1818 - 1866 Person Name: John Mason Neale Translator of "Reconciliation's Plan Devising" in Hymns of the Eastern Church (5th ed.) Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards a private pupil, first of the Rev. William Russell, Rector of Shepperton, and then of Professor Challis. In 1836 he went up to Cambridge, where he gained a scholarship at Trinity College, and was considered the best man of his year. But he did not inherit his father's mathematical tastes, and had, in fact, the greatest antipathy to the study; and as the strange rule then prevailed that no one might aspire to Classical Honours unless his name had appeared in the Mathematical Tripos, he was forced to be content with an ordinary degree. This he took in 1840; had he been one year later, he might have taken a brilliant degree, for in 1841 the rule mentioned above was rescinded. He gained, however, what distinctions he could, winning the Members' Prize, and being elected Fellow and Tutor of Downing College; while, as a graduate, he won the Seatonian Prize no fewer than eleven times. At Cambridge he identified himself with the Church movement, which was spreading there in a quieter, but no less real, way than in the sister University. He became one of the founders of the Ecclesiological, or, as it was commonly called, the Cambridge Camden Society, in conjunction with Mr. E. J. Boyce, his future brother-in-law, and Mr. Benjamin Webb, afterwards the well-known Vicar of St. Andrew's, Wells Street, and editor of The Church Quarterly Review. In 1842 he married Miss Sarah Norman Webster, the daughter of an evangelical clergyman, and in 1843 he was presented to the small incumbency of Crawley in Sussex. Ill health, however, prevented him from being instituted to the living. His lungs were found to be badly affected; and, as the only chance of saving his life, he was obliged to go to Madeira, where he stayed until the summer of 1844. In 1846 he was presented by Lord Delaware to the Wardenship of Sackville College, East Grinstead. This can hardly be considered as an ecclesiastical preferment, for both his predecessor and his successor were laymen. In fact the only ecclesiastical preferment that ever was offered to him was the Provostship of St. Ninian's, Perth. This was an honourable office, for the Provostship is equivalent to a Deanery in England, but it was not a lucrative one, being worth only £100 a year. He was obliged to decline it, as the climate was thought too cold for his delicate health. In the quiet retreat of East Grinstead, therefore, Dr. Neale spent the remainder of his comparatively short life, dividing his time between literary work, which all tended, directly or indirectly, to the advancement of that great Church revival of which he was so able and courageous a champion, and the unremitting care of that sisterhood of which he was the founder. He commenced a sisterhood at Rotherfield on a very small scale, in conjunction with Miss S. A. Gream, daughter of the rector of the parish; but in 1856 he transferred it to East Grinstead, where, under the name of St. Margaret's, it has attained its present proportions. Various other institutions gradually arose in connection with this Sisterhood of St. Margaret's, viz., an Orphanage, a Middle Class School for girls, and a House at Aldershot for the reformation of fallen women. The blessing which the East Grinstead Sisters have been to thousands of the sick and suffering cannot here be told. But it must be mentioned that Dr. Neale met with many difficulties, and great opposition from the outside, which, on one occasion, if not more, culminated in actual violence. In 1857 he was attending the funeral of one of the Sisters at Lewes, when a report was spread that the deceased had been decoyed into St. Margaret's Home, persuaded to leave all her money to the sisterhood, and then purposely sent to a post in which she might catch the scarlet fever of which she died. To those who knew anything of the scrupulously delicate and honourable character of Dr. Neale, such a charge would seem absurd on the face of it; but mobs are not apt to reflect, and it was very easy to excite a mob against the unpopular practices and sentiments rife at East Grinstead; and Dr. Neale and some Sisters who were attending the funeral were attacked and roughly handled. He also found opponents in higher quarters; he was inhibited by the Bishop of the Diocese for fourteen years, and the Aldershot House was obliged to be abandoned, after having done useful work for some years, in consequence of the prejudice of officials against the religious system pursued. Dr. Neale's character, however, was a happy mixture of gentleness and firmness; he had in the highest degree the courage of his convictions, which were remarkably definite and strong; while at the same time he maintained the greatest charity towards, and forbearance with, others who did not agree with him. It is not surprising, therefore, that he lived all opposition down; and that, while from first to last his relations with the community at East Grinstead were of the happiest description, he was also, after a time, spared any molestation from without. The institution grew upon his hands, and he became anxious to provide it with a permanent and fitting home. His last public act was to lay the foundation of a new convent for the Sisters on St. Margaret's Day (July 20), 1865. He lived long enough to see the building progress, but not to see it completed. In the following spring his health, which had always been delicate, completely broke down, and after five months of acute suffering he passed away on the Feast of the Transfiguration (Aug. 6), 1866, to the bitter regret of the little community at East Grinstead and of numberless friends outside that circle. One trait of his singularly lovable character must not pass unnoticed. His charity, both in the popular and in the truer Christian sense of the word, was unbounded; he was liberal and almost lavish with his money, and his liberality extended to men of all creeds and opinions; while it is pleasing to record that his relations with his ecclesiastical superiors so much improved that he dedicated his volume of Seatonian Poems to the bishop of the diocese. If however success in life depended upon worldly advantages, Dr. Neale's life would have to be pronounced a failure; for, as his old friend, Dr. Littledale, justly complains, "he spent nearly half his life where he died, in the position of warden of an obscure Almshouse on a salary of £27 a year." But, measured by a different standard, his short life assumes very different proportions. Not only did he win the love and gratitude of those with whom he was immediately connected, but he acquired a world-wide reputation as a writer, and he lived to see that Church revival, to promote which was the great object of his whole career, already advancing to the position which it now occupies in the land of his birth.
Dr. Neale was an industrious and voluminous writer both in prose and verse; it is of course with the latter class of his writings that this sketch is chiefly concerned; but a few words must first be said about the former.
I.— Prose Writings.— His first compositions were in the form of contributions to The Ecclesiologist, and were written during his graduate career at Cambridge. Whilst he was in Madeira he began to write his Commentary on the Psalms, part of which was published in 1860. It was afterwards given to the world, partly written by him and partly by his friend, Dr. Littledale, in 4 vols., in 1874, under the title of A Commentary on the Psalms, from Primitive and Mediaeval Writers. This work has been criticised as pushing the mystical interpretation to an extravagant extent. But Dr. Neale has anticipated and disarmed such criticism by distinctly stating at the commencement that "not one single mystical interpretation throughout the present Commentary is original;" and surely such a collection has a special value as a wholesome correction of the materialistic and rationalistic tendencies of the age. His next great work, written at Sackville College, was The History of the Holy Eastern Church. The General Introduction was published in 1847; then followed part of the History itself, The Patriarchate of Alexandria, in 2 vols.; and after his death another fragment was published, The History of the Patriarchate of Antioch, to which was added, Constantius's Memoirs of the Patriarchs of Antioch, translated from the Greek, edited by the Rev. G. Williams, 1 vol. The whole fragment was published in 5 vols. (1847-1873). The work is spoken very highly of, and constantly referred to, by Dean Stanley in his Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church. Dr. Neale was naturally in strong sympathy with the struggling Episcopal Church of Scotland, and to show that sympathy he published, in 1856, The Life and Times of Patrick Torry, D.D., Bishop of St. Andrews, &c, with an Appendix on the Scottish Liturgy. In the same direction was his History of the so-called Jansenist Church in Holland, 1858. Next followed Essays on Liturgiology and Church History, with an Appendix on Liturgical Quotations from the Isapostolical Fathers by the Rev. G. Moultrie, 1863, a 2nd edition of which, with an interesting Preface by Dr. Littledale, was published in 1867. It would be foreign to the purpose of this article to dwell on his other prose works, such as his published sermons, preached in Sackville College Chapel, his admirable little devotional work, Readings for the Aged, which was a selection from these sermons; the various works he edited, such as the Tetralogia Liturgica, the Sequentiae ex Missalibus Germanicis, Anglicis, Gallicis, aliisque Medii Aevi Collectae; his edition of The Primitive Liturgies of S. Mark, S. Clement, S. James, S. Chrysostom and S. Basil, with a Preface by Dr. Littledale; his Translation of the same; his many stories from Church History, his Voices from the East, translated from the Russ, and his various articles contributed to the Ecclesiologist, The Christian Remembrance, The Morning Chronicle, and The Churchman's Companion. It is time to pass on to that with which we are directly concerned.
II. —Poetical Writings.— As a sacred poet, Dr. Neale may be regarded under two aspects, as an original writer and as a translator.
i. Original Writer.—Of his original poetry, the first specimen is Hymns for Children, published in 1842, which reached its 10th edition the year after his death. It consists of 33 short hymns, the first 19 for the different days of the week and different parts of the day, the last 14 for the different Church Seasons. This little volume was followed in 1844 by Hymns for the Young, which was intended to be a sequel to the former, its alternative title being A Second Series of Hymns for Children; but it is designed for an older class than the former, for young people rather than for children. The first 7 hymns are "for special occasions," as "on goiug to work," “leaving home” &c.; the next 8 on "Church Duties and Privileges," "Confirmation," "First Holy Communion," &c, the last 13 on "Church Festivals,” which, oddly enough, include the Four Ember Seasons, Rogation Days, and the Sundays in Advent. In both these works the severe and rigid style, copied, no doubt, from the old Latin hymns, is very observable. Perhaps this has prevented them from being such popular favourites as they otherwise might have been; but they are quite free from faults into which a writer of hymns for children is apt to fall. They never degenerate into mere prose in rhyme; and in every case the purity as well as the simplicity of their diction is very remarkable. In the same year (1844) he also published Songs and Ballads for Manufacturers, which were written during his sojourn in Madeira, and the aim of which (he tells us) was "to set forth good and sound principles in metaphors which might, from their familiarity, come home to the hearts of those to whom they were addressed." They are wonderfully spirited both in matter and manner, and their freedom of style is as remarkable as the rigidity of the former works. They were followed eleven years later (1855) by a similar little work entitled Songs and Ballads for the People. This is of a more aggressive and controversial character than the previous ones, dealing boldly with such burning questions as "The Teetotallers," "Why don't you go to Meeting?" &c. Passing over the Seatonian Poems, most of which were of course written before those noticed above, we next come to the Hymns for the Side, which is a fitting companion to the Readings for the Aged, and then to Sequences, Hymns, and other Ecclesiastical Verses, which was published just after the author's death (1866), and may be regarded as a sort of dying legacy to the world. In fact, the writer almost intimates as much in the preface, where he speaks of himself as "one who might soon be called to have done with earthly composition for ever." Many of the verses, indeed, were written earlier, "forty years ago," he says, which is evidently intended for twenty. The preface is dated "In the Octave of S. James, 1866," and within a fortnight, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, “the veil” (to use the touching words of his old friend, Dr. Littledale) "was withdrawn from before his eyes, and the song hushed on earth is now swelling the chorus of Paradise." Was it an accident that these verses dwell so much on death and the life beyond the grave? or did the coming event cast its shadow before? Not that there is any sadness of tone about them; quite the reverse. He contemplates death, but it is with the eye of a Christian from whom the sting of death has been removed. Most of the verses are on subjects connected with the Church Seasons, especially with what are called the "Minor Festivals:" but the first and last poems are on different subjects. The first, the "Prologue," is "in dear memory of John Keble, who departed on Maundy Thursday, 1866, "and is a most touching tribute from one sacred poet to another whom he was about to follow within a few months to the "land that is very far off." The last is a poetical version of the legend of "the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus," and is, the writer thinks, "the first attempt to apply to primitive Christianity that which is, to his mind, the noblest of our measures." That measure is the hexameter, and undoubtedly Dr. Neale employed it, as he did all his measures, with great skill and effect; but it may be doubted whether the English language, in which the quantities of syllables are not so clearly defined as in Latin and Greek, is quite adapted for that measure. Throughout this volume, Dr. Neale rises to a far higher strain than he had ever reached before.
ii. Translations.— It is in this species of composition that Dr. Neale's success was pre-eminent, one might almost say unique. He had all the qualifications of a good translator. He was not only an excellent classical scholar in the ordinary sense of the term, but he was also positively steeped in mediaeval Latin. An anecdote given in an appreciative notice by "G. M." [Moultrie] happily illustrates this:—
Dr. Neale "was invited by Mr. Keble and the Bishop of Salisbury to assist them with their new hymnal, and for this purpose he paid a visit to Hursley Parsonage." On one occasion Mr. Keble "having to go to another room to find some papers was detained a short time. On his return Dr. Neale said, ‘Why, Keble, I thought you told me that the "Christian Year" was entirely original.' ‘Yes,' he answered, 'it certainly is.' ‘Then how comes this?' and Dr. Neale placed before him the Latin of one of Keble's hymns. Keble professed himself utterly confounded. He protested that he had never seen this 'original,' no, not in all his life. After a few minutes Neale relieved him by owning that he had just turned it into Latin in his absence."
Again, Dr. Neale's exquisite ear for melody prevented him from spoiling the rhythm by too servile an imitation of the original; while the spiritedness which is a marked feature of all his poetry preserved that spring and dash which is so often wanting in a translation.
(i.) Latin.— Dr. Neale's translations from the Latin include
(1.) Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences (1851). He was the, first to introduce to the English reader Sequences, that is, as he himself describes them, " hymns sung between the Epistle and Gospel in the Mass," or, as he explains more definitely, "hymns whose origin is to be looked for in the Alleluia of the Gradual sung between the Epistle and the Gospel." He was quite an enthusiast about this subject:—
"It is a magnificent thing,” he says, "to pass along the far-stretching vista of hymns, from the sublime self-containedness of S. Ambrose to the more fervid inspiration of S. Gregory, the exquisite typology of Venantius Fortunatus, the lovely painting of St. Peter Damiani, the crystal-like simplicity of S. Notker, the scriptural calm of Godescalcus, the subjective loveliness of St. Bernard, till all culminate in the full blaze of glory which surrounds Adam of S. Victor, the greatest of them all."
Feeling thus what a noble task he had before him, it is no wonder that he spared no pains over it, or that he felt it his duty to adopt "the exact measure and rhyme of the original, at whatever inconvenience and cramping." That he succeeded in his difficult work, the verdict of the public has sufficiently proved. Of all the translations in the English language no one has ever been so popular as that of the Hora Novissima, in this volume, afterwards (1858) published separately, under the title of the Rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, Monk of Cluny. Some original hymns may be as well known as "Jerusalem the Golden," "For thee, O dear, dear country," or "Brief life is here our portion,” but it would be hard to find any translations which come near them for extensive use. A second edition of the Mediaeval Hymns, much improved, came out in 1863, and a third, "with very numerous additions and corrections," in 1867.
(2.) We next come to the Hymnal Noted, in which 94 out of the 105 hymns are the work of Dr. Neale. These are all translations from the Latin. The first part appeared in 1852, the second in 1854. Dr. Neale has himself given us an interesting account of his connection with this work:—
"Some," he writes, "of the happiest and most instructive hours of my life were spent in the Sub-Committee of the Ecclesiological Society, appointed for the purpose of bringing out the Second Part of the Hymnal Noted It was my business to lay before them the translations I had prepared, and theirs to correct. The study which this required drew out the beauties of the original in a way which nothing else could have done, and the friendly collisions of various minds elicited ideas which a single translator would in all probability have missed." Preface, Mediaeval Hymns & Sequences
(3.) The last volume of translations from the Latin published by Dr. Neale appeared in 1865, under the title of Hymns, chiefly Mediaeval, on the Joys and Glories of Paradise. It was intended to be a companion volume to the Rhythm of Bernard of Cluny. In this work the writer gives the general reader an opportunity of comparing the translation with the original by printing the two together in parallel pages.
Before quitting the subject of Dr. Neale's translations from the Latin, it is only fair to notice that while they have been almost universally accepted by the English Church, and some of them adopted by dissenting congregations, they called down upon the translator a storm of indignation from an opposite quarter. The Roman Catholics accused him of deliberate deception because he took no pains to point out that he had either softened down or entirely ignored the Roman doctrines in those hymns. So far, they said, as the originals were concerned, these translations were deliberate misrepresentations. As however the translations were intended for the use of the Anglican Church, it was only to be expected that Neale should omit such hymns or portions of hymns as would be at variance with her doctrines and discipline.
(ii.) Greek.— Dr. Neale conferred even a greater boon upon the lovers of hymnology than by his translations from the Latin, when he published, in 1862, his Hymns of the Eastern Church. In his translations from the Latin he did what others had done before; but in his translations from the Greek he was opening entirely new ground. "It is," he says in his preface to the first edition, "a most remarkable fact, and one which shows how very little interest has been hitherto felt in the Eastern Church, that these are literally, I believe, the only English versions of any part of the treasures of Oriental Hymnology." As early as 1853 he had printed a few of his versions in The Ecclesiastic, but it was not till the appearance of the complete volume that the interest of the general public was awakened in them. Then they became wonderfully popular. His translations "Christian, dost thou see them?" "The day is past and over," "'Tis the day of Resurrection," and his Greek-inspired "Art thou weary," and "O happy band of pilgrims," are almost as great favourites as "Jerusalem the golden," and the first in his Hymns of the Eastern Church, "Fierce was the wild billow," deserves to be. Dr. Neale had a far more difficult task before him when he undertook these Greek hymns than he had with the Latin, and he appeals to the reader "not to forget the immense difficulty of an attempt so perfectly new as the present, when I have had no predecessors and therefore could have no master." That difficulty in comparison with the Latin cannot be better stated than in his own words:—
"Though the superior terseness and brevity of the Latin hymns renders a translation which shall represent those qualities a work of great labour, yet still the versifier has the help of the same metre; his version may be line for line; and there is a great analogy between the collects and the hymns, most helpful to the translator. Above all, we have examples enough of former translation by which we may take pattern. But in attempting a Greek canon, from the fact of its being in prose (metrical hymns are unknown) one is all at sea. What measure shall we employ? Why this more than that? Might we attempt the rhythmical prose of the original, and design it to be chanted? Again, the great length of the canons renders them un suitable for our churches as wholes. Is it better simply to form centos of the more beautiful passages? or can separate odes, each necessarily imperfect, be employed as separate hymns? . . . My own belief is that the best way to employ Greek hymnology for the uses of the English Church would be by centos."
That, in spite of these difficulties, Dr. Neale succeeded, is obvious. His Greek hymns are, indeed, adaptations rather than translations; but, besides their intrinsic beauty, they at any rate give some idea of what the Greek hymn-writers were. In this case, as in his translations from the Latin, he omitted what he held was not good from his Anglican point of view, e.g., the Doxologies to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
One point strikes us as very remarkable in these hymns, and indeed in all Dr. Neale's poetry, viz., its thorough manliness of tone. Considering what his surroundings were, one might have expected a feminine tone in his writings. Dr. Littledale, in his most vivid and interesting sketch of Dr. Neale's life, to which the present writer is largely indebted, has remarked the same with regard to his teaching: "Instead of committing the grave error of feminising his sermons and counsels [at St. Margaret's] because he had only women to deal with, he aimed at showing them the masculine side of Christianity also, to teach them its strength as well as its beauty."
In conclusion, it may be observed that no one had a higher opinion of the value of Dr. Neale's labours in the field of ancient and mediaeval hymnology than the one man whose competency to speak with authority on such a point Dr. Neale himself would assuredly have rated above that of all others. Over and over again Dr. Neale pays a tribute to the services rendered by Archbishop Trench in this domain; and the present sketch cannot more fitly close than with the testimony which Archbishop Trench has given of his sense of the services rendered by Dr. Neale. The last words of his preface to his Sacred Latin Poetry (ed. 1864) are:—" I will only, therefore, mention that by patient researches in almost all European lands, he [Dr. Neale] has brought to light a multitude of hymns unknown before: in a treatise on sequences, properly so-called, has for the first time explained their essential character; while to him the English reader owes versions of some of the best hymns, such as often successfully overcome the almost insuperable difficulties which many among them present to the translator." [Rev. J. H. Overton, D.D.]
Dr. Neale's original hymns and translations appeared in the following works, most of which are referred to in the preceding article, and all of which are grouped together here to facilitate reference:—
(1) Hymns for Children. Intended chiefly for Village Schools. London, Masters, 1842. (2) Hymns for the Sick. London, Masters, 1843, improved ed. 1849. (3) Hymns for the Young. A Second Series of Hymns for Children. London, Masters, 1844. (4) Songs and Ballads for Manufacturers. London, Masters, 1844. (5) Hymns for Children. A Third Series. London, Masters, 1846. (6) Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences. London, Masters. 1851; 2nd ed. 1861; 3rd. ed. 1863. (7) Hymnal Noted. London, Masters & Novello, 1852: enlarged 1854. Several of the translations were by other hands. Musical editions edited by the Rev. T. Helmore. It is from this work that a large number of Dr. Neale's translations from the Latin are taken. (8) Carols for Christmas and Eastertide. 1853. (9) Songs and Ballads for the People. 1855. (10) The Rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, Monk of Cluny, on the Celestial Country. London, Hayes, 1st ed. 1858: 3rd ed., with revision of text, 1861. It contains both the Latin and the English translation. (11) Hymns of The Eastern Church, Translated with Notes and an Introduction. London, Hayes, 1862: 2nd ed. 1862: 3rd ed. 1866 : 4th ed., with Music and additional notes, edited by The Very Rev. S. G. Hatherly, Mus. B., Archpriest of the Patriarchal (Ecumenical Throne. London, Hayes, 1882. Several of these translations and notes appeared in The Ecclesiastic and Theologian, in 1853. (12) Hymns, Chiefly Mediaeval, on the Joys and Glories of Paradise. London, Hayes, 1865. This work contains notes on the hymns, and the Latin texts of the older amongst them. (13) Original Sequences, Hymns, and other Ecclesiastical Verses. London, Hayes, 1866. This collection of Original verse was published posthumously by Dr. Littledale.
In addition to these works Dr. Neale published collections of Latin verse as:—
1.) Hymni Ecclesiae e Breviariis quibusdam et Missalibus Gallicanis, Germanis, Hispanis, Lusitanis, desumpti. Oxford & Lond. J. H. Parker, 1851: and (2) Sequentiae e Missalibus Germanicis, Anglicis, Gallicis, aliisque Medii Aevi collectae. Oxford & Lond. J. H. Parker, 1852.
A few of his translations appeared from time to time in The Ecclesiastic; and a few of his original hymns in The Christian Remembrancer. In the collection compiled for use at St. Margaret's, East Grinstead, St. Margaret's Hymnal, Printed Privately for the use of the Community only, 1875, there are several of his hymns not traceable elsewhere. [Many of his translations and original compositions are not listed here].
Some of the original hymns in common use which remain to be noted are:—
i. From Hymns for Children, 1842.
1. No more sadness now, nor fasting. Christmas.
2. 0 Thou, Who through this holy week. Passiontide.
3. The day, 0 Lord, is spent. Evening.
4. The grass so green, the trees so tall. Morning of the Third Day.
5. Thou art gone up, 0 Lord, on high. Evening.
6. Thou, Who earnest from above. Whitsuntide.
7. With Thee, 0 Lord, begins the year. Circumcision, or, the New Year.
ii. From Hymns for the Sick, 1843.
8. By no new path untried before. Support in Sickness.
9. Count not, the Lord's Apostle saith. Communion of the Sick.
10. Lord, if he sleepeth, he shall sure do well. Watching.
11. 0 Thou, Who rising long before the day. In a sleepless Night.
12. The Lord hath given, the Lord hath taken away. Death and Burial.
13. There is a stream, whose waters rise. In dangerous Sickness or Fever.
14. They slumber not nor sleep. Guardian Angels.
15. Thy servants militant below. In Affliction.
iii. From Hymns for the Young, 2nd series, 1844.
16. Lord Jesus, Who shalt come with power. Ember Week in Advent.
17. 0 God, in danger and distress. In time of Trouble.
18. 0 God, we raise our hearts to Thee. Ember-Week in Advent. From this, "0 Lord, we come before Thee now” is taken.
19. 0 God, Who lovest to abide. Dedication of a Church.
20. 0 our Father, hear us now. Rogation. The first of three hymns on The Lord's Prayer.
21. 0 Saviour, Who hast call'd away. Death of a Minister.
22. 0 Thou, Who lov'st to send relief. In Sickness.
23. 0 Thou, Who once didst bless the ground. Ember-Week in September.
24. 0 Thou, Who, when Thou hadst begun. On going to Work.
25. Still, 0 Lord of hosts, we share. Rogation. The Second of his hymns on The Lord's Prayer.
26. Strangers and pilgrims here below. On entering a new Dwelling to reside there.
27. They whose course on earth is o'er. Communion of Saints. From this, "Those whom many a land divides," is taken.
2S. Till its holy hours are past. Rogation. The third of his hymns on The Lord's Prayer.
iv. Songs and Ballads for Manufacturers, 1844.
29. Work is over; God must speed it. Evening.
v. Hymns for Children, 3rd series, 1846.
30. Before Thy Face, 0 God of old. St. John the Baptist.
31. By pain, and weariness, and doubt. St. Stephen.
32. First of the twelvefold band that trod. St. James.
33. Four streams through happy Eden flow'd. St. Mark.
34. Is there one who sets his face. St. Bartholomew. From this "He, for man who suffered woe," is taken.
35. Not a single sight we view. St. Matthias.
36. 0 Great Physician of the soul. St. Luke.
37. 0 Heavenly Wisdom, hear our cry. Christmas. “0 Sapientia."
38. 0 Key of David, hailed by those. Christmas. "0 Clavis David."
39. 0 Root of Jesse, Thou on Whom. Christmas. “O Radix Jesse."
40. 0 Thou, on Whom the nations [Gentiles] wait. Christmas. "0 Rex Gentium."
41. 0 Thou, Who earnest down of old [to call] . Christmas. "0 Adonai."
42. 0 Thou, Whose Name is God with us. Christmas. "0 Emmanuel."
43. 0 Very God of Very God. Christmas. "0 Oriens."
44. Saints of God, whom faith united. SS. Simon and Jude.
45. Since the time that first we came. St. Andrew. From this, "Every bird that upward springs," is taken.
46. That love is mighty love indeed. St. Barnabas.
47. We cannot plead, as others may. St. Matthew.
48. We have not seen, we cannot see. St. Thomas.
49. Would we go when life is o'er? St. Peter.
v. Carols for Christmas and Eastertide. 1853.
50. Gabriel's message does away. Christmas.
51. Joy and gladness be to king and peasant. Christmas.
52. Joy to thee, joy to thee, Day of our victory. Easter.
53. Sing Alleluia, all ye lands. Easter.
54. The world itself keeps Easter Day. Easter. From this "There stood three Marys by the tomb," is taken.
55. With Christ we share a mystic grave. Easter or Holy Baptism.
vi. From Sequences, Hymns, &c, 1866.
56. Can it, Master, can it be? Maundy Thursday.
57. Need it is we raise our eyes. All Saints.
58. Prostrate fell the Lord of all things. Maundy Thursday.
59. Rear the column, high and stately. All Saints.
60. The Paschal moonlight almost past. Easter.
61. Though the Octave-rainbow sometimes. Low Sunday.
62. When the earth was full of darkness. St. Margaret.
63. Young and old must raise the lay. Christmas Carol.
vi. From the St. Margaret's Hymnal, 1875.
64. O gracious God, Who bid'st me now. On Leaving Some.
65. Thou Who came to save Thy people. For a School.
66. Thy praise the holy Infants shewed. Holy Innocents.
These 66 hymns now in common use by no means represent Dr. Neale's position in modern hymnody. Many others must be added thereto. Even then, although the total is very large, it but feebly represents and emphasises the enormous influence which Di. Neale has exercised over modern hymnody.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
J. M. Neale
1820 - 1915 Person Name: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915 Author of "To God Be the Glory" in Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) Pseudonymns: A.V., Mrs. A. E. Andrews, Mrs. E. A. Andrews, Mrs. E. L. Andrews, James L. Black, Henrietta E. Blair, Charles Bruce, Robert Bruce, Leah Carlton, Eleanor Craddock, Lyman G. Cuyler, D.H.W., Ella Dare, Ellen Dare, Mrs. Ellen Douglass, Lizzie Edwards. Miss Grace Elliot, Grace J. Frances, Victoria Frances, Jennie Garnett, Frank Gould, H. D. K., Frances Hope, Annie L. James, Martha J. Lankton [Langton], Grace Lindsey, Maud Marion, Sallie Martin, Wilson Meade, Alice Monteith, Martha C. Oliver, Mrs. N. D. Plume, Kate Smiley, Sallie Smith, J. L. Sterling, John Sterling, Julia Sterling, Ida Scott Taylor, Mary R. Tilden, Hope Tryaway, Grace Tureman, Carrie M. Wilson, W.H.D.
Frances Jane Crosby, the daughter of John and Mercy Crosby, was born in Southeast, Putnam County, N. Y., March 24, 1820. She became blind at the age of six weeks from maltreatment of her eyes during a spell of sickness. When she was eight years old she moved with her parents to Ridgefield, Conn., the family remaining there four years. At the age of fifteen she entered the New York Institution for the Blind, where she received a good education. She became a teacher in the institution in 1847, and continued her work until March 1, 1858. She taught English grammar, rhetoric and American history.
This was the great developing period in her life. During the vacations of 1852 and 1853, spent at North Reading, Mass., she wrote the words to many songs for Dr. Geo. F. Root, then the teacher of music at the blind institution. Among them were, "Hazel Dell,", "The Honeysuckle Glen," "Rosalie, the Prairie Flower," "Music in the Air," "Proud World, Good-bye, I'm Going Home," "All Together", "Never Forget the Dear Ones," and others. Subsequently she wrote the words for the cantatas of The Flower Queen and The Pilgrim Fathers, all of which were very popular in their day, though it was not generally known at the time that she was the author.
While teaching at the institution she met Presidents Van Buren and Tyler, Hon. Henry Clay, Governor Wm. H. Seward, General Winfield Scott, and other distinguished characters of American history. Concerning Mr. Clay, she gives the following: "When Mr. Clay came to the institution during his last visit to New York, I was selected to welcome him with a poem. Six months before he had lost a son at the battle of Monterey, and I had sent him some verses. In my address I carefully avoided any allusion to them, in order not to wound him. When I had finished he drew my arm in his, and, addressing the audience, said through his tears: 'This is not the first poem for which I am indebted to this lady. Six months ago she sent me some lines on the death of my dear son.' Both of us were overcome for a few moments. Soon, by a splendid effort, Mr. Clay recovered himself, but I could not control my tears." In connection with her meeting these notable men, we might add that Miss Fanny Crosby had the honor of being the first woman whose voice was heard publicly in the Senate Chamber at Washington. She read a poem there on one occasion. In addition to the thousands of hymns that she has written (about eight thousand poems in all), many of which have not been set to music, she has published four volumes of verses. The first was issued in 1844 and was entitled The Blind Girl, and Other Poems, a second volume, Monterey, and Other Poems, followed in 1849, and the third, A Wreath of Columbia's Flowers, in 1858. The fourth, Bells at Evening and Other Verses, with a biographical sketch by Rev. Robert Lowry, and a fine half-tone portrait, in 1897, the sales of which have reached a fourth edition. The book is published by The Biglow & Main Co., New York.
Though these show the poetical bent of her mind, they have little to do with her world-wide fame. It is as a writer of Sunday-school songs and gospel hymns that she is known wherever the English language is spoken, and, in fact, wherever any other language is heard.
Fanny was married March 5, 1858, to Alex. Van Alstyne, who was also a scholar in the same institution in which she was educated.
She began to write Sunday-school hymns for Wm. B. Bradbury in 1864. Her first hymn,
"We are going, we are going
To a home beyond the skies",
was written at the Ponton Hotel on Franklin Street, New York City, on February 5th of that year. This hymn was sung at Mr. Bradbury's funeral in January, 1868. Since 1864 she supported herself by writing hymns. She resided in New York City nearly all her life, where, she says, she is "a member of the Old John Street M. E. Church in good standing." She spent regular hours on certain days at the office of The Biglow & Main Co., the firm for which she did most of her writing, and for whom she has composed over four thousand hymns. Her hymns have been in great demand and have been used by many of our most popular composers, among whom may be mentioned Wm. B. Bradbury, Geo. F. Root, W. H. Doane, Rev. Robert Lowry, Ira D. Sankey, J. R. Sweney, W. J. Kirkpatrick, H. P. Main, H. P. Danks, Philip Phillips, B. G. Unseld, and others. She could compose at any time and did not need to wait for any special inspiration, and her best hymns have come on the spur of the moment. She always composed with an open book in her hand, generally a copy of Golden Hymns, held closely over her eyes, bottom side up. She learned to play on the guitar and piano while at the institution, and has a clear soprano voice. She also received a technical training in music, and for this reason she could, and did, compose airs for some of her hymns. One of these is,
"Jesus, dear, I come to Thee,
Thou hast said I may,"
both words and music of which are wonderfully sweet. "Safe in the arms of Jesus", probably one of her best known hymns, was her own favorite. Fanny loved her work, and was happy in it. She was always ready either to sympathize or join in a mirthful conversation, as the case may be. The secret of this contentment dates from her first composition at the age of eight years. "It has been the motto of my life," she says. It is:
"O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be;"
This has continued to be her philosophy. She says that had it not been for her affliction she might not have so good an education, nor so great an influence, and certainly not so fine a memory. She knows a great many portions of the Bible by heart, and had committed to memory the first four books of the Old Testament, and also the four Gospels before she was ten years of age.
Her scope of subjects is wide, embracing everything from a contemplation of heaven, as in "The Bright Forever" and "The Blessed Homeland", to an appeal to the work of this world, as in "To the Work" and "Rescue the Perishing." The most of Fanny's published hymns have appeared under the name of Fanny J. Crosby or Mrs. Yan Alstyne, but quite a large number have appeared under the nom de plumes of Grace J. Frances, Mrs. C. M. Wilson, Lizzie Edwards, Ella Dale, Henrietta E. Blair, Rose Atherton, Maud Marion, Leah Carlton, nearly two hundred different names.
-Biographies of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers (excerpts)
Van Alstyne, Frances Jane, née Crosby, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born at South East, Putnam County, New York, March 24, 1823. When six weeks old she lost her sight. About 1835 she entered the New York City Institution for the Blind. On completing her training she became a teacher therein from 1847 to 1858. In 1858 she was married to Alexander Van Alstyne, a musician, who was also blind. Her first poem was published in 1831; and her first volumes of verse as A Blind Girl, and Other Poems, 1844; Monteresy, and Other Poems, 1849; and A Wreath of Columbia's Flowers, 1858. Her first hymn was "We are going, we are going" (Death and Burial), which was written for Mr. Bradbury and published in the Golden Censer, 1864. From 1853 to 1858 she wrote 20 songs, which were set to music by G. F. Root. Her songs and hymns number some 2,000 or more, and have been published mainly in several of the popular American Sunday school collections, and often under a nom de plume. About 60 have come into common use in Great Britain. The majority of these are taken from the following American collections:—
i. From The Shining Star, 1864.
1. Softly on the breath of evening. Evening.
ii. From Fresh Laurels, 1867.
2. Beautiful Mansions, home of the blest. Heaven.
3. Jesus the Water of Life has given. The Water of Life.
4. Light and Comfort of my soul. In Affliction.
5. There's a cry from Macedonia. Missions.
6. We are marching on with shield and banner bright. Sunday School Anniversary.
iii. From Musical Leaves, 1868.
7. 0 what are you going to do, brother? Youth for God.
iv. From Sabbath Carols, 1868.
8. Dark is the night, and cold the wind is blowing. Affliction anticipated.
9. Lord, at Thy mercy seat, Humbly I fall. Lent.
v. From Silver Spray, 1868.
10. If I come to Jesus, He will make me glad. Peace in Jesus.
11. 'Twill not be long—our journey here. Heaven anticipated.
vi. From Notes of Joy, 1869.
12. Little beams of rosy light. The Divine Father.
13. Press on! press on! a glorious throng. Pressing towards the Prize.
vii. From Bright Jewels, 1869.
14. Christ the Lord is risen today, He is risen indeed. Easter.
15. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord! Sing 0 ye people, &c. Holiness of God.
16. Jesus, keep me near the Cross. Near the Cross of Christ.
17. Saviour, bless a little child. A Child's Prayer. Written Feb. 6, 1869.
viii. From Songs of Devotion, 1870.
18. Pass me not, 0 gentle Saviour. Lent. Written in 1868.
19. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying. Home Missions.
ix. From Pure Gold, 1871.
20. Great is Jehovah. King of kings. Greatness of God.
21. I would be Thy little lamb. The Good Shepherd.
22. Lead me to Jesus, lead me to Jesus. Desiring Jesus.
23. To the work, to the work, we are servants of God. Home Missions.
24. Why labour for treasures that rust and decay? The Fadeless Crown.
x. From the Royal Diadem, 1873.
25. I am Jesus' little friend. For Infant Schools.
26. Jesus I love Thee. Loving Jesus.
27. Mourner, wheresoe'er thou art. To the Sorrowing and Penitent. Written Oct. 3, 1871.
28. Never be faint or weary. Joy in Jesus.
29. Only a step to Jesus. Invitation.
xi. From Winnowed Hymns, 1873-4.
30. Loving Saviour, hear my cry. Lent.
xii. From Echoes of Zion, 1874.
31. Say, where is thy refuge, my brother? Home Missions.
xiii. From Songs of Grace and Glory, 1874.
32. Thou my everlasting Portion. Christ the Portion of His People.
xiv. From Brightest and Best, 1875.
33. All the way my Saviour leads me. Jesus the Guide.
34. I am Thine, O Lord: I have heard Thy voice. Holiness desired.
35. O come to the Saviour, believe in His name. Invitation. Written, Sep. 7, 1874.
36. O how sweet when we mingle. Communion of Saints. Written in 1866.
37. O my Saviour, hear me. Prayer to Jesus for blessing and love.
38. Only Jesus feels and knows. Jesus the Divine Friend.
39. Revive Thy work, O Lord. Home Missions.
40. Saviour, more than life to me. Jesus All and in All.
41. To God be the glory, great things He hath done. Praise for Redemption.
xv. From Calvary Songs, 1875.
42. Come, O come with thy broken heart. Invitation.
xvi. From Gospel Music, 1876.
43. Here from the world we turn. Divine Worship.
44. When Jesus comes to reward His servants. Watching,
xvii. From Welcome Tidings, 1877.
45. O hear my cry, be gracious now to me. For Pardon and Peace.
xviii. From The Fountain of Song, 1877.
46. Lord, my trust I repose on Thee. Trusting in Jesus.
xix. From Good as Gold, 1880.
47. In Thy cleft, O Rock of Ages. Safety in Jesus.
48. Sound the alarm ! let the watchman cry. Home Missions.
49. Tenderly He leads us. Christ the Leader.
50. 'Tis the blessed hour of prayer. The Hour of Prayer.
In addition to these hymns, all of which are in common use in Great Britain (mainly through I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs and Solos, the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book, the Silver Street Sunday Scholars Companion, and other collections for Sunday schools), there are also "A blessing for you, will you take it?" (Pardon through Jesus); "My song shall be of Jesus" (Praise of Jesus); “Now, just a word for Jesus"(Home Missions); "Onward, upward, Christian soldier" (Pressing Heavenward); 44 Sinner, how thy heart is troubled" (Invitation); "'Tis a goodly, pleasant land" (Heaven anticipated); and "When the dewy light was fading" (Death anticipated). All of these are in I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs & Solos. Mrs. Van Alstyne's most popular composition is "Safe in the arms of Jesus" (Safety in Jesus). This was written in 1868, at the request of Mr. W. H. Doane, to his well-known melody with which it is inseparably associated, and published in Bright Jewels, 1869. Mrs. Van Alstyne's hymns have sometimes been published anonymously; but the greater part are signed by a bewildering number of initials.
The combined sales of the volumes of songs and hymns named above have amounted in English-speaking countries to millions of copies. Notwithstanding the immense circulation thus given to Mrs. Van Alstyne's hymns, they are, with few exceptions, very weak and poor, their simplicity and earnestness being their redeeming features. Their popularity is largely due to the melodies to which they are wedded.
Since the above was in type we have found that the following are also in common use in Great Britain:—
51. Suppose the little cowslip. Value of Little Things.
52. Sweet hour of prayer. The Hour of Prayer. These are in Bradbury's Golden Chain, 1861.
53. Never lose the golden rule. Love to our Neighbours. In Bradbury's Golden Censer, 1864.
54. I will not be afraid at night. Trust in God. In Bradbury's Fresh Laurels, 1867.
55. Praise Him, praise Him, Jesus our, &c. Praise of Jesus. In Biglow & Main's Bright Jewels, 1869.
56. More like Jesus would I be. More like Jesus. In Perkins & Taylor's Songs of Salvation, 1870.
57. Behold me standing at the door. Christ at the Door. In Biglow & Main's Christian Songs, 1872.
58. If I come to Jesus. Jesus the Children's Guide.
59. Jesus, Lord, I come to Thee. Trust in Jesus.
60. Let me learn of Jesus. Jesus the Children's Friend.
61. Singing for Jesus, O singing for Jesus. Singing for Jesus.
62. There is a Name divinely sweet Holy Name of Jesus.
Of these hymns Nos. 58-62 we have not been able to trace.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907
Van Alstyne, Frances J., p. 1203, ii. From the American collections of recent date we find that Mrs. Van Alstyne is still actively engaged in hymn-writing. In the Funk and Wagnalls Company Gloria Deo, 1903, there are about 30 of her hymns, most of which are new. They are all signed, and some are dated, but we have not space to quote the first lines and subjects, as this hymnal is not an official collection of any denomination. Another name, "Mrs. S. K. Bourne" is credited in the same hymnal with about 40 new hymns. If this signature is not another pen-name of Mrs. Van Alstyne's (and these pen-names and initials of hers are very numerous), we can only say that she has a very successful understudy in "Mrs. S. K. Bourne."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)