, was born at Litchfield, April 6, 1785, and educated at Yale College, where he graduated in 1804. After fulfilling engagements as a Tutor in New Haven, and in Charlestown, South Carolina, he was admitted to the Bar in 1812. Shortly after he retired and went into business, only to leave it also, and to pass on to Harvard College as a student in theology. In 1819 he succeeded Dr. Holley as the pastor of the Unitarian congregation in Hollis Street, Boston. At length his zeal against intemperance and slavery caused him to resign his charge in 1840 [sic. 1845] (see Lothrop's Proceedings of an Eccl. Council in the case of the Hollis Street Meeting and the Rev. J. Pierpont). At this date he published his Poems & Hymns, including his anti-slavery and temperance poems and songs. In 1845 he became the pastor of an Unitarian congregation at Troy, New York. This he vacated for another at Medford, Massachusetts, in 1849. That he resigned in 1859. When over 70 years of age he became Chaplain in the United States Army (1862), and was finally a Government clerk in the Treasury Department at Washington. He died suddenly at Medford, Aug. 27, 1866.

Pierpont's publications include Airs of Palestine, 1816, some school books, and his Poems & Hymns, 1840 and 1854. His hymns in common use include:—

1. Another day its course hath run. Evening. Appeared in Hymns for Children, Boston, 1825; in Greenwood's Chapel Liturgy, 1827; and in the author's Poems & Hymns, 1840.
2. Break forth in song, ye trees. Public Thanksgiving. Written for the Second Centennial Celebration of the Settlement of Boston, Sept. 17, 1830, and included in the Poems & Hymns, 1840.
3. Break the bread and pour the wine. Holy Communion. In Harris's Hymns for the Lord's Supper, 1820.
4. Father, while we break the bread. Holy Communion.
5. God Almighty and All-seeing. Greatness of the Father. Contributed to Elias Nason's Congregational Hymn Book, Boston, 1857.
6. God of mercy, do Thou never. Ordination. Written for the Ordination of John B. P. Storer at Walpole, Nov. 15, 1826; and published in the author's Poems, &c, 1840.
7. God of our fathers, in Whose sight. Love of Truth desired. This hymn is composed of st. ix., x. of a hymn written for the Charlestown Centennial, June 17, 1830. In this form it was given in the Boston Hymns of the Spirit, 1864, and others.
8. Gone are those great and good. Burial. Written in 1830. Part of No. 2 above.
9. I cannot make him dead. Gone Before. "A part of an exquisitely touching and beautiful poem of ten stanzas, originally printed in the Monthly Miscellany, Oct. 1840."
10. Let the still air rejoice. Praise.
11. Mighty One, Whose name is Holy. Charitable Institutions. Written for the anniversary of the Howard Benevolent Society, Dec. 1826, and included in the author's Poems, &c, 1840.
12. My [0] God, I thank Thee that the night. Morning. Appeared in his Poems, &c, 1840. In Martineau's Hymns, &c, 1873, it begins "O God, I thank Thee," &c.
13. 0 bow Thine ear, eternal One. Opening of Divine Service. This is dated 1823, but was not included in the author's Poems, &c, 1840, although one of his best productions.
14. 0 Thou to Whom in ancient time. Universal Worship. “Written for the opening of the Independent Congregational Church in Barton Square, Salem, Massachusetts, Dec. 7, 1824," and printed at the close of the sermon preached by Henry Colman on that day. It was given in Pierpont's Poems, &c, 1840, and is found in several collections in Great Britain and America. It is widely known.
15. 0 Thou Who art above all height. Ordination. “Written for the Ordination of Mr. William Ware, as Pastor of the First Congregational Church in New York, Dec. 18, 1821," and included in his Poems, &c, 1840.
16. 0 Thou Who on the whirlwind rides. Dedication of a Place of Worship. Written for the opening of the Seamen's Bethel in Boston, Sept. 11, 1833. Sometimes given as “Thou Who on the," &c.
17. O'er Kedron's stream, and Salem's height. Gethsemane. One of eight hymns contributed to Dr. T. M. Harris's Hymns for the Lord's Supper, 1820. It is in Martineau's Hymns, &c, London, 1873, and others.
18. On this stone, now laid with prayer. Foundation-stone Laying. Written for the laying of the cornerstone of Suffolk Street Chapel, Boston, for the Ministry of the Poor, May 23, 1839.
19. With Thy pure dews and rain. Against Slavery. Written for the African Colonization Society, and included in Cheever's American Common Place Book, 1831. Not in the author's Poems, &c, 1840.

Pierpont's talents as a hymn-writer, as in other fields, were respectable rather than commanding, but so energetically employed as to make their mark. Thus, although he never wrote a single hymn that can be called a great lyric, yet he has attained to a prominent position in American hymnody. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Texts by John Pierpont (56)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
We've passed a pleasant Sabbath dayJohn Pierpont (Author)3
Another day its course hath runJohn Pierpont (Author)English29
Behold the lily's silken vestJohn Pierpont (Author)5
Break forth in song, ye treesPierpont (Author)6
Break ye the bread and pour the wineJohn Pierpont (Author)3
Brother, there is bending o'er theeJohn Pierpont (Author)2
Father, while we break this breadJohn Pierpont (Author)English5
For the beauty of the earthJ. P. (Author)English2
From every place below the skiesJohn Pierpont (Author)English2
God almighty and all seeingJohn Pierpont (Author)English19
God of mercy, do thou neverJohn Pierpont (Author)8
God of our fathers, in whose sightJohn Pierpont (Author)2
God of this glorious earthJohn Pierpont (Author)2
Gone are those [the] great and goodJohn Pierpont (Author)English27
Here let the holy days be keptJohn Pierpont (Author)English1
How long, O God, how long (Pierpoint)John Pierpont (Author)4
I cannot make him deadJohn Pierpont (Author)English4
In Eden's greem retreatsJohn Pierpont (Author)2
Let the still air rejoicePierpont (Author)English24
Licensed, to make the strong man weakJohn Pierpont (Author)English2
Mighty One, whose name is holyPierpont (Author)5
My God, I thank thee that the nightJohn Pierpont (Author)2
O God, my heart with love inflameJohn Pierpont (Author)English17
Not now on Zion's height aloneJohn Pierpont (Author)3
Not with silver not with goldJohn Pierpont (Author)2
Now to the God, to whom all mightPierpont (Author)2
O bow thine ear, Eternal OneJohn Pierpont (Author)English63
O God, I thank Thee that the nightJohn Pierpont (Author)English33
O not for thee we weepJohn Pierpont (Author)1
O Thou to whom archangels raiseJ. Pierpont (Author)English3
O Thou, to whom in ancient timePeirpont (Author)English94
O thou who art above all heightPierpont (Author)30
O'er Kedron's stream and Salem's heightJohn Pierpont (Author)5
On this stone now laid with prayerJohn Pierpoint (Author)English36
Our Father, we approach thy boardJohn Pierpont (Author)5
Pillows, we with tears of anguishJohn Pierpont (Author)7
Shall e'er cold water be forgotJohn Pierpont (Author)9
Shall those our teachers be forgotJohn Pierpont (Author)2
Source of being, Holy FatherJohn Pierpont (Author)5
Spirit of wisdom and of powerJohn Pierpont (Author)2
The harp of the minstrel with melody ringsJohn Pierpont (Author)English2
The pilgrim fathers, where are theyJno. Pierpont (Author)English3
The pledge, the pledge, the mighty rockPierpont (Author)1
The winds are hushed the peaceful moonJohn Pierpont (Author)English10
They are all gone but oneJohn Pierpont (Author)2
This day, O God, thy blessed handPierpont (Author)1
Thou sparkling bowl, thou sparkling bowlJohn Pierpont (Author)2
Thou, who on the whirlwind ridestJohn Pierpont (Author)English3
To thee, beneath whose eye each circling centuryJohn Pierpont (Author)3
We come, we come, that have been heldJohn Pierpont (Author)4
When Asia's mighty conqueror diedJohn Pierpont (Author)4
When the bright morning star the new daylightJohn Pierpont (Author)3
When thy Son O God was sleepingJohn Pierpont (Author)2
While to lips with praise that glowPierpont (Author)3
While to our homes we do repairJohn Pierpont (Author)2
With thy pure dews and rainsJohn Pierpont (Author)English6

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