1828 - 1904 Person Name: J. E. Rankin, D.D. Hymnal Number: 86 Author of "Tell it to Jesus Alone" in Beulah Songs Pseudonym: R. E. Jeremy.
Rankin, Jeremiah Eames, D.D., was born at Thornton, New Haven, Jan. 2, 1828, and educated at Middleburg College, Vermont, and at Andover. For two years he resided at Potsdam, U.S. Subsequently he held pastoral charges as a Congregational Minister at New York, St. Albans, Charlestown, Washington ( District of Columbia), &c. In 1878 he edited the Gospel Temperance Hymnal, and later the Gospel Bells. His hymns appeared in these collections, and in D. E. Jones's Songs of the New Life, 1869. His best known hymn is "Labouring and heavy laden" (Seeking Christ). This was "written [in 1855] for a sister who was an inquirer," was first printed in the Boston Recorder, and then included in Nason's Congregational Hymn Book, 1857. Another of his hymns is "Rest, rest, rest, brother rest." He died in 1904. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Rankin, J. 33., p. 951, ii. Dr. Rankin, b. in N. H. (not New Haven), and received his D.D. 1869, LL.D. 1889 from his Alma Mater. He was President for several years of Howard University, Washington, D.C. His publications included several volumes of Sermons, German-English Lyrics, Sacred and Secular, 1897; 2nd ed. 1898, &c. In addition to his hymns noted on p. 951, ii., he has written and published mainly in sheet form many others, the most important and best-known being:—
1. God be with you till we meet again. [Benediction.] Dr. Rankin's account of this hymn, supplied to us, in common with Mr. Brownlie, for his Hymns and H. Writers of The Church Hymnary, 1899, is: "It was written as a Christian good-bye, and first sung in the First Congregational Church, of which I was minister for fifteen years. We had Gospel meetings on Sunday nights, and our music was intentionally of the popular kind. I wrote the first stanza, and sent it to two gentlemen for music. The music which seemed to me to best suit the words was written by T. G. Tomer, teacher of public schools in New Jersey, at one time on the staff of General 0. 0. Howard. After receiving the music (which was revised by Dr. J. W. Bischoff, the organist of my church), I wrote the other stanzas." The hymn became at once popular, and has been translated into several languages. In America it is in numerous collections; and in Great Britain, in The Church Hymnary, 1898, Horder's Worship Song, 1905, The Methodist Hymn Book, 1904, and others. It was left undated by Dr. Rankin, but I.D. Sankey gives it as 1882.
2. Beautiful the little hands. [Little ones for Jesus.] Given without date in Gloria Deo, New York, 1900.
Dr. Rankin's translations include versions of German, French, Latin, and Welsh hymns. His contributions to the periodical press have been numerous.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
Jeremiah Eames Rankin