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John Mason

1645 - 1694 Author of "Now from the altar of my heart" in The Hymnal Mason, John. The known facts of his life are scanty. He was the son of a Dissenting Minister, and the grandfather of John Mason, the author of A Treatise on Self-Knowledge. He was educated at Strixton School, Northants, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. After taking his M.A., he became Curate of Isham; and in 1668, Vicar of Stantonbury, Bucks. A little more than five years afterwards he was appointed Rector of Water-Stratford. Here he composed the volume containing The Songs of Praise, his paraphrase of The Song of Solomon, and the Poem on Dives and Lazarus, with which Shepherd's Penitential Cries was afterwards bound up. This volume passed through twenty editions. Besides the Songs of Praise, it contains six Penitential Cries by Mason, and it is this portion of his work which harmonizes with the compositions of Shepherd. Probably his hymns were used in public worship, and if so, they are among the earliest hymns so used in the Church of England. Some of his hymns are often found in the early Hymn Collections of the 18th century. The most notable work besides this volume is Select Remains of the Rev, John Mason, a collection of sententious and practical sayings and Christian letters, published by his grandson, and much eulogized by Dr. Watts. His friend, Shepherd, who was at Water-Stratford at the remarkable period to which reference is made below, published two of Mason's Sermons, with a preface of his own. Mason was a man of true piety and humility; known for eminent prayerfulness; faithful, experimental, effectual preaching; "a light in the pulpit, and a pattern out of it." His friendship with Baxter, and Shepherd, the Nonconformist Minister of Braintree, probably indicates his sympathies and theological position. Baxter calls him "the glory of the Church of England," and says :— "The frame of his spirit was so heavenly, his deportment so humble and obliging, his discourse of spiritual things so weighty, with such apt words and delightful air, that it charmed all that had any spiritual relish.” The close of his life was sensational enough. One night, about a month before his death, he had a vision of the Lord Jesus, wearing on His head a glorious crown, and with a look of unutterable majesty in His face. Of this vision he spoke; and preached a Sermon called The Midnight Cry, in which he proclaimed the near approach of Christ's Second Advent. A report spread that this Advent would take place at Water-Stratford itself, and crowds gathered there from the surrounding villages. Furniture and provisions were brought in, and every corner of the house and village occupied. Most extraordinary scenes occurred, singing and leaping and dancing. The excitement had scarcely died out when the old man passed away (1694), still testifying that he had seen the Lord, and that it was time for the nation to tremble, and for Christians to trim their lamps. His last words were, “I am full of the loving kindness of the Lord." [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] The full titles of his Songs of Praise, and the additions thereto, are:— (1) Spiritual Songs; or, Songs of Praise to Almighty God upon several occasions, 1683. (2) The Song of Songs which is Solomon's first Turned, then Paraphrased in English Verse. Published with the former. (3) Dives and Lazarus, incorporated with the former 1685. (4) Penitential Cries, Begun by the Author of the Songs of Praise, And carried on by another Hand. Licensed and Entered, Sept. 13, 1693. This forms the concluding part of all editions of the Songs of Praise after 1693. The complete work was reprinted by D. Sedgwick in 1859. This reprint was accompanied by a short Memoir. In this reprint Mason's Penitential Cries and Ps. 86 are given under Songs of Praise, pp. 49-61, those under Penitential Cries being all by Shepherd (q.v.). Mason's Life, by John Dunton, was published in 1694, and included some miscellaneous poems; and another, by Henry Maurice, in 1695, in which are two hymns not found elsewhere. We may add that Mason published a Catechism, with some Verses for Children. Of this, however, no copy is known to exist. Mason's Songs are commonly presented in modern hymnbooks in the form of centos, which are sometimes compiled from a single Song, and in other instances from several Songs. Many of these are annotated under their respective first lines. The rest include:— 1. Blest be my God that I was born. Praise for the Gospel. 2. Lord, for the mercies of the night. Morning. 3. Lord of my life, Length of my days. Praise for Deliverance from Immediate danger of Death. 4. My God, a God of pardon is. Praise for Pardon of Sin. 5. My God, my only Help and Hope. Praise for Providence. 6. My God, my reconciled God. Praise for Peace of Conscience. 7. My God was with me all this night. Morning. 8. Thou wast, 0 God; and Thou wast blest. Praise for Creation. 9. Thousands of thousands stand around. Praise. A cento from Songs i. and ii. In Griffith, Farran & Co.'s Ancient and Modern Library, No. 12, Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victory and Triumph, &c, 1888, p. 208 (edited by W. T. Brooke), a short hymn by Mason is given from Multum in Parvo: or the Jubilee of Jubilees, 1732, beginning "High praises meet and dwell within." It is an indifferent example of Mason's powers as a writer of sacred verse. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ==================== Mason, J., p. 716, ii. Mason's Midnight Cry, stated on p. 717, i. as having been preached in 1694, was delivered in 1691. The 1st ed. of this sermon is:— “The Midnight Cry. A Sermon Preached On the Parable of the Ten Virgins . . . . By J. M., M.A., Rector of W. in the County of B., London: Nathanael Ranew . . 1691. This edition has no hymns. To the 4th ed. in 1692, published by the same Nathanael Ranew, there was added:— The Fourth Edition, with the Addition of two Hymns for the Coming of Christ. By the same Author. The first of these hymns begins:— "The evening of the Day Portends a dismal night," and is in 12 stanzas of 8 lines. The second hymn is:— "Come, come, my dearest, dearest Lord, Make haste and come away." This is in 14 stanzas of 4 lines. Of the first and fifth eds. there are copies in the Brit. Museum, and of the first in the Julian Collection of the Church House, London. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

Anne Steele

1717 - 1778 Author of "The Redeemer's Praise" in The Pilgrim Hymnal Anne Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published after her death, they include 144 hymns, 34 metrical psalms, and about 50 poems on metrical subjects. Dianne Shapiro (from Dictionary of National Biography, 1898 and Songs from the hearts of women by Nicholas Smith, 1903 ============================= Anne Steele was the daughter of Particular Baptist preacher and timber merchant William Steele. She spent her entire life in Broughton, Hampshire, near the southern coast of England, and devoted much of her time to writing. Some accounts of her life portray her as a lonely, melancholy invalid, but a revival of research in the last decade indicates that she had been more active and social than what was previously thought. She was theologically conversant with Dissenting ministers and "found herself at the centre of a literary circle that included family members from various generations, as well as local literati." She chose a life of singleness to focus on her craft. Before Christmas in 1742, she declined a marriage proposal from contemporary minister-hymnist Benjamin Beddome. All the same, some of Steele's sufferings were very real. She lost her mother at age 3, a potential suitor at age 20, her step mom at 43, and her sister-in-law at 45. She spent many years caring for her father until his death in 1769. For most of her life, she exhibited symptoms of malaria, including persistent pain, fever, headaches, and stomach aches. Caleb Evans, in his preface to Steele's posthumous Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose (1780), noted that she had been bed ridden for "some years" before her death: When the interesting hour came, she welcomed its arrival, and though her feeble body was excruciated with pain, her mind was perfectly serene. . . . She took the most affectionate leave of her weeping friends around her, and at length, the happy moment of her dismission arising, she closed her eyes, and with these animating words on her dying lips, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," gently fell asleep in Jesus. Historically, her most popular hymn has been "When I survey life's varied scene" (and its shortened form, "Father, whate'er of earthly bliss"), a hymn that turns earthly loss or denial into a spirit of thankfulness, published in over 800 North American hymnals since 1792. Not all of her work deals with personal agony. Her hymns span a wide doctrinal and ecclesiastical range, some crafted and used for her father's congregation. Her metrical psalms are among the finest of the genre. Steele's hymns and psalms were published in two volumes in 1760, Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, under the pseudonym Theodosia, with an additional volume of material published after her death, in Miscellaneous Pieces in Verse and Prose, 1780. Sixty two of her hymns, including new material and some revisions by Steele, were published in a hymnal for Baptists in 1769, A Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship, edited by Caleb Evans and John Ash. Forty seven were included in John Rippon's A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors in 1787; the only author with larger representation was Philip Doddridge, with 101. These collections represent the earliest attempts to anthologize Baptist hymns and were vital for bringing Steele's hymns into wider public worship, where they have been a mainstay for over two hundred years. Chris Fenner adapted from The Towers (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, August 2015) Recommended Bibliography: Cynthia Y. Aalders, To Express the Ineffable: The Hymns and Spirituality of Anne Steele (Milton Keynes, U.K.: Paternoster, 2008). Cynthia Y. Aalders, "In melting grief and ardent love: Anne Steele's contribution to eighteenth-century hymnody," The Hymn (summer 2009), 16-25. J.R. Broome, A Bruised Reed: The Life and Times of Anne Steele (Harpenden, U.K.: Gospel Standard Trust Publications, 2007). Joseph Carmichael, The Hymns of Anne Steele in John Rippon's Selection of Hymns: A Theological Analysis in the Context of the English Particular Baptist Revival (2012), dissertation, http://digital.library.sbts.edu/handle/10392/4112 Priscilla Wong, Anne Steele and Her Spiritual Vision (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012) ======================== Steele, Anne, born in 1716, was the daughter of Mr. Wm. Steele, a timber merchant, and pastor, without salary, of the Baptist Church at Broughton, in Hampshire. At an early age she showed a taste for literature, and would often entertain her friends by her poetical compositions. But it was not until 1760 that she could be prevailed upon to publish. In that year two volumes appeared under the title of Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, by Theodosia. After her death, which occurred in November, 1778, a new edition was published with an additional volume and a Preface by the Rev. Dr. Caleb Evans, of Bristol (Bristol, 1780). In the three volumes are 144 hymns, 34 Psalms in verse, and about 30 short poems. They have been reprinted in one vol. by D. Sedgwick, 1863…. Among Baptist hymnwriters Miss Steele stands at the head, if we regard either the number of her hymns which have found a place in the hymnals of the last 120 years, or the frequency with which they have been sung. Although few of them can be placed in the first rank of lyrical compositions, they are almost uniformly simple in language, natural and pleasing in imagery, and full of genuine Christian feeling. Miss Steele may not inappropriately be compared with Miss F. R. Havergal, our "Theodosia" of the 19th century. In both there is the same evangelic fervour, in both the same intense personal devotion to the Lord Jesus. But whilst Miss Steele seems to think of Him more frequently as her "bleeding, dying Lord "—dwelling on His sufferings in their physical aspect—Miss Havergal oftener refers to His living help and sympathy, recognizes with gladness His present claims as "Master" and "King," and anticipates almost with ecstasy His second coming. Looking at the whole of Miss Steele's hymns, we find in them a wider range of thought than in Miss Havergal's compositions. She treats of a greater variety of subjects. On the other hand, Miss Havergal, living in this age of missions and general philanthropy, has much more to say concerning Christian work and personal service for Christ and for humanity. Miss Steele suffered from delicacy of health and from a great sorrow, which befell her in the death of her betrothed under peculiarly painful circumstances. In other respects her life was uneventful, and occupied chiefly in the discharge of such domestic and social duties as usually fall to the lot of the eldest daughter of a village pastor. She was buried in Broughton churchyard. [Rev W. R. Stevenson, M.A.] A large number of Miss Steele's hymns are in common use, the larger proportion being in American hymnbooks. In addition to "Almighty Maker of my frame," “Far from these narrow scenes of night," "Father of mercies in Thy word," and others annotated under their respective first lines, there are also:— i. From her Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, 1760, vols. i., ii. 1. Come, let our souls adore the Lord. Pleading for Mercy. One of two hymns "On the Fast, Feb. 11, 1757," the first being "While justice waves her vengeful hand." 2. Come, tune ye saints, your noblest strains. Christ Dying and Rising. 3. Deep are the wounds which sin has made. Christ, the Physician. 4. Enslaved by sin, and bound in chains. Redemption. 5. Eternal power, almighty God. Divine Condescension. 6. Eternal Source of joys divine. Divine Assurance desired. 7. Great God, to Thee my evening song. Evening. 8. Great Source of boundless power and grace. Desiring to Trust in God. 9. Hear, gracious [God] Lord, my humble moan [prayer] . The presence of God desired. 10. Hear, O my God, with pity hear. Ps. cxliii. 11. How long shall earth's alluring toys ? On Longing after unseen pleasures. 12. How lovely, how divinely sweet. Ps. lxxziv. 13. How oft, alas, this wretched heart. Pardoning Love. 14. In vain my roving thoughts would find. Lasting Happiness. 15. Jesus, the spring of joys divine. Christ the Way. 16. Lord, how mysterious are Thy ways. Providence. 17. Lord, Thou hast been Thy Children's God. Ps. xc. 18. Lord, we adore Thy boundless grace. Divine Bounty. 19. Lord, when my [our] raptured thought surveys. Creation and Providence. 20. Lord, when my thoughts delighted rove. Passiontide. 21. My God, 'tis to Thy mercy seat. Divine Mercy. 22. My God, to Thee I call. Lent. 23. O for a sweet, inspiring ray. The Ascended Saviour. 24. O Thou Whose tender mercy hears. Lent. 25. Permit me, Lord, to seek Thy face. Strength and Safety in God alone. 26. Should famine o'er the mourning field. During Scarcity. 27. So fades the lovely, blooming flower. Death of a Child. 28. Stretched on the Cross the Saviour dies. Good Friday. 29. The Lord, my Shepherd and my Guide. Ps.xxiii. 30. The Lord, the God of glory reigns. Ps. xciii. 31. The Saviour calls; let every ear. The Invitation. 32. There is a glorious world on high. True Honour. 33. Thou lovely [only] Source of true delight. Desiring to know Jesus. 34. Thou only Sovereign of my heart. Life in Christ alone. 35. To Jesus, our exalted Lord. Holy Communion. 36. To our Redeemer's glorious Name. Praise to the Redeemer. 37. To your Creator, God. A Rural Hymn. 38. When I survey life's varied scene. Resignation. 39. When sins and fears prevailing rise. Christ the Life of the Soul. 40. Where is my God? does He retire. Rreathing after God. 41. While my Redeemer's near. The Good Shepherd. 42. Why sinks my weak desponding mind? Hope in God. 43. Ye earthly vanities, depart. Love for Christ desired. 44. Ye glittering toys of earih adieu. The Pearl of great Price. 45. Ye humble souls, approach your God. Divine Goodness. ii. From the Bristol Baptist Collection of Ash & Evans, 1769. 46. Come ye that love the Saviour's Name. Jesus, the King of Saints. 47. How helpless guilty nature lies. Need of Receiving Grace. 48. Praise ye the Lord let praise employ. Praise. iii. Centos and Altered Texts, 49. How blest are those, how truly wise. True honour. From "There is a glorious world on high." 50. How far beyond our mortal view. Christ the Supreme Beauty. From "Should nature's charms to please the eye," 1760, st. iii. 51. In vain I trace creation o'er. True happiness. From "When fancy spreads her boldest wings," 1760, st. ii. 52. Jesus, and didst thou leave the sky? Praise to Jesus. From “Jesus, in Thy transporting name," 1760, st. iv. 53. Look up, my soul, with cheerful eye. Breathing after God. From No. 40, st. v. 54. Lord, in the temple of Thy grace. Christ His people's Joy. From "The wondering nations have beheld," 1760, st. iii. 55. My God, O could I make the claim. Part of No. 9 above. 56. My soul, to God, its source, aspires. God, the Soul's only Portion. From "In vain the world's alluring smile," st. iii. 57. O could our thoughts and wishes fly. Part of No. 11 above, st. iv. 58. O for the eye of faith divine. Death anticipated. From "When death appears before my sight," 1760, st. iii., vii., viii. altered, with opening stanzas from another source. 59. O Jesus, our exalted Head. Holy Communion. From "To Jesus, our exalted Lord." See No. 35. 60. O world of bliss, could mortal eyes. Heaven. From "Far from these narrow scenes of night." 61. See, Lord, Thy willing subjects bow. Praise to Christ. From "O dearer to my thankful heart," 1780, st. 5. 62. Stern winter throws his icy chains. Winter. From "Now faintly smile day's hasty hours," 1760, st. ii. 63. Sure, the blest Comforter is nigh. Whitsuntide. From "Dear Lord, and shall Thy Spirit rest," 1760, st. iii. 64. The God of my salvation lives. In Affliction. From, "Should famine, &c," No. 26, st. iv. 65. The Gospel, O what endless charms. The Gospel of Redeeming Love. From "Come, Heavenly Love, inspire my song." 66. The mind was formed lo mount sublime. The Fettered Mind. From "Ah! why should this immortal mind?" 1760, st. ii. 67. The once loved form now cold and dead. Death of a Child. From "Life is a span, a fleeting hour," 1760, st. iii. 68. Thy gracious presence, O my God. Consolation in Affliction. From "In vain, while dark affliction spreads," 1780, st. iv. 69. Thy kingdom, Lord, for ever stands. Ps. cxlv. From "My God, my King, to Thee I'll raise," 1760, st. xii. 70. Triumphant, Christ ascends on high. Ascension. From "Come, Heavenly Love, inspire my song," 1760, st. xxxii. 71. When blest with that transporting view. Christ the Redeemer. From "Almighty Father, gracious Lord," 1760, st. xi. 72. When death before my sight. Death Anticipated. From "When death appears before my sight," 1760. 73. When gloomy thoughts and boding fears. Com¬forts of Religion. From "O blest religion, heavenly fair," 1760, st. ii. 74. When weary souls with sin distrest. Invitation to Rest. From "Come, weary souls, with sin distressed," 1760. 75. Whene'er the angry passions rise. Example of Christ. From “And is the gospel peace and love?" 1760, st. ii. All the foregoing hymns are in D. Sedgwick's reprint of Miss Steele's Hymns, 1863. --Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ==================== Steele, Anne, p. 1089, i., Additional hymns in common use: 1. Amazing love that stoop'd so low. Thankfulness. From "O dearer to my thankful heart," 1780, iii. 2. Bright scenes of bliss, unclouded skies. Saved by Hope. Poems, 1760, i. p. 228. 3. Jesus demands this heart of mine. Pardon De¬sired. Poems, 1760, i. p. 120. 4. Jesus, Thou Source divine. Christ the Way. Poems, 1760, i. p. 53, altered. 5. Lord, how mysterious are Thy ways. Mysteries of Providence. Poems, 1760, i. p. 131. 6. Lord^in Thy great, Thy glorious Name. Ps. xxxi. Poems, 1760, ii. p. 158. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Francis Patrick O'Brien

Person Name: Francis Patrick O'Brien, b. 1958 Author of "Nativity Carol" in Gather Comprehensive Francis Patrick O'Brien Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1985, Fran has spent all of his priesthood in parish and campus ministry, where, along with his sacramental and parochial duties, he has frequently served as music director and composer. He is currently pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Marlborough, MA, a western suburb of Boston. Fran began working in music ministry at age thirteen as accompanist for the children’s choir in his home parish. He moved up the ranks from fill-in organist to music director while still in high school. During those years, Fran began composing for liturgy, taking inspiration from the works of Alexander Peloquin, Lucien Deiss, Michael Joncas and the St. Louis Jesuits. Fran later studied under Martin Pearlman, founder of Boston Baroque; John Huggler, composer in residence, Boston Symphony Orchestra; and noted choral composer, Julian Wachner. Fran’s compositions for worship are born out of over 35 years of experience as accompanist, choir director and, since 1985, presider. His compositions, beginning with You Are All We Have and Shepherd of My Heart, in 1991, are known for their strong melodies and solid texts. He is a frequent presenter of workshops and concerts throughout the New England area as well as with NPM and GIA. His commissions include works for Form Reform, the NCEA and the Archdiocese of Boston in celebration of its bicentennial year. --www.giamusic.com/bios

Samuel Medley

1738 - 1799 Author of "Christ's nativity" in The Union Singing Book Medley, Samuel, born June 23, 1738, at Cheshunt, Herts, where his father kept a school. He received a good education; but not liking the business to which he was apprenticed, he entered the Royal Navy. Having been severely wounded in a battle with the French fleet off Port Lagos, in 1759, he was obliged to retire from active service. A sermon by Dr. Watts, read to him about this time, led to his conversion. He joined the Baptist Church in Eagle Street, London, then under the care of Dr. Gifford, and shortly afterwards opened a school, which for several years he conducted with great success. Having begun to preach, he received, in 1767, a call to become pastor of the Baptist church at Watford. Thence, in 1772, he removed to Byrom Street, Liverpool, where he gathered a large congregation, and for 27 years was remarkably popular and useful. After a long and painful illness he died July 17, 1799. Most of Medley's hymns were first printed on leaflets or in magazines (the Gospel Magazine being one). They appeared in book form as:— (1) Hymns, &c. Bradford, 1785. This contains 42 hymns. (2) Hymns on Select Portions of Scripture by the Rev. Mr. Medley. 2nd ed. Bristol. W. Pine. 1785. This contains 34 hymns, and differs much from the Bradford edition both in the text and in the order of the hymns. (3) An enlargement of the same in 1787. (4) A small collection of new Hymns, London, 1794. This contains 23 hymns. (5) Hymns. The Public Worship and Private Devotion of True Christians Assisted in some thoughts in Verse; principally drawn from Select Passages of the Word of God. By Samuel Medley. London. Printed for J. Johnson. 1800. A few of his hymns are also found in a Collection for the use of All Denominations, published in London in 1782. Medley's hymns have been very popular in his own denomination, particularly among the more Calvinistic churches. In Denham's Selections there are 48, and in J. Stevens's Selections, 30. Their charm consists less in their poetry than in the warmth and occasional pathos with which they give expression to Christian experience. In most of them also there is a refrain in the last line of each verse which is often effective. Those in common use include:— 1. Come, join ye saints, with heart and voice. (1800). Complete in Christ. 2. Death is no more among our foes. Easter. 3. Eternal Sovereign Lord of all. (1789). Praise for Providential Care. 4. Far, far beyond these lower skies. (1789). Jesus, the Forerunner. 5. Father of mercies, God of love, whose kind, &c. (1789.) New Year. 6. Great God, today Thy grace impart. Sermon. 7. Hear, gracious God! a sinner's cry. (1789). Lent. 8. In heaven the rapturous song began. Christmas. 9. Jesus, engrave it on my heart. (1789). Jesus, Needful to all. 10. Mortals, awake, with angels join. (1782). Christmas. 11. My soul, arise in joyful lays. (1789). Joy in God. 12. Now, in a song of grateful praise. Praise to Jesus. In the Gospel Magazine, June, 1776. 13. O could I speak the matchless worth. (1789.) Praise of Jesus. 14. O for a bright celestial ray. Lent. 15. O God, Thy mercy, vast and free. (1800). Dedication of Self to God. 16. O let us tell the matchless love. Praise to Jesus. 17. O what amazing words of grace. (1789). Foutain of Living Waters. 18. Saints die, and we should gently weep. (1800). Death and Burial. From his "Dearest of Names, Our Lord and King." 19. See a poor sinner, dearest Lord. Lent. 20. Sing the dear Saviour's glorious fame. (1789). Jesus the Breaker of bonds. In 1800 a Memoir of Medley was published by his son, which is regarded by members of the family now living as authoritative. But in 1833 appeared another Memoir by Medley's daughter Sarah, to which are appended 52 hymns for use on Sacramental occasions. These she gives as her father's. But 8 of them are undoubtedly by Thos. Kelly, published by him in 1815, and reprinted in subsequent editions of his Hymns. The remainder are by Medley. Nearly all of these 52 hymns (both Medley's and Kelly's) have been altered in order to adapt them to Sacramental use. In Sarah Medley's volume, Kelly's hymns all follow one another, and three of them are in a metre which Medley apparently never used. What could have been Sarah Medley's motive in all this it is hard to divine. She is said to have been a clever, though unamiable woman, and was herself the author of a small volume of Poems published in 1807. In the Memoir she does not conceal her hatred of her brother. [Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

William Henry Monk

1823 - 1889 Composer of "NATIVITY (MONK)" in Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary

John Barnard

b. 1948 Person Name: John Barnard (b. 1948) Composer (descant) of "NATIVITY" in Ancient and Modern

James Montgomery

1771 - 1854 Person Name: James Mongtomery Author of "Sing we the song" in The Mennonite Hymnal Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspaper, as his assistant. In 1794 Mr. Gales left England to avoid a political prosecution. Montgomery took the Sheffield Register in hand, changed its name to The Sheffield Iris, and continued to edit it for thirty-one years. During the next two years he was imprisoned twice, first for reprinting therein a song in commemoration of "The Fall of the Bastille," and the second for giving an account of a riot in Sheffield. The editing of his paper, the composition and publication of his poems and hynms, the delivery of lectures on poetry in Sheffield and at the Royal Institution, London, and the earnest advocacy of Foreign Missions and the Bible Society in many parts of the country, gave great variety but very little of stirring incident to his life. In 1833 he received a Royal pension of £200 a year. He died in his sleep, at the Mount, Sheffield, April 30, 1854, and was honoured with a public funeral. A statue was erected to his memory in the Sheffield General Cemetery, and a stained glass window in the Parish Church. A Wesleyan chapel and a public hall are also named in his honour. Montgomery's principal poetical works, including those which he edited, were:— (1) Prison Amusements, 1797; (2) The Wanderer of Switzerland, 1806; (3) The West Indies, 1807; (4) The World before the Flood, 1813; (5) Greenland and Other Poems, 1819; (6) Songs of Zion, 1822; (7) The Christian Psalmist, 1825; (8) The Christian Poet, 1825; (9) The Pelican Island, 1828; (10) The Poet’s Portfolio, 1835; (11) Original Hymns for Public, Private, and Social Devotion, 1853. He also published minor pieces at various times, and four editions of his Poetical Works, the first in 1828, the second in 1836, the third in 1841, and the fourth in 1854. Most of these works contained original hymns. He also contributed largely to Collyer's Collection, 1812, and other hymnbooks published during the next 40 years, amongst which the most noticeable was Cotterill's Selections of 1819, in which more than 50 of his compositions appeared. In his Christian Psalmist, 1825, there are 100 of his hymns, and in his Original Hymns, 1853, 355 and 5 doxologies. His Songs of Zion, 1822, number 56. Deducting those which are repeated in the Original Hymns, there remain about 400 original compositions. Of Montgomery's 400 hymns (including his versions of the Psalms) more than 100 are still in common use. With the aid of Montgomery's MSS. we have given a detailed account of a large number. The rest are as follows:— i. Appeared in Collyer's Collection, 1812. 1. Jesus, our best beloved Friend. Personal Dedication to Christ. 2. When on Sinai's top I see. Sinai, Tabor, and Calvary. ii. Appeared in Cotterill's Selection, 1819. 3. Come to Calvary's holy mountain. The Open Fountain. 4. God in the high and holy place. God in Nature. The cento in Com. Praise, 1879, and others, "If God hath made this world so fair," is from this hymn. 5. Hear me, O Lord, in my distress. Ps. cxliii. 6. Heaven is a place of rest from sin. Preparation for Heaven. 7. I cried unto the Lord most just. Ps. cxlii. 8. Lord, let my prayer like incense rise. Ps. cxxxix. 9. O bless the Lord, my soul! His grace to thee proclaim. Ps. ciii. 10. Out of the depths of woe. Ps. cxxx. Sometimes "When from the depths of woe." 11. The world in condemnation lay. Redemption. 12. Where are the dead? In heaven or hell? The Living and the Dead. iii. Appeared in his Songs of Zion, 1822. 13. Give glory to God in the highest. Ps. xxix. 14. Glad was my heart to hear. Ps. cxxii. 15. God be merciful to me. Ps. lxix. 16. God is my strong salvation. Ps. xxvii. 17. Hasten, Lord, to my release. Ps. lxx. 18. Have mercy on me, O my God. Ps. li. 19. Hearken, Lord, to my complaints. Ps. xlii. 20. Heralds of creation cry. Ps. cxlviii. 21. How beautiful the sight. Ps. cxxxiii. 22. How precious are Thy thoughts of peace. Ps. cxxxix. 23. I love the Lord, He lent an ear. Ps. cxvi. 24. In time of tribulation. Ps. lxxvii. 25. Jehovah is great, and great be His praise. Ps. xlviii. Sometimes, "0 great is Jehovah, and great is His Name." 26. Judge me, O Lord, in righteousness. Ps. xliii. 27. Lift up your heads, ye gates, and wide. Ps.xxiv. 28. Lord, let me know mine [my] end. Ps. xxxi. 29. Of old, 0 God, Thine own right hand. Ps. lxxx. 30. O God, Thou art [my] the God alone. Ps. lxiii. 31. 0 Lord, our King, how excellent. Ps. viii. Sometimes, "0 Lord, how excellent is Thy name." 32. O my soul, with all thy powers. Ps. ciii. 33. One thing with all my soul's desire. Ps. xxvii. From this, "Grant me within Thy courts a place." 34. Searcher of hearts, to Thee are known. Ps. cxxxix. 35. Thank and praise Jehovah's name. Ps. cvii. 36. Thee will I praise, O Lord in light. Ps. cxxxviii. 37. The Lord is King; upon His throne. Ps. xciii. 38. The Lord is my Shepherd, no want shall I know. Ps. xxiii. 39. The tempter to my soul hath said. Ps. iii. 40. Thrice happy he who shuns the way. Ps. i. 41. Thy glory, Lord, the heavens declare. Ps. xix. 42. Thy law is perfect, Lord of light. Ps. xix. 43. Who make the Lord of hosts their tower. Ps. cxxv. 44. Yea, I will extol Thee. Ps. xxx. iv. Appeared in his Christian Psalmist. 1825. 45. Fall down, ye nations, and adore. Universal adoration of God desired. 46. Food, raiment, dwelling, health, and friends. The Family Altar. 47. Go where a foot hath never trod. Moses in the desert. Previously in the Leeds Congregational Collection, 1822. 48. Green pastures and clear streams. The Good Shepherd and His Flock. 49. Less than the least of all. Mercies acknowledged. 50. Not to the mount that burned with fire [flame]. Communion of Saints. 51. On the first Christian Sabbath eve. Easter Sunday Evening. 52. One prayer I have: all prayers in one. Resignation. 53. Our heavenly Father hear. The Lord's Prayer. 54. Return, my soul, unto thy rest. Rest in God. 55. Spirit of power and might, behold. The Spirit's renewing desired. 56. The Christian warrior, see him stand. The Christian Soldier. Sometimes, "Behold the Christian warrior stand." 57. The days and years of time are fled. Day of Judgment. 58. The glorious universe around. Unity. 59. The pure and peaceful mind. A Children's Prayer. 60. This is the day the Lord hath made (q. v.). Sunday. 61. Thy word, Almighty Lord. Close of Service. 62. What secret hand at morning light ? Morning. 63. While through this changing world we roam. Heaven. 64. Within these walls be peace. For Sunday Schools. v. Appeared in his Original Hymns, 1853. 65. Behold yon bright array. Opening a Place of Worship. 66. Behold the book whose leaves display. Holy Scriptures. 67. Come ye that fear the Lord. Confirmation. 68. Home, kindred, friends, and country, these. Farewell to a Missionary. 69. Let me go, the day is breaking. Jacob wrestling. 70. Not in Jerusalem alone. Consecration of a Church. 71. Praise the high and holy One. God the Creator. In common with most poets and hymnwriters, Montgomery strongly objected to any correction or rearrangement of his compositions. At the same time he did not hesitate to alter, rearrange, and amend the productions of others. The altered texts which appeared in Cotterill's Selections, 1819, and which in numerous instances are still retained in some of the best hymnbooks, as the "Rock of Ages," in its well-known form of three stanzas, and others of equal importance, were made principally by him for Cotterill's use. We have this confession under his own hand. As a poet, Montgomery stands well to the front; and as a writer of hymns he ranks in popularity with Wesley, Watts, Doddridge, Newton, and Cowper. His best hymns were written in his earlier years. In his old age he wrote much that was unworthy of his reputation. His finest lyrics are "Angels from the realms of glory," "Go to dark Gethsemane," "Hail to the Lord's Anointed," and "Songs of praise the angels sang." His "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire," is an expanded definition of prayer of great beauty; and his "Forever with the Lord" is full of lyric fire and deep feeling. The secrets of his power as a writer of hymns were manifold. His poetic genius was of a high order, higher than most who stand with him in the front rank of Christian poets. His ear for rhythm was exceedingly accurate and refined. His knowledge of Holy Scripture was most extensive. His religious views were broad and charitable. His devotional spirit was of the holiest type. With the faith of a strong man he united the beauty and simplicity of a child. Richly poetic without exuberance, dogmatic without uncharitableness, tender without sentimentality, elaborate without diffusiveness, richly musical without apparent effort, he has bequeathed to the Church of Christ wealth which could onlv have come from a true genius and a sanctified! heart. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Samuel Longfellow

1819 - 1892 Person Name: Samuel Longfellow, 1819-92 Author of "God's trumpet wakes the slumbering world" in The Methodist Hymn-Book with Tunes Longfellow, Samuel, B. A., brother of the Poet, was born at Portland, Maine, June 18, 1819, and educated at Harvard, where he graduated in Arts in 1839, and in Theology in 1846. On receiving ordination as an Unitarian Minister, he became Pastor at Fall River, Massachusetts, 1848; at Brooklyn, 1853; and at Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1860. In 1846 he edited, with the Rev. S. Johnson (q. v.), A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion. This collection was enlarged and revised in 1848. In 1859 his Vespers was published, and in 1864 the Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit , under the joint editorship of the Rev. S. Johnson and himself. His Life of his brother, the Poet Longfellow, was published in 1886. To the works named he contributed the following hymns:— i. To A Book of Hymns , revised ed., 1848. 1. Beneath the shadow of the Cross. Love. 2. 0 God, thy children gathered here. Ordination. ii. To the Vespers 1859. 3. Again as evening's shadow falls. Evening. 4. Now on land and sea descending. Evening. iii. To the Hymns of the Spirit, 1864. 5. A voice by Jordan's shore. Advent. 6. Father, give Thy benediction. Ordination. 7. Go forth to life, 0 child of earth. Life's Mission. 8. God of ages and of nations. Holy Scriptures. 9. Holy Spirit, Truth divine. The Holy Spirit desired. 10. I look to Thee in every need. Trust in God. 11. In the beginning was the Word. The Word. 12. Love for all, and can it be? Lent. The Prodigal Son. 13. 0 God, in Whom we live and move. God's Law and Love. 14. 0 God, Thou Giver of all good. Prayer for Food. 15. O still in accents sweet and strong. Missions. 16. 0 Thou, Whose liberal sun and rain. Anniversary of Church dedication. 17. One holy Church of God appears. The Church Universal. 18. Out of the dark, the circling sphere. The Outlook. 19. Peace, peace on earth! the heart of man for ever. Peace on Earth. 20. The loving Friend to all who bowed. Jesus of Nazareth. 21. ’Tis winter now, the fallen snow. Winter. Of these, hymn No. 2 was written for the Ordination of E. E. Hale (q. v.), at Worcester, 1846. Several are included in Martineau's Hymns, 1873. Died Oct. 3, 1892. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907), p. 685 =============== Longfellow, S., p. 685, i. Since Mr. Longfellow's death on Oct. 3, 1892, his hymns have been collected by his niece, Miss Alice Longfellow, as Hymns and Verses(Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1904.) From this work we find many of the hymns signed Anon, in the Index to Longfellow and Johnson's Hymns of the Spirit, 1864, were his; several of these, including E. Osier's "O God unseen, yet ever near," were popular English hymns which he rewrote from his own theological standpoint. These re¬written hymns are very widely used by Unitarians and others. During the last ten years the following additional hymns by S. Long¬fellow have come into common use:— 1. Eternal One, Thou living God. Faith in God. 2. God of the earth, the sky, the sea. God in Nature. 3. God's trumpet wakes the slumbering world. Call to duty. 4. Light of ages and of nations. God in and through all time. 5. Lo, the earth is risen again. Spring. (1876.) 6. Now while we sing our closing psalm. Close of Worship. 7. O Life that maketh all things new. Unity. (1874.) 8. O Thou in Whom we live and move. The Divine Law. 9. The summer days are come again. Summer. From his hymn,"The sweet[bright] June days are come again." 10. Thou Lord of lite, our saving health. In Sickness. (1886.) Of these hymns Nos. 2, 3 appeared in the Hymns of the Spirit, 1864, and all with the dates appended in Hymns and Verses, 1904. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907) ================== http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Longfellow

Augustus Toplady

1740 - 1778 Person Name: Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778 Author of "Deathless principle, arise, Soar, thou native of the skies" in The Evangelical Hymnal with Tunes Toplady, Augustus Montague, the author of "Rock of Ages," was born at Farnham, Surrey, November 4, 1740. His father was an officer in the British army. His mother was a woman of remarkable piety. He prepared for the university at Westminster School, and subsequently was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin. While on a visit in Ireland in his sixteenth year he was awakened and converted at a service held in a barn in Codymain. The text was Ephesians ii. 13: "But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." The preacher was an illiterate but warm-hearted layman named Morris. Concerning this experience Toplady wrote: "Strange that I, who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should be brought nigh unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, amidst a handful of God's people met together in a barn, and under the ministry of one who could hardly spell his name. Surely this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous." In 1758, through the influence of sermons preached by Dr. Manton on the seventeenth chapter of John, he became an extreme Calvinist in his theology, which brought him later into conflict with Mr. Wesley and the Methodists. He was ordained to the ministry in the Church of England in 1762, and in 1768 he became vicar of Broadhembury, a small living in Devonshire, which he held until his death. The last two or three years of his life he passed in London, where he preached in a chapel on Orange Street. His last sickness was of such a character that he was able to make a repeated and emphatic dying testimony. A short time before his death he asked his physician what he thought. The reply was that his pulse showed that his heart was beating weaker every day. Toplady replied with a smile: "Why, that is a good sign that my death is fast approaching; and, blessed be God, I can add that my heart beats stronger and stronger every day for glory." To another friend he said: "O, my dear sir, I cannot tell you the comforts I feel in my soul; they are past expression. . . . My prayers are all converted into praise." He died of consumption August 11, 1778. His volume of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Worship was published in 1776. Of the four hundred and nineteen hymns which it contained, several were his own productions. If on a quiet sea 446 Rock of ages, cleft for me 279 Hymn Writers of the Church, 1915 by Charles S. Nutter =============================================== Toplady, Augustus Montague, M.A. The life of Toplady has been repeatedly and fully written, the last, a somewhat discursive and slackly put together book, yet matterful, by W. Winters (1872). Summarily, these data may be here given: he was born at Farnham, in Surrey, on November 4, 1740. His father, Richard Toplady, was a Major in the British array, and was killed at the siege of Carthagena (1741) soon after the birth of his son. His widowed mother placed him at the renowned Westminster school, London. By-and-by circumstances led her to Ireland, and young Augustus was entered at Trinity College, Dublin, where he completed his academical training, ultimately graduating M.A. He also received his "new birth" in Ireland under remarkable conditions, as he himself tells us with oddly mixed humility and lofty self-estimate, as "a favourite of heaven," common to his school:— "Strange that I who had so long sat under the means of grace in England should be brought right unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, midst a handful of people met together in a barn, and by the ministry of one who could hardly spell his own name. Surely it was the Lord's doing and is marvellous. The excellency of such power must be of God and cannot be of man. The regenerating spirit breathes not only on whom but likewise, when and where and as He listeth." Toplady received orders in the Church of England on June 6, 1762, and after some time was appointed to Broadhembury. His Psalms and Hymns of 1776 bears that he was then “B.A." and Vicar of Broadhembury. Shortly thereafter be is found in London as minister of the Chapel of the French Calvinists in Leicester Fields. He was a strong and partizan Calvinist, and not well-informed theologically outside of Calvinism. We willingly and with sense of relief leave unstirred the small thick dust of oblivion that has gathered on his controversial writings, especially his scurrilous language to John Wesley because of his Arminianism, as we do John Wesley's deplorable misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Calvinism. Throughout Toplady lacked the breadth of the divine Master's watchword "Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us" (St. Luke ix. 50). He was impulsive, rash-spoken, reckless in misjudgment; but a flame of genuine devoutness burned in the fragile lamp of his overtasked and wasted body. He died on August 11, 1778. The last edition of his works is in 6 vols., 8 vo., 1825. An accurate reproduction of most of his genuine hymns was one of the reprints of Daniel Sedgwick, 1860. His name occurs and recurs in contemporary memoirs and ecclesiastical histories, e.g., in Tyerman's Life of John Wesley. The reader will find in their places annotations on the several hymns of Toplady, and specially on his "Rock of Ages,” a song of grace that has given him a deeper and more inward place in millions of human hearts from generation to generation than almost any other hymnologist of our country, not excepting Charles Wesley. Besides the "Rock of Ages" must be named, for power, intensity, and higher afflatus and nicer workmanship, "Object of my first desire,” and "Deathless principle arise." It is to be regretted that the latter has not been more widely accepted. It is strong, firm, stirring, and masterful. Regarded critically, it must be stated that the affectionateness with which Toplady is named, and the glow and passion of his faith and life, and yearning after holiness, have led to an over-exaltation of him as a hymnwriter. Many of his hymns have been widely used, and especially in America, and in the Evangelical hymnbooks of the Church of England. Year by year, however, the number in use is becoming less. The reason is soon found. He is no poet or inspired singer. He climbs no heights. He sounds no depths. He has mere vanishing gleams of imaginative light. His greatness is the greatness of goodness. He is a fervent preacher, not a bard. [Rev. A. B. Grosart, D.D., LL.D.] Toplady's hymns and poetical pieces were published in his:— (1) Poems on Sacred Subjects wherein The Fundamental Doctrines of Christianity, with many other interesting Points, are occasionally introduced. . . Dublin: Printed by S. Powell, in Crane-lane, MDCCLIX.; (2) his Psalms & Hymns for Public and Private Worship, 1776; (3) in The Gospel Magazine, 1771-1776; and (4) in Hymns and Sacred Poems on a variety of Divine Subjects, &c. D. Sedgwick's reprint, 1860. His Works, with a Memoir by W. Row, were published in 6 volumes, in 1794. Walter How was also the editor of the 2nd and some later editions of the Psalms & Hymns. He was a most careless editor, and attributed several hymns by C. Wesley and others to Toplady. The following additional hymns in common use together with centos indicated in the sub-lines, are from:— i. His Poems on Sacred Subjects, 1759. 1. Can my heaven-born soul submit? All for Christ. 2. Come from on high, my King and God. Holiness desired. (1.) 0 might this worthless heart of mine. 3. Earnest of future bliss. The Witness of the Spirit. 4. From Thy supreme tribunal, Lord. Christ's Righteousness a Refuge. (1.) The spotless Saviour lived for me. 5. Great God, Whom heaven, and earth, and sea. For Peace. 6. I saw, and lo! a countless throng. Saints' Days. Revised form in the Gospel Magazine, 1774, p. 449. 7. Immovable our hope remains. Divine Faithfulness. 8. Jesus, God of love, attend. Divine Worship. Pt. ii. is "Prayer can mercy's door unlock." 9. Jesus, Thy power I fain would feel. Lent. 10. Lord, I feel a carnal mind. Mind of Christ desired. 11. My yielding heart dissolves as wax. On behalf of Arians, &c. (1.) 0 Jesus, manifest Thy grace. 12. Not to myself I owe. Praise for Conversion, (1.) Not to ourselves we owe. (2.) The Father's grace and love. 13. 0 that my heart was right with Thee. Dedication to God desired. 14. 0 Thou that hearest the prayer of faith. Christ the Propitiation. 15. 0 Thou Who didst Thy glory leave. Thanksgiving for Redemption. 16. 0 when wilt Thou my Saviour be. Trust in Jesus. (1.) Jesus, the sinner's Rest Thou art. 17. Redeemer, whither should I flee? Safety in the Cross. 18. Remember, Lord, that Jesus bled. Pardon. 19. Surely Christ thy griefs hath borne. Redemption. Revised text in Gospel Magazine, 1774, p. 548. (1.) Weary sinner, keep thine eyes. (2.) Weeping soul, no longer mourn. ii. From the Gospel Magazine. 20. Compared with Christ, in all besides. Christ All in All. Feb. 1772. 21. Eternal Hallelujahs Be to the Father given. Holy Trinity, Dec. 1774. 22. From whence this fear and unbelief. Reviving Faith, Feb. 1772. 23. How vast the benefits divine. Redemption. Dec. 1774. From this "Not for the works which we have done" is taken. 24. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? Christ All and in All, Feb. 1772. From this "If my Lord Himself reveal" is taken. 25. Jesus, immutably the same. Jesus, the True Vine. June, 1771. All these hymns, together with "O precious blood, 0 glorious death" (Death of Christ), are in D. Sedgwick's reprint of Toplady's Hymns, &c, 1860. We have met with several other hymns to which Toplady's name is appended, but for this we can find no authority whatever. -- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Johnson Oatman, Jr.

1856 - 1922 Person Name: Rev. Johnson Oatman Author of "My Native Land Is Heaven" in Cornelius' Gospel Songs No. 3 Johnson Oatman, Jr., son of Johnson and Rachel Ann Oatman, was born near Medford, N. J., April 21, 1856. His father was an excellent singer, and it always delighted the son to sit by his side and hear him sing the songs of the church. Outside of the usual time spent in the public schools, Mr. Oatman received his education at Herbert's Academy, Princetown, N. J., and the New Jersey Collegiate Institute, Bordentown, N. J. At the age of nineteen he joined the M.E. Church, and a few years later he was granted a license to preach the Gospel, and still later he was regularly ordained by Bishop Merrill. However, Mr. Oatman only serves as a local preacher. For many years he was engaged with his father in the mercantile business at Lumberton, N. J., under the firm name of Johnson Oatman & Son. Since the death of his father, he has for the past fifteen years been in the life insurance business, having charge of the business of one of the great companies in Mt. Holly, N. J., where he resides. He has written over three thousand hymns, and no gospel song book is considered as being complete unless it contains some of his hymns. In 1878 he married Wilhelmina Reid, of Lumberton, N.J. and had three children, Rachel, Miriam, and Percy. Excerpted from Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers by Jacob Henry Hall; Fleming H. Revell, Co. 1914

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