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Scripture:isaiah 63:7-9
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Samuel Medley

1738 - 1799 Person Name: Samuel Medley (1738-1799) Scripture: Isaiah 63:7 Author of "The loving-kindness of the Lord" in Songs of Praise with Tunes 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)

James W. Alexander

1804 - 1859 Person Name: James Waddell Alexander Scripture: Isaiah 63:9 Translator of "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" in Glory to God James W. Alexander (b. Hopewell, Louisa County, VA, 1804; d. Sweetsprings, VA, 1859) was often overshadowed by his father, the renowned Archibald Alexander, first professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. But James Alexander was also a fine preacher, teacher, and writer. He studied at New Jersey College (now Princeton University) and Princeton Seminary. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, he alternated his career between teaching and pastoring; for two years (1849-1851) he was professor of ecclesiastical history and church government at Princeton Seminary. Alexander translated a number of hymns from Greek, Latin, and German but is mainly known today for his translation of "O Sacred Head." Bert Polman ===================== Alexander, James Waddell, D.D., son of Archibald Alexander, D.D., b. at Hopewell, Louisa, county of Virginia, 13 Mar., 1804, graduated at Princeton, 1820, and was successively Professor of Rhetoric at Princeton, 1833; Pastor of Duane Street Presbyterian Church, New York, 1844; Professor of Church History, Princeton, 1849; and Pastor of 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, 1851; d. at Sweetsprings, Virginia, July 31, 1859. His works include Gift to the Afflicted, Thoughts on Family Worship, and others. His Letters were published by the Rev. Dr. Hall, in 2 vols., some time after his death, and his translations were collected and published at New York in 1861, under the title, The Breaking Crucible and other Translations. Of these translations the following are in use: O Sacred Head, now wounded” a translation of "Salve Caput," through the German; "Near the cross was Mary weeping," a translation of "Stabat Mater"; and "Jesus, how sweet Thy memory is," a translation of "dulcis memoria." The annotations of these translations are given under their respective Latin first lines. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Hans Leo Hassler

1564 - 1612 Scripture: Isaiah 63:9 Composer of "PASSION CHORALE" in Glory to God Hans Leo Hassler (b. Nuremberg, Germany, 1564; d. Frankfurt, Germany, 1612) came from a family of famous musicians. He received his early education from his father in Nuremberg, then studied in Venice with Andrea Gabrieli and became friends with Giovanni Gabrieli. In Venice he learned the polychoral style, for which the Gabrielis were justly famous, and brought this practice back with him to Germany. Hassler served as organist and composer for Octavian Fugger, the princely art patron of Augsburg (1585-1601), as director of town music and organist in the Frauenkirche in Nuremberg (1601-1608), and finally as court musician for the Elector of Saxony in Dresden (1608-1612). A Lutheran, Hassler composed for both the Roman Catholic liturgy and for Lutheran churches. Among his many works are two volumes of motets (1591, 1601), a famous collection of court songs, Lustgarten neuer Deutscher Gesang (1601), chorale motets, Psalmen und christliche Gesänge (1607), and a volume of simpler hymn settings, Kirchengesänge, Psalmen und geistliche Lieder (1608).

Johann Sebastian Bach

1685 - 1750 Scripture: Isaiah 63:9 Harmonizer of "PASSION CHORALE" in Glory to God Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach into a musical family and in a town steeped in Reformation history, he received early musical training from his father and older brother, and elementary education in the classical school Luther had earlier attended. Throughout his life he made extraordinary efforts to learn from other musicians. At 15 he walked to Lüneburg to work as a chorister and study at the convent school of St. Michael. From there he walked 30 miles to Hamburg to hear Johann Reinken, and 60 miles to Celle to become familiar with French composition and performance traditions. Once he obtained a month's leave from his job to hear Buxtehude, but stayed nearly four months. He arranged compositions from Vivaldi and other Italian masters. His own compositions spanned almost every musical form then known (Opera was the notable exception). In his own time, Bach was highly regarded as organist and teacher, his compositions being circulated as models of contrapuntal technique. Four of his children achieved careers as composers; Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin are only a few of the best known of the musicians that confessed a major debt to Bach's work in their own musical development. Mendelssohn began re-introducing Bach's music into the concert repertoire, where it has come to attract admiration and even veneration for its own sake. After 20 years of successful work in several posts, Bach became cantor of the Thomas-schule in Leipzig, and remained there for the remaining 27 years of his life, concentrating on church music for the Lutheran service: over 200 cantatas, four passion settings, a Mass, and hundreds of chorale settings, harmonizations, preludes, and arrangements. He edited the tunes for Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch, contributing 16 original tunes. His choral harmonizations remain a staple for studies of composition and harmony. Additional melodies from his works have been adapted as hymn tunes. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Helen Maria Williams

1762 - 1827 Person Name: Miss Helen Maris Williams (1762-1827) Scripture: Isaiah 63:7 Author of "Habitual Devotion" in Songs of Praise with Tunes Miss Helen Maria Williams was born in the north of England, in 1762. At the age of eighteen, she went to London, and soon after took position in the literary world, publishing several poems. Subsequently she resided in Paris, where she published works in prose and poetry. She died in 1827. The eminent French preacher, Athanase Coquerel was her nephew, and received from her his early training. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872. ================== Williams, Helen Maria, daughter of Charles Williams, an officer in the Army, was born in the North of England in 1762. Through the influence of Dr. A. Kippis whose help she sought in London, her first poem, Edwin and Eltruda, a legendary tale, was published in 1782. This was followed by An Ode on the Peace, 1783, and Pern, a Poem. These were all included in her Poems, 2 vols., 1786, 2nd edition 1791. Being connected by her sister's marriage with a French Protestant family, she resided in Paris during the period of the Revolution and the reign of Terror. There she became well known as a political writer of strong republican sympa-thies, but her too independent expressions of opinion led to her temporary imprisonment by Robespierre. Her Letters from France, 1790, were published in England and America, and in a French translation, in France. She also published Letters containing a Sketch of the Politics of France from the 31st May, 1793, till the 28th of July, 1794, 2 vols., 1795, and other works of a like kind; some additional Poems, and a translation of Humboldt's Personal Narratives of his Travels, 1815. The closing years of her life were spent at Amsterdam, in the house of her nephew, Athanase Coquerel, a pastor of the Reformed Church there. Miss Williams died in 1827. From her Poems, 1786, the following hymns have come into common use:— 1, My God, all nature owns Thy sway. Nature speaks of God. In Martineau's Hymns, 1840. 2. While Thee I seek, protecting Power. Safety in God. This hymn was in Dr. Priestley's Birmingham Collection, 1790; in Kippis's Collection, 1795; the Exeter Collection, 1801; and almost every other Unitarian collection to the present time. In the New Congregational Hymn Book , 1859, it begins "While Thee I seek, Almighty Power;" and in several collections a cento beginning "Father, in all our [my] comforts here," is given as in Stowell's Psalms & Hymns, 1831 and 1877, and several others. [Rev. Valentine D. Davis, B.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================== Williams, Helen Maria, was born in the North of England in 1762. She published a volume of poems when only twenty-one years old, and in 1786 her Poems appeared in two small volumes. She visited Paris in 1788, and lived there for some years with a sister who had married a French Protestant. This was during the period of the Revolution and the Reign of Terror. She was an outspoken republican in her sympathies, 448 and was imprisoned by Robespierre because of some of her utterances in advocacy of the Girondist cause, being released from prison only after his death, in 1794. Her Letters from France (1790 and 1795) were published in England, America, and France. They dealt with political, religious, and literary questions, and showed her to be a woman of more than ordinary intellectual strength. She published many volumes between 1786 and 1823, when her last volume appeared, titled Poems on Various Occasions, being a collection of all her previously published poems. She lived partly in England, but mostly in France, though the closing years of her life were spent in Holland in the home of a nephew who lived at Amsterdam and was pastor of the reformed Church there. Her death occurred at Paris December 14, 1827. Hymn Writers of the Church Wilbur F. Tillett and Charles S. Nutter, 1915

Ignaz Pleyel

1757 - 1831 Person Name: Ignaz Joseph Pleyel (1757-1831) Scripture: Isaiah 63:7 Composer of "BRATTLE STREET" in Many Voices; or, Carmina Sanctorum, Evangelistic Edition with Tunes Ignaz Joseph Pleyel; b. Ruppertstahl, near Vienna, 1757; d. Parice France, 1831 Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908

Nahum Mitchell

1769 - 1853 Person Name: Nahum Mitchell (1770-1853) Scripture: Isaiah 63:7 Arranger of "BRATTLE STREET" in Many Voices; or, Carmina Sanctorum, Evangelistic Edition with Tunes

Bernard of Clairvaux

1090 - 1153 Person Name: Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153 Scripture: Isaiah 63:9 Author (attributed to) of "O Sacred Head, Surrounded" in Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.) Bernard of Clairvaux, saint, abbot, and doctor, fills one of the most conspicuous positions in the history of the middle ages. His father, Tecelin, or Tesselin, a knight of great bravery, was the friend and vassal of the Duke of Burgundy. Bernard was born at his father's castle on the eminence of Les Fontaines, near Dijon, in Burgundy, in 1091. He was educated at Chatillon, where he was distinguished for his studious and meditative habits. The world, it would be thought, would have had overpowering attractions for a youth who, like Bernard, had all the advantages that high birth, great personal beauty, graceful manners, and irresistible influence could give, but, strengthened in the resolve by night visions of his mother (who had died in 1105), he chose a life of asceticism, and became a monk. In company with an uncle and two of his brothers, who had been won over by his entreaties, he entered the monastery of Citeaux, the first Cistercian foundation, in 1113. Two years later he was sent forth, at the head of twelve monks, from the rapidly increasing and overcrowded abbey, to found a daughter institution, which in spite of difficulties and privations which would have daunted less determined men, they succeeded in doing, in the Valley of Wormwood, about four miles from the Abbey of La Ferté—itself an earlier swarm from the same parent hive—on the Aube. On the death of Pope Honorius II., in 1130, the Sacred College was rent by factions, one of which elected Gregory of St. Angelo, who took the title of Innocent II., while another elected Peter Leonis, under that of Anacletua II. Innocent fled to France, and the question as to whom the allegiance of the King, Louie VI., and the French bishops was due was left by them for Bernard to decide. At a council held at Etampes, Bernard gave judgment in favour of Innocent. Throwing himself into the question with all the ardour of a vehement partisan, he won over both Henry I., the English king, and Lothair, the German emperor, to support the same cause, and then, in 1133, accompanied Innocent II., who was supported by Lothair and his army, to Italy and to Rome. When Lothair withdrew, Innocent retired to Pisa, and Bernard for awhile to his abbey of Clairvaux. It was not until after the death of Anacletus, the antipope, in January, 1138, and the resignation of his successor, the cardinal-priest Gregory, Victor II., that Innocent II., who had returned to Rome with Bernard, was universally acknowledged Pope, a result to which no one had so greatly contributed as the Abbot of Clairvaux. The influence of the latter now became paramount in the Church, as was proved at the Lateran Council of 1139, the largest council ever collected together, where the decrees in every line displayed the work of his master-hand. After having devoted four years to the service of the Pope, Bernard, early in 1135, returned to Clairvaux. In 1137 he was again at Rome, impetuous and determined as ever, denouncing the election of a Cluniac instead of a Clairvaux monk to the see of Langres in France, and in high controversy in consequence with Peter, the gentle Abbot of Cluny, and the Archbishop of Lyons. The question was settled by the deposition by the Pope of the Cluniac and the elevation of a Clairvaux monk (Godfrey, a kinsman of St. Bernard) into his place. In 1143, Bernard raised an almost similar question as to the election of St. William to the see of York, which was settled much after the same fashion, the deposition, after a time, if only for a time, of William, and the intrusion of another Clairvaux monk, Henry Murdac, or Murduch, into the archiepiccopal see. Meantime between these two dates—in 1140—the condemnation of Peter Abilaid and his tenets, in which matter Bernard appeared personally as prosecutor, took place at a council held at Sens. Abelard, condemned at Sens, appealed to Rome, and, resting awhile on his way thither, at Cluny, where Peter still presided as Abbot, died there in 1142. St. Bernard was next called upon to exercise his unrivalled powers of persuasion in a very different cause. Controversy over, he preached a crusade. The summer of 1146 was spent by him in traversing France to rouse the people to engage in the second crusade; the autumn with a like object in Germany. In both countries the effect of his appearance and eloquence was marvellous, almost miraculous. The population seemed to rise en masse, and take up the cross. In 1147 the expedition started, a vast horde, of which probably not a tenth ever reached Palestine. It proved a complete failure, and a miserable remnant shared the flight of their leaders, the Emperor Conrad, and Louis, King of France, and returned home, defeated and disgraced. The blame was thrown upon Bernard, and his apology for his part in the matter is extant. He was not, however, for long to bear up against reproach; he died in the 63rd year of his age, in 1153, weary of the world and glad to be at rest. With the works of St. Bernard, the best ed. of which was pub. by Mabillon at Paris in the early part of the 18th cent. (1719), we are not concerned here, except as regards his contributions, few and far between as they are, to the stores of Latin hymnology. There has been so much doubt thrown upon the authorship of the hymns which usually go by his name,—notably by his editor, Mabillon himself,—that it is impossible to claim any of them as having been certainly written by him; but Archbishop Trench, than whom we have no greater modern authority on such a point, is satisfied that the attribution of them all, except the "Cur mundus militat," to St. Bernard is correct. "If he did not write," the Archbishop says, "it is not easy to guess who could have written them; and indeed they bear profoundly the stamp of his mind, being only inferior in beauty to his prose." The hymns by which St. Bernard is best known as a writer of sacred poetry are: (1.) "Jesu duicis memoria," a long poem on the " Name of Jesus"—known as the "Jubilus of St. Bernard," and among mediaeval writers as the " Rosy Hymn." It is, perhaps, the best specimen of what Neale describes as the "subjective loveliness " of its author's compositions. (2.) "Salve mundi Salutore," an address to the various limbs of Christ on the cross. It consists of 350 lines, 50 lines being addressed to each. (3.) "Laetabundus, exultet fidelis chorus: Alleluia." This sequence was in use all over Europe. (4.) "Cum sit omnis homo foenum." (5.) " Ut jucundas cervus undas." A poem of 68 lines, and well known, is claimed for St. Bernard by Hommey in his Supplementum Patrum, Paris, 1686, p. 165, but on what Archbishop Trench, who quotes it at length, (Sac. Lat. Poetry, p. 242,) deems " grounds entirely insufficient." (6.) " Eheu, Eheu, mundi vita," or " Heu, Heu, mala mundi vita." A poem of nearly 400 lines, is sometimes claimed for St. Bernard, but according to Trench, “on no authority whatever." (7.) “O miranda vanitas." This is included in Mabillon's ed. of St. Bernard's Works. It is also attributed to him by Rambach, vol. i. p. 279. Many other hymns and sequences are attributed to St. Bernard. Trench speaks of a " general ascription to him of any poems of merit belonging to that period whereof the authorship was uncertain." Hymns, translated from, or founded on, St. Bernard's, will be found in almost every hymnal of the day, details of which, together with many others not in common use, will be found under the foregoing Latin first lines. -John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) See also in: Hymn Writers of the Church

Kate Hankey

1834 - 1911 Person Name: Katherine Hankey Scripture: Isaiah 63:7 Author of "I Love to Tell the Story" in Glory to God A. (Annabelle) Catherine Hankey (b. Clapham, England, 1834; d. Westminster, London, England, 1911) was the daughter of a wealthy banker and was associated with the Clapham sect of William Wilberforce, a group of prominent evangelical Anglicans from the Clapham area. This group helped to establish the British and Foreign Bible Society, promoted the abolition of slavery, and was involved in improving the lot of England's working classes. Hankey taught Bible classes for shop girls in London, visited the sick in local hospitals, and used the proceeds of her writings to support various mission causes. Her publications include Heart to Heart (1870) and The Old, Old Story and Other Verses (1879). Bert Polman =============== Hankey, Katharine, has published several hymns of great beauty and simplicity which are included in her:— (1) The Old, Old Story, 1866; (2) The Old, Old Story, and other Verses, 1879; (3) Heart to Heart, 1870, enlarged in 1873 and 1876. In 1878 it was republished with music by the author. Miss Hankey's hymns which have come into common use are:— 1. Advent tells us, Christ is near. The Christian Seasons. Written for the Sunday School of St. Peter's, Eaton Square, London, and printed on a card with music by the author. 2. I love to tell the story Of unseen things above. The love of Jesus. This is a cento from No. 3, and is given in Bliss's Gospel Songs, Cincinnati, 1874, and other American collections. 3. I saw Him leave His Father's throne. Lovest than Me? Written in 1868. It is No. 33 of the Old, Old Story, and other Verses, 1879. 4. Tell me the old, old story. This Life of Jesus in verse was written in two parts. Pt. i., "The Story Wanted," Jan. 29; and Pt. ii., "The Story Told," Nov. 18, 1866. It has since been published in several forms, and sometimes with expressive music by the author, and has also been translated into various languages, including Welsh, German, Italian, Spanish, &c. The form in which it is usually known is that in I. P. Sankey's Sacred Songs & Solos. This is Part i. slightly altered. Miss Hankey's works contain many suitable hymns for Mission Services and Sunday Schools, and may be consulted both for words and music with advantage. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

William G. Fischer

1835 - 1912 Scripture: Isaiah 63:7 Author (refrain) of "I Love to Tell the Story" in Glory to God In his youth, William G. Fischer (b. Baltimore, MD, 1835; d. Philadelphia, PA, 1912) developed an interest in music while attending singing schools. His career included working in the book bindery of J. B. Lippencott Publishing Company, teaching music at Girard College, and co-owning a piano business and music store–all in Philadelphia. Fischer eventually became a popular director of music at revival meetings and choral festivals. In 1876 he conducted a thousand-voice choir at the Dwight L. Moody/Ira D. Sankey revival meeting in Philadelphia. Fischer composed some two hundred tunes for Sunday school hymns and gospel songs. Bert Polman

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