1723 - 1761 Author of "Lord, I am thine, entirely thine" in The Hymnal Davies, Samuel., M.A., born near Summit Ridge, Newcastle, Delaware, America, Nov. 3, 1723, and educated under the Rev. Samuel Blair, of Chester County, Pennsylvania, through the pecuniary assistance of the Rev. William Robinson, a Presbyterian Minister of New Brunswick. In 1745 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Newcastle as a probationer for the ministry, and undertook duty in Virginia, in 1747. After visiting England in 1753, on behalf of the New Jersey College, and having received the degree of M.A., he was appointed President of New Jersey Presbyterian College, Princeton, in succession to Jonathan Edwards. He died Feb. 4, 1761, at the early age of 37. His manuscripts were entrusted to Dr. T. Gibbons, who published therefrom 5 volumes of Sermons. In 1851 the Sermons were republished in 3 volumes, including a Memoir by the Rev. A. Barnes. His hymns, 10 in all, were given by Dr. Gibbons in his Hymns adapted to Divine Worship, 1769. As a hymnwriter he followed the lines laid down by Watts, and his verses are solid, but somewhat dry and heavy. Those of his hymns which are still retained in common use are:—
1. Eternal Spirit, Source of Light. Influences of the Holy Spirit implored. From Dr. Gibbons's Hymns, &c, 1769, Book. ii., No. 29, this passed into several of the older collections. In later works it is more frequently found in the American hymnals than those of Great Britain. It is in 4 stanzas of 6 lines, as in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymnbook, N. Y., 1872, and the Leeds Hymnbook, 1853.
2. Great God of wonders, all Thy ways. The Pardoning God. This is one of the most, if not the most, popular of the author's hymns both in Great Britain and America. It has appeared in more than one hundred hymnbooks in England alone, sometimes in full (5 stanzas of 6 lines), and at other times abbreviated, as in Spurgeon's 0ur Own Hymn Book 1866; the Baptist Hymnal, 1879, &c. Its 1st publication was in Dr. Gibbons's Hymns, &c, 1769, Book i., No. 59.
3. How great, how terrible that God. The Judgment. In Gibbons, No. 37 of Book. i., in 7 stanzas of 4 lines.
4. Jesus, how precious is Thy name. Jesus the Prophet, Priest, and King. Is No. 31 of Bk. ii. in Gibbons, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines. It was very popular with the older compilers, as Ash and Evans, Rippon, Bickersteth, and others in Great Britain, and also in America; but in modern collections it is rarely found. It is worthy of notice.
5. Lord, I am Thine, entirely Thine. Holy Communion. In Gibbons this is No. 28 of Book. ii., in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. It is very popular in America, but unknown to most English hymnals. In all editions of Rippon's Selections 1787-1844, it is given in 2 stanzas as "Lord, am I Thine, entirely Thine?" The hymn, "While to Thy table I repair," in the Andover Sabbath Hymnbook , 1858, is compiled from this hymn.
6. What strange perplexities arise. Self-Examination. This hymn is equal to No. 5 in American popularity, and exceeds it in Great Britain. In Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymnbook, N.Y., 1872, it is abbreviated and slightly altered. Full text in 6 stanzas of 4 lines is in Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book , 1866. It was first published in Gibbons' Hymns, &c, 1769.
7. While o'er our guilty land, 0 Lord. Fast Day. This hymn, besides appearing in its original form in some collections, and with abbreviations in others, is also the source of "On Thee, our Guardian God, we call," stanza iv. of the original given in a few American collections; and of the same arrangement of stanzas, "On Thee we call, 0 Lord, our God," in the Andover Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, and others. The original in Gibbons is Book i., No. 56, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines.
The remaining hymns by Davies have failed to attain a position in the hymnbooks either of Great Britain or America. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)