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Edward Perronet

1721 - 1792 Hymnal Number: d3 Author of "All hail the great Immanuel's name" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Edward Perronet was the son of the Rev. Vincent Perronet, Vicar of Shoreham, Kent. For some time he was an intimate associate of the Wesleys, at Canterbury and Norwich. He afterwards became pastor of a dissenting congregation. He died in 1792. In 1784, he published a small volume, entitled "Occasional Verses, Moral and Social;" a book now extremely rare. At his death he is said to have left a large sum of money to Shrubsole, who was organist at Spafield's Chapel, London, and who had composed the tune "Miles Lane" for "All hail the power of Jesus' Name!" --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872. ------ Perronet, Edward. The Perronets of England, grandfather, father, and son, were French emigres. David Perronet came to England about 1680. He was son of the refugee Pasteur Perronet, who had chosen Switzerland as his adopted country, where he ministered to a Protestant congregation at Chateau D'Oex. His son, Vincent Perronet, M.A., was a graduate of Queen's College, Oxford, though his name is not found in either Anthony Woods's Athenae Oxonienses nor his Fasti, nor in Bliss's apparatus of additional notes. He became, in 1728, Vicar of Shoreham, Kent. He is imperishably associated with the Evangelical Revival under the Wesleys and Whitefield. He cordially cooperated with the movement, and many are the notices of him scattered up and down the biographies and Journals of John Wesley and of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. He lived to the venerable age of ninety-one; and pathetic and beautiful is the account of John Wesley's later visits to the white-haired saint (b. 1693, d. May 9, 1785).* His son Edward was born in 1726. He was first educated at home under a tutor, but whether he proceeded to the University (Oxford) is uncertain. Born, baptized, and brought up in the Church of England, he had originally no other thought than to be one of her clergy. But, though strongly evangelical, he had a keen and searching eye for defects. A characteristic note to The Mitre, in referring to a book called The Dissenting Gentleman's answer to the Rev. Mr. White, thus runs:—"I was born, and am like to die, in the tottering communion of the Church of England; but I despise her nonsense; and thank God that I have once read a book that no fool can answer, and that no honest man will". The publication of The Mitre is really the first prominent event in his life. A copy is preserved in the British Museum, with title in the author's holograph, and manuscript notes; and on the fly-leaf this:— "Capt. Boisragon, from his oblig'd and most respectful humble servt. The Author. London, March 29th, 1757." The title is as follows:— The Mitre; a Sacred Poem (1 Samuel ii. 30). London: printed in the year 1757. This strangely overlooked satire is priceless as a reflex of contemporary ecclesiastical opinion and sentiment. It is pungent, salted with wit, gleams with humour, hits off vividly the well-known celebrities in Church and State, and is well wrought in picked and packed words. But it is a curious production to have come from a "true son" of the Church of England. It roused John Wesley's hottest anger. He demanded its instant suppression; and it was suppressed (Atmore's Methodist Memorial, p. 300, and Tyerman, ii. 240-44, 264, 265); and yet it was at this period the author threw himself into the Wesleys' great work. But evidences abound in the letters and journals of John Wesley that he was intermittently rebellious and vehement to even his revered leader's authority. Earlier, Edward Perronet dared all obloquy as a Methodist. In 1749 Wesley enters in his diary: "From Rochdale went to Bolton, and soon found that the Rochdale lions were lambs in comparison with those of Bolton. Edward Perronet was thrown down and rolled in mud and mire. Stones were hurled and windows broken" (Tyerman's Life and Times of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A., 3 vols., 1870 ; vol. ii. 57). In 1750 John Wesley writes: ”Charles and you [Edward Perronet] behave as I want you to do; but you cannot, or will not, preach where I desire. Others can and will preach where I desire, but they do not behave as I want them to do. I have a fine time between the one and the other. I think Charles and you have in the general a right sense of what it is to serve as sons in the gospel; and if all our helpers had had the same, the work of God would have prospered better both in England and Ireland. I have not one preacher with me, and not six in England, whose wills are broken to serve me" (ibid. ii. 85, and Whitehead's Life of Wesley, ii. 259). In 1755 arrangements to meet the emergency created by its own success had to be made for Methodism. As one result, both Edward and Charles Perronet broke loose from John Wesley's law that none of his preachers or "helpers" were to dispense the Sacraments, but were still with their flocks to attend the parish churches. Edward Perronet asserted his right to administer the Sacraments as a divinely-called preacher ibid. ii. 200). At that time he was resident at Canterbury, "in a part of the archbishop's old palace" (ibid. ii. 230. In season and out of season he "evangelized." Onward, he became one of the Countess of Huntingdon's "ministers" in a chapel in Watling Street, Canterbury. Throughout he was passionate, impulsive, strong-willed; but always lived near his divine Master. The student-reader of Lives of the Wesleys will be "taken captive" by those passages that ever and anon introduce him. He bursts in full of fire and enthusiasm, yet ebullient and volatile. In the close of his life he is found as an Independent or Congregational pastor of a small church in Canterbury. He must have been in easy worldly circumstances, as his will shows. He died Jan. 2, 1792, and was buried in the cloisters of the great cathedral, Jan. 8. His Hymns were published anonymously in successive small volumes. First of all came Select Passages of the Old and New Testament versified; London: Printed by H. Cock, mdcclvi. … A second similar volume is entitled A Small Collection of Hymns, &c, Canterbury: printed in the year dcclxxxii. His most important volume was the following:— Occasional Verses, moral and sacred. Published for the instruction and amusement of the Candidly Serious and Religious. London, printed for the Editor: And Sold by J. Buckland in Paternoster Row; and T. Scollick, in the City Road, Moorfields, mdcclxxxv. pp. 216 (12°). [The British Museum copy has the two earlier volumes bound up with this.] The third hymn in this scarce book is headed, “On the Resurrection," and is, ”All hail the power of Jesus' name". But there are others of almost equal power and of more thorough workmanship. In my judgment, "The Lord is King" (Psalm xcvi. 16) is a great and noble hymn. It commences:— “Hail, holy, holy, holy Loud! Let Pow'rs immortal sing; Adore the co-eternal Word, And shout, the Lord is King." Very fine also is "The Master's Yoke—the Scholar's Lesson," Matthew xi. 29, which thus opens:— O Grant me, Lord, that sweet content That sweetens every state; Which no internal fears can rent, Nor outward foes abate." A sacred poem is named "The Wayfaring Man: a Parody"; and another, "The Goldfish: a Parody." The latter has one splendid line on the Cross, "I long to share the glorious shame." "The Tempest" is striking, and ought to be introduced into our hymnals; and also "The Conflict or Conquest over the Conqueror, Genesis xxxii. 24". Still finer is "Thoughts on Hebrews xii.," opening:— "Awake my soul—arise! And run the heavenly race; Look up to Him who holds the prize, And offers thee His grace." "A Prayer for Mercy on Psalm cxix. 94," is very striking. On Isaiah lxv. 19, is strong and unmistakable. "The Sinner's Resolution," and "Thoughts on Matthew viii. 2," and on Mark x. 51, more than worthy of being reclaimed for use. Perronet is a poet as well as a pre-eminently successful hymnwriter. He always sings as well as prays. It may be added that the brief paraphrase after Ovid given below, seems to echo the well-known lines in Gray's immortal elegy:— "How many a gem unseen of human eyes, Entomb'd in earth, a sparkling embryo lies; How many a rose, neglected as the gem, Scatters its sweets and rots upon its stem: So many a mind, that might a meteor shone, Had or its genius or its friend been known; Whose want of aid from some maternal hand, Still haunts the shade, or quits its native land." [Rev. A. B. Grosart, D.D., LL.D.] * Agnew's Protestant Exiles from France in the Reign of Louis XIV. confounds Vincent the father with Edward his son. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Isaac Watts

1674 - 1748 Person Name: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Hymnal Number: d4 Author of "Am I a soldier of the cross" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary labours. He did not retire from ministerial duties, but preached as often as his delicate health would permit. The number of Watts' publications is very large. His collected works, first published in 1720, embrace sermons, treatises, poems and hymns. His "Horae Lyricae" was published in December, 1705. His "Hymns" appeared in July, 1707. The first hymn he is said to have composed for religious worship, is "Behold the glories of the Lamb," written at the age of twenty. It is as a writer of psalms and hymns that he is everywhere known. Some of his hymns were written to be sung after his sermons, giving expression to the meaning of the text upon which he had preached. Montgomery calls Watts "the greatest name among hymn-writers," and the honour can hardly be disputed. His published hymns number more than eight hundred. Watts died November 25, 1748, and was buried at Bunhill Fields. A monumental statue was erected in Southampton, his native place, and there is also a monument to his memory in the South Choir of Westminster Abbey. "Happy," says the great contemporary champion of Anglican orthodoxy, "will be that reader whose mind is disposed, by his verses or his prose, to imitate him in all but his non-conformity, to copy his benevolence to men, and his reverence to God." ("Memorials of Westminster Abbey," p. 325.) --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872. ================================= Watts, Isaac, D.D. The father of Dr. Watts was a respected Nonconformist, and at the birth of the child, and during its infancy, twice suffered imprisonment for his religious convictions. In his later years he kept a flourishing boarding school at Southampton. Isaac, the eldest of his nine children, was born in that town July 17, 1674. His taste for verse showed itself in early childhood. He was taught Greek, Latin, and Hebrew by Mr. Pinhorn, rector of All Saints, and headmaster of the Grammar School, in Southampton. The splendid promise of the boy induced a physician of the town and other friends to offer him an education at one of the Universities for eventual ordination in the Church of England: but this he refused; and entered a Nonconformist Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690, under the care of Mr. Thomas Rowe, the pastor of the Independent congregation at Girdlers' Hall. Of this congregation he became a member in 1693. Leaving the Academy at the age of twenty, he spent two years at home; and it was then that the bulk of the Hymns and Spiritual Songs (published 1707-9) were written, and sung from manuscripts in the Southampton Chapel. The hymn "Behold the glories of the Lamb" is said to have been the first he composed, and written as an attempt to raise the standard of praise. In answer to requests, others succeeded. The hymn "There is a land of pure delight" is said to have been suggested by the view across Southampton Water. The next six years of Watts's life were again spent at Stoke Newington, in the post of tutor to the son of an eminent Puritan, Sir John Hartopp; and to the intense study of these years must be traced the accumulation of the theological and philosophical materials which he published subsequently, and also the life-long enfeeblement of his constitution. Watts preached his first sermon when he was twenty-four years old. In the next three years he preached frequently; and in 1702 was ordained pastor of the eminent Independent congregation in Mark Lane, over which Caryl and Dr. John Owen had presided, and which numbered Mrs. Bendish, Cromwell's granddaughter, Charles Fleetwood, Charles Desborough, Sir John Hartopp, Lady Haversham, and other distinguished Independents among its members. In this year he removed to the house of Mr. Hollis in the Minories. His health began to fail in the following year, and Mr. Samuel Price was appointed as his assistant in the ministry. In 1712 a fever shattered his constitution, and Mr. Price was then appointed co-pastor of the congregation which had in the meantime removed to a new chapel in Bury Street. It was at this period that he became the guest of Sir Thomas Abney, under whose roof, and after his death (1722) that of his widow, he remained for the rest of his suffering life; residing for the longer portion of these thirty-six years principally at the beautiful country seat of Theobalds in Herts, and for the last thirteen years at Stoke Newington. His degree of D.D. was bestowed on him in 1728, unsolicited, by the University of Edinburgh. His infirmities increased on him up to the peaceful close of his sufferings, Nov. 25, 1748. He was buried in the Puritan restingplace at Bunhill Fields, but a monument was erected to him in Westminster Abbey. His learning and piety, gentleness and largeness of heart have earned him the title of the Melanchthon of his day. Among his friends, churchmen like Bishop Gibson are ranked with Nonconformists such as Doddridge. His theological as well as philosophical fame was considerable. His Speculations on the Human Nature of the Logos, as a contribution to the great controversy on the Holy Trinity, brought on him a charge of Arian opinions. His work on The Improvement of the Mind, published in 1741, is eulogised by Johnson. His Logic was still a valued textbook at Oxford within living memory. The World to Come, published in 1745, was once a favourite devotional work, parts of it being translated into several languages. His Catechisms, Scripture History (1732), as well as The Divine and Moral Songs (1715), were the most popular text-books for religious education fifty years ago. The Hymns and Spiritual Songs were published in 1707-9, though written earlier. The Horae Lyricae, which contains hymns interspersed among the poems, appeared in 1706-9. Some hymns were also appended at the close of the several Sermons preached in London, published in 1721-24. The Psalms were published in 1719. The earliest life of Watts is that by his friend Dr. Gibbons. Johnson has included him in his Lives of the Poets; and Southey has echoed Johnson's warm eulogy. The most interesting modern life is Isaac Watts: his Life and Writings, by E. Paxton Hood. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] A large mass of Dr. Watts's hymns and paraphrases of the Psalms have no personal history beyond the date of their publication. These we have grouped together here and shall preface the list with the books from which they are taken. (l) Horae Lyricae. Poems chiefly of the Lyric kind. In Three Books Sacred: i.To Devotion and Piety; ii. To Virtue, Honour, and Friendship; iii. To the Memory of the Dead. By I. Watts, 1706. Second edition, 1709. (2) Hymns and Spiritual Songs. In Three Books: i. Collected from the Scriptures; ii. Composed on Divine Subjects; iii. Prepared for the Lord's Supper. By I. Watts, 1707. This contained in Bk i. 78 hymns; Bk. ii. 110; Bk. iii. 22, and 12 doxologies. In the 2nd edition published in 1709, Bk. i. was increased to 150; Bk. ii. to 170; Bk. iii. to 25 and 15 doxologies. (3) Divine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children. By I. Watts, London, 1715. (4) The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, And apply'd to the Christian State and Worship. By I. Watts. London: Printed by J. Clark, at the Bible and Crown in the Poultry, &c, 1719. (5) Sermons with hymns appended thereto, vol. i., 1721; ii., 1723; iii. 1727. In the 5th ed. of the Sermons the three volumes, in duodecimo, were reduced to two, in octavo. (6) Reliquiae Juveniles: Miscellaneous Thoughts in Prose and Verse, on Natural, Moral, and Divine Subjects; Written chiefly in Younger Years. By I. Watts, D.D., London, 1734. (7) Remnants of Time. London, 1736. 454 Hymns and Versions of the Psalms, in addition to the centos are all in common use at the present time. --Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================================== Watts, I. , p. 1241, ii. Nearly 100 hymns, additional to those already annotated, are given in some minor hymn-books. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907) ================= Watts, I. , p. 1236, i. At the time of the publication of this Dictionary in 1892, every copy of the 1707 edition of Watts's Hymns and Spiritual Songs was supposed to have perished, and all notes thereon were based upon references which were found in magazines and old collections of hymns and versions of the Psalms. Recently three copies have been recovered, and by a careful examination of one of these we have been able to give some of the results in the revision of pp. 1-1597, and the rest we now subjoin. i. Hymns in the 1709 ed. of Hymns and Spiritual Songs which previously appeared in the 1707 edition of the same book, but are not so noted in the 1st ed. of this Dictionary:— On pp. 1237, L-1239, ii., Nos. 18, 33, 42, 43, 47, 48, 60, 56, 58, 59, 63, 75, 82, 83, 84, 85, 93, 96, 99, 102, 104, 105, 113, 115, 116, 123, 124, 134, 137, 139, 146, 147, 148, 149, 162, 166, 174, 180, 181, 182, 188, 190, 192, 193, 194, 195, 197, 200, 202. ii. Versions of the Psalms in his Psalms of David, 1719, which previously appeared in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707:— On pp. 1239, U.-1241, i., Nos. 241, 288, 304, 313, 314, 317, 410, 441. iii. Additional not noted in the revision:— 1. My soul, how lovely is the place; p. 1240, ii. 332. This version of Ps. lxiv. first appeared in the 1707 edition of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, as "Ye saints, how lovely is the place." 2. Shine, mighty God, on Britain shine; p. 1055, ii. In the 1707 edition of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, Bk. i., No. 35, and again in his Psalms of David, 1719. 3. Sing to the Lord with [cheerful] joyful voice, p. 1059, ii. This version of Ps. c. is No. 43 in the Hymns & Spiritual Songs, 1707, Bk. i., from which it passed into the Ps. of David, 1719. A careful collation of the earliest editions of Watts's Horae Lyricae shows that Nos. 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, p. 1237, i., are in the 1706 ed., and that the rest were added in 1709. Of the remaining hymns, Nos. 91 appeared in his Sermons, vol. ii., 1723, and No. 196 in Sermons, vol. i., 1721. No. 199 was added after Watts's death. It must be noted also that the original title of what is usually known as Divine and Moral Songs was Divine Songs only. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907) =========== See also in: Hymn Writers of the Church

Samuel Medley

1738 - 1799 Hymnal Number: d8 Author of "Awake, my soul, in [to] joyful [joyous] lays" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. 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)

John Newton

1725 - 1807 Hymnal Number: d9 Author of "Beside the gospel pool Appointed for the poor" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Newton, John, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years' schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity, through the study of Shaftesbury and the instruction of one of his comrades. Disappointing repeatedly the plans of his father, he was flogged as a deserter from the navy, and for fifteen months lived, half-starved and ill-treated, in abject degradation under a slave-dealer in Africa. The one restraining influence of his life was his faithful love for his future wife, Mary Catlett, formed when he was seventeen, and she only in her fourteenth year. A chance reading of Thomas à Kempis sowed the seed of his conversion; which quickened under the awful contemplations of a night spent in steering a water-logged vessel in the face of apparent death (1748). He was then twenty-three. The six following years, during which he commanded a slave ship, matured his Christian belief. Nine years more, spent chiefly at Liverpool, in intercourse with Whitefield, Wesley, and Nonconformists, in the study of Hebrew and Greek, in exercises of devotion and occasional preaching among the Dissenters, elapsed before his ordination to the curacy of Olney, Bucks (1764). The Olney period was the most fruitful of his life. His zeal in pastoral visiting, preaching and prayer-meetings was unwearied. He formed his lifelong friendship with Cowper, and became the spiritual father of Scott the commentator. At Olney his best works—-Omicron's Letters (1774); Olney Hymns (1779); Cardiphonia, written from Olney, though published 1781—were composed. As rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, London, in the centre of the Evangelical movement (1780-1807) his zeal was as ardent as before. In 1805, when no longer able to read his text, his reply when pressed to discontinue preaching, was, "What, shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can speak!" The story of his sins and his conversion, published by himself, and the subject of lifelong allusion, was the base of his influence; but it would have been little but for the vigour of his mind (shown even in Africa by his reading Euclid drawing its figures on the sand), his warm heart, candour, tolerance, and piety. These qualities gained him the friendship of Hannah More, Cecil, Wilberforce, and others; and his renown as a guide in experimental religion made him the centre of a host of inquirers, with whom he maintained patient, loving, and generally judicious correspondence, of which a monument remains in the often beautiful letters of Cardiphonia. As a hymnwriter, Montgomery says that he was distanced by Cowper. But Lord Selborne's contrast of the "manliness" of Newton and the "tenderness" of Cowper is far juster. A comparison of the hymns of both in The Book of Praise will show no great inequality between them. Amid much that is bald, tame, and matter-of-fact, his rich acquaintance with Scripture, knowledge of the heart, directness and force, and a certain sailor imagination, tell strongly. The one splendid hymn of praise, "Glorious things of thee are spoken," in the Olney collection, is his. "One there is above all others" has a depth of realizing love, sustained excellence of expression, and ease of development. "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds" is in Scriptural richness superior, and in structure, cadence, and almost tenderness, equal to Cowper's "Oh! for a closer walk with God." The most characteristic hymns are those which depict in the language of intense humiliation his mourning for the abiding sins of his regenerate life, and the sense of the withdrawal of God's face, coincident with the never-failing conviction of acceptance in The Beloved. The feeling may be seen in the speeches, writings, and diaries of his whole life. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] A large number of Newton's hymns have some personal history connected with them, or were associated with circumstances of importance. These are annotated under their respective first lines. Of the rest, the known history of which is confined to the fact that they appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, the following are in common use:— 1. Be still, my heart, these anxious cares. Conflict. 2. Begone, unbelief, my Saviour is near. Trust. 3. By the poor widow's oil and meal. Providence. 4. Chief Shepherd of Thy chosen sheep. On behalf of Ministers. 5. Darkness overspreads us here. Hope. 6. Does the Gospel-word proclaim. Rest in Christ. 7. Fix my heart and eyes on Thine. True Happiness. 8. From Egypt lately freed. The Pilgrim's Song. 9. He Who on earth as man was Known. Christ the Rock. 10. How blest are they to whom the Lord. Gospel Privileges. 11. How blest the righteous are. Death of the Righteous. 12. How lost was my [our] condition. Christ the Physician. 13. How tedious and tasteless the hours. Fellowship with Christ. 14. How welcome to the saints [soul] when pressed. Sunday. 15. Hungry, and faint, and poor. Before Sermon. 16. In mercy, not in wrath, rebuke. Pleading for Mercy. 17. In themselves, as weak as worms. Power of Prayer. 18. Incarnate God, the soul that knows. The Believer's Safety. 19. Jesus, Who bought us with His blood. The God of Israel. "Teach us, 0 Lord, aright to plead," is from this hymn. 20. Joy is a [the] fruit that will not grow. Joy. 21. Let hearts and tongues unite. Close of the Year. From this "Now, through another year," is taken. 22. Let us adore the grace that seeks. New Year. 23. Mary to her [the] Saviour's tomb. Easter. 24. Mercy, 0 Thou Son of David. Blind Bartimeus. 25. My harp untun'd and laid aside. Hoping for a Revival. From this "While I to grief my soul gave way" is taken. 26. Nay, I cannot let thee go. Prayer. Sometimes, "Lord, I cannot let Thee go." 27. Now may He Who from the dead. After Sermon. 28. 0 happy they who know the Lord, With whom He deigns to dwell. Gospel Privilege. 29. O Lord, how vile am I. Lent. 30. On man in His own Image made. Adam. 31. 0 speak that gracious word again. Peace through Pardon. 32. Our Lord, Who knows full well. The Importunate Widow. Sometimes altered to "Jesus, Who knows full well," and again, "The Lord, Who truly knows." 33. Physician of my sin-sick soul. Lent. 34. Pleasing spring again is here. Spring. 35. Poor, weak, and worthless, though I am. Jesus the Friend. 36. Prepare a thankful song. Praise to Jesus. 37. Refreshed by the bread and wine. Holy Communion. Sometimes given as "Refreshed by sacred bread and wine." 38. Rejoice, believer, in the Lord. Sometimes “Let us rejoice in Christ the Lord." Perseverance. 39. Salvation, what a glorious plan. Salvation. 40. Saviour, shine and cheer my soul. Trust in Jesus. The cento "Once I thought my mountain strong," is from this hymn. 41. Saviour, visit Thy plantation. Prayer for the Church. 42. See another year [week] is gone. Uncertainty of Life. 43. See the corn again in ear. Harvest. 44. Sinner, art thou still secure? Preparation for the Future. 45. Sinners, hear the [thy] Saviour's call. Invitation. 46. Sovereign grace has power alone. The two Malefactors. 47. Stop, poor sinner, stop and think. Caution and Alarm. 48. Sweeter sounds than music knows. Christmas. 49. Sweet was the time when first I felt. Joy in Believing. 50. Ten thousand talents once I owed. Forgiveness and Peace. 51. The grass and flowers, which clothe the field. Hay-time. 52. The peace which God alone reveals. Close of Service. 53. Thy promise, Lord, and Thy command. Before Sermon. 54. Time, by moments, steals away. The New Year. 55. To Thee our wants are known. Close of Divine Service. 56. We seek a rest beyond the skies. Heaven anticipated. 57. When any turn from Zion's way. Jesus only. 58. When Israel, by divine command. God, the Guide and Sustainer of Life. 59. With Israel's God who can compare? After Sermon. 60. Yes, since God Himself has said it. Confidence. 61. Zion, the city of our God. Journeying Zionward. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================= Newton, J., p. 803, i. Another hymn in common use from the Olney Hymns, 1779, is "Let me dwell on Golgotha" (Holy Communion). --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907) ----- John Newton was born in London, July 24, 1725. His mother died when he was seven years old. In his eleventh year he accompanied his father, a sea captain, on a voyage. For several years his life was one of dissipation and crime. He was disgraced while in the navy. Afterwards he engaged in the slave trade. Returning to England in 1748, the vessel was nearly wrecked in a storm. This peril forced solemn reflection upon him, and from that time he was a changed man. It was six years, however, before he relinquished the slave trade, which was not then regarded as an unlawful occupation. But in 1754, he gave up sea-faring life, and holding some favourable civil position, began also religious work. In 1764, in his thirty-ninth year, he entered upon a regular ministry as the Curate of Olney. In this position he had intimate intercourse with Cowper, and with him produced the "Olney Hymns." In 1779, Newton became Rector of S. Mary Woolnoth, in London, in which position he became more widely known. It was here he died, Dec. 21, 1807, His published works are quite numerous, consisting of sermons, letters, devotional aids, and hymns. He calls his hymns "The fruit and expression of his own experience." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872 See also in: Hymn Writers of the Church =======================

Joseph Swain

1761 - 1796 Hymnal Number: d12 Author of "Brethren, while we sojourn here" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Swain, Joseph, was born at Birmingham in 1761, and after being apprenticed to an engraver, removed to London. After a time he became a decided Christian, and being of an emotional poetic temperament, began to give expression to his new thoughts and feelings in hymns. In 1783 he was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Rippon, and in 1791 became minister of a Baptist congregation in East Street, Walworth. After a short but popular and very useful ministry, he died April 16, 1796 Swain published the following:— (1) A Collection of Poems on Several Occasions, London, 1781; (2) Redemption, a Poem in five Books, London, 1789; (3) Experimental Essays on Divine Subjects, London, 1791; (4) Walworth Hymns, by J. Swain, Pastor of the Baptist Church Meeting there, London, 1792, 129 hymns; with a Supplement, 1794, 192 hymns; (5) A Pocket Companion and Directory, London, 1794. In addition to a limited number of Swain's hymns, annotated under their respective first lines, the following, from his Walworth Hymns1792, and the 2nd ed., 1796, are also in common use:— 1. Brethren, while we sojourn here. Mutual Encouragement. 2. Children of the King of grace. Holy Baptism. 3. Christ the Lord will come again. Second Advent. 4. Come, ye souls, by sin afflicted. The Yoke of Christ. 5. How sweet, how heavenly is the sight. Communion of Saints. 6. In expectation sweet. Second Advent. 7. Lift up your heads, ye gates. Ascension. 8. Love is the sweetest bud that blows. A Flower an Emblem of Christ. 9. 0 how the thought that I shall know. Heaven Anticipated. Sometimes it begins with st. ii., "For ever to behold Him shine". 10. On earth the song begins. Heaven Anticipated. 11. On the wings of faith upspringing. Passiontide. 12. Pilgrims we are to Canaan bound. Pilgrimage of Life. 13. Praise ye the Lord, the eternal King. Divinity of Christ. 14. Praise your Redeemer, praise His Name. Praise for Redemption. 15. 'Tis heaven begun below. Heaven Anticipated. 16. What is it for a saint to die? Death and Burial. 17. What must [will] it be to dwell above? Heaven Anticipated. 18. When firm I [we] stand on Zion's hill. Confidence. Sometimes as "I stand on Zion's mount," in American collections. 19. Who can forbear to sing? Praise of Jesus. From his Redemption, a Poem in Five Books, 1791, the following hymns are also in common use:-- 20. 0 Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight. In Affliction. 21. Ye daughters of Zion, declare, have you see? Comfort in Affliction. Of these hymns the most widely known are Nos. 1, 5, 6, and 20. We may add that several of Swain's hymns appeared in The Theological Miscellany, 1784-1789. [Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Robert Robinson

1735 - 1790 Hymnal Number: d24 Author of "Come thou fount of every blessing" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Robert Robinson was born at Swaffham, Norfolk, in 1735. In 1749, he was apprenticed to a hairdresser, in Crutched Friars, London. Hearing a discourse preached by Whitefield on "The Wrath to Come," in 1752, he was deeply impressed, and after a period of much disquietude, he gave himself to a religious life. His own peculiar account of this change of life is as follows:--"Robertus Michaelis Marineque Robinson filius. Natus Swaffhami, comitatu Norfolciae, Saturni die Sept. 27, 1735. Renatus Sabbati die, Maii 24, 1752, per predicationem potentem Georgii Whitefield. Et gustatis doloribus renovationis duos annos mensesque septem, absolutionem plenam gratuitamque, per sanguinem pretiosum i secula seculorum. Amen." He soon after began to preach, and ministered for some time in connection with the Calvinistic Methodists. He subsequently joined the Independents, but after a short period preferred the Baptist connection. In 1761, he became pastor of a Baptist congregation at Cambridge. About the year 1780, he began to incline towards Unitarianism, and at length his people deemed it essential to procure his resignation. While arrangements for this purpose were in progress he died suddenly at Bingham, in June 1790. He wrote and published a good many works of ability. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872. ============================= Robinson, Robert, the author of "Come, Thou fount of every blessing," and "Mighty God, while angels bless Thee," was born at Swaffham, in Norfolk, on Sept. 27, 1735 (usually misgiven, spite of his own authority, as Jan. 8), of lowly parentage. Whilst in his eighth year the family migrated to Scarning, in the same county. He lost his father a few years after this removal. His widowed mother was left in sore straits. The universal testimony is that she was a godly woman, and far above her circumstances. Her ambition was to see her son a clergyman of the Church of England, but poverty forbade, and the boy (in his 15th year) was indentured in 1749 to a barber and hairdresser in London. It was an uncongenial position for a bookish and thoughtful lad. His master found him more given to reading than to his profession. Still he appears to have nearly completed his apprenticeship when he was released from his indentures. In 1752 came an epoch-marking event. Out on a frolic one Sunday with like-minded companions, he joined with them in sportively rendering a fortune-telling old woman drunk and incapable, that they might hear and laugh at her predictions concerning them. The poor creature told Robinson that he would live to see his children and grandchildren. This set him a-thinking, and he resolved more than ever to "give himself to reading”. Coincidently he went to hear George Whitefield. The text was St. Matthew iii. 7, and the great evangelist's searching sermon on "the wrath to come" haunted him blessedly. He wrote to the preacher six years later penitently and pathetically. For well nigh three years he walked in darkness and fear, but in his 20th year found "peace by believing." Hidden away on a blank leaf of one of his books is the following record of his spiritual experience, the Latin doubtless having been used to hold it modestly private:— "Robertus, Michaelis Mariseque Robinson filius. Natus Swaffhami, comitatu Norfolciae, Saturni die Sept. 27, 1735. Renatus Sabbati die, Maii 24,1752, per predicationem potentem Georgii Whitefield. Et gustatis doloribus renovationis duos annosque septem absolutionem plenam gratuitamque, per sanguinem pretiosum Jesu Christi, inveni (Tuesday, December 10, 1755) cui sit honor et gloria in secula seculorum. Amen." Robinson remained in London until 1758, attending assiduously on the ministry of Gill, Wesley, and other evangelical preachers. Early in this year he was invited as a Calvinistic Methodist to the oversight of a chapel at Mildenhall, Norfolk. Thence he removed within the year to Norwich, where he was settled over an Independent congregation. In 1759, having been invited by a Baptist Church at Cambridge (afterwards made historically famous by Robert Hall, John Foster, and others) he accepted the call, and preached his first sermon there on Jan. 8, 1759, having been previously baptized by immersion. The "call" was simply "to supply the pulpit," but he soon won such regard and popularity that the congregation again and again requested him to accept the full pastoral charge. This he acceded to in 1761, alter persuading the people to "open communion." In 1770 he commenced his abundant authorship by publishing a translation from Saurin's sermons, afterwards completed. In 1774 appeared his masculine and unanswerable Arcana, or the Principles of the Late Petitioners to Parliament for Relief in the matter of Subscription. In 1776 was published A Plea for the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in a Pastoral Letter to a Congregation of Protestant Dissenters at Cambridge. Dignitaries and divines of the Church of England united with Nonconformists in lauding this exceptionally able, scholarly, and pungently written book. In 1777 followed his History and Mystery of Good Friday. The former work brought him urgent invitations to enter the ministry of the Church of England, but he never faltered in his Nonconformity. In 1781 he was asked by the Baptists of London to prepare a history of their branch of the Christian Church. This resulted, in 1790, in his History of Baptism and Baptists, and in 1792, in his Ecclesiastical Researches. Other theological works are included in the several collective editions of his writings. He was prematurely worn out. He retired in 1790 to Birmingham, where he was somehow brought into contact with Dr. Priestley, and Unitarians have made much of this, on exceedingly slender grounds. He died June 9, 1790. His Life has been fully written by Dyer and by William Robinson respectively, both with a bias against orthodoxy. His three changes of ecclesiastical relationship show that he was somewhat unstable and impulsive. His hymns are terse yet melodious, evangelical but not sentimental, and on the whole well wrought. His prose has all…that vehement and enthusiastic glow of passion that belongs to the orator. (Cf. Dyer and Robinson as above, and Gadsby's Memoirs of Hymn-Writers(3rd ed., 1861); Belcher's Historical Sketches of Hymns; Millers Singers and Songs of the Church; Flower's Robinson's Miscellaneous Works; Annual Review, 1805, p. 464; Eclectic Review, Sept. 1861. [Rev. A. B. Grosart, D.D., LL.D.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

J. Hart

1712 - 1768 Person Name: Joseph Hart Hymnal Number: d28 Author of "Come ye [you] sinners, poor and wretched [needy], Weak and wounded" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Hart, Joseph, was born in London in 1712. His early life is involved in obscurity. His education was fairly good; and from the testimony of his brother-in-law, and successor in the ministry in Jewin Street, the Rev. John Hughes, "his civil calling was" for some time "that of a teacher of the learned languages." His early life, according to his own Experience which he prefaced to his Hymns, was a curious mixture of loose conduct, serious conviction of sin, and endeavours after amendment of life, and not until Whitsuntide, 1757, did he realize a permanent change, which was brought about mainly through his attending divine service at the Moravian Chapel, in Fetter Lane, London, and hearing a sermon on Rev. iii. 10. During the next two years many of his most earnest and impassioned hymns were written. These appeared as:— Hymns composed on Various Subjects, with the Author's Experience, London, 1759. During this year he became the Minister of the Independent Chapel, Jewin Street, London. In 1762 he added a Supplement to his Hymns; and in 1765 an Appendix. In modern editions of his Hymns these three are embodied in one volume as:— Hymns composed on Various Subjects: With the Author's Experience, The Supplement and Appendix. By the Rev. Joseph Hart, late Minister of the Gospel in Jewin Street, London. Allott & Co. [no date]. Hart died on May 24, 1768. At one time his hymns were widely used, especially by Calvinistic Nonconformists. Many of them are of merit, and are marked by great earnestness, and passionate love of the Redeemer. The best known are: “Come, Holy Spirit, come"; “Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched"; "This God is the God we adore"; and "Lord, look on all assembled here." Those which are more limited in their use include:— i. From his Hymns, &c, 1759. 1. Descend from heaven, celestial Dove. Whitsuntide. No. 6, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines. In Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory., 1872, No. 374, st. iv., v. are omitted. It is in extensive use in America. 2. Great High Priest, we view Thee stooping. High Priesthood of Christ. No. 56, pt. ii., in 3 stanzas of 8 lines. In Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 236; Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, No. 435, &c. 8. How wondrous are the works of God. Redeeming Love. No. 21, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines. In the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, st. i.-iv. are given as No. 11. 4. If ever it could come to pass. Final Perseverance. No. 58, in 3 stanzas of 6 lines. Repeated in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 729. 6. Jesus is our God and Saviour . Faith and Repentance. No. 54, in 7 stanzas of 8 lines. In Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 146, st. iv. is omitted. In the London Hymn Book (enlarged), 1879, st. iii. and v. are given as "Nothing but Thy blood, 0 Jesus." 6. Jesus, while He dwelt below. Gethsemane. No. 75, in 23 stanzas of 6 lines. In Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 230, sixteen stanzas are broken up into three parts: (i.) "Jesus, while He dwelt below"; (ii.) "Full of love to man's lost race"; (iii.) "There my God bore all my guilt." A cento is also given in Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, No. 441, as "Many woes had Christ [He] endured." It is composed of st. viii., ix., xiii., xx., xxiii., slightly altered. In the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, No. 34, 8 stanzas are given in two parts: pt. i. as, "Jesus, while He dwelt below"; pt. ii. "Eden from each flowery bed." 7. Lamb of God, we fall before Thee. Christ All in All. No. 17 in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. It is in various collections, and as altered in Kennedy , 1863, No. 1171, is much improved. 8. Let us all with grateful praises. Christmas. No. 14 in 7 stanzas of 8 lines. In Spurgeon's 0ur Own Hymn Book, 1866, it is reduced to 4 stanzas of 4 lines. 9. Lord, look on all assembled here. For a Public Fast. No. 96, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. It is in several of the older hymnbooks. 10. Lord, we lie before Thy feet. Lent. No. 74, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, and based on 2 Chron. xx. 20. In Spurgeon's 0ur Own Hymn Book, 1866, stanza i., iii., vi. are given as No. 585. 11. Mercy is welcome news indeed. God's Mercy in pardoning Sin. No. 51, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, on St. Luke vii. 42. In Spurgeon, 1866, No. 544. 12. Much we talk of Jesu's blood. Passiontide. No. 41, in 4 st. of 8 lines, on Lam. i. 12. In Spurgeon, 1866, it is abridged to 4 stanzas of 4 lines. 13. Bow from the garden to the cross. Good Friday. No. 63, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "The Crucifixion." In Spurgeon, 1866, No. 274, st. ii.-v., vi.-ix. are given as "See how the patient Jesus stands." 14. The Fountain of Christ Assist me to sing. The Fountain. No. 86, in 8 stanzas of 8 lines on Zech. xiii. 1. In Spurgeon, 1866, st. i., v., vii., viii., are given as No. 375. 15. The moon and stars shall lose their light. Advent. No. 48, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, on St. Matt. xxiv. 35. In Spurgeon, 1866. 16. The sinner that truly believes. Saving Faith. No. 88, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "Saving Faith" In Spurgeon, 1866, No. 533, st. ii. is omitted, and the opening line is altered to "The moment a sinner believes." ii. From his Supplement, 1762. 17. Behold what awful pomp. Advent. No. 52, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. It is usually abridged as in the American Methodist Episcopal Hymns, 1849, No. 1107. 18. Christ is the Eternal Rock. The Offices of Christ. No. 27, in 6 stanzas of 8 lines. In Windle's Metrical Psalter & Hymnal, 1862, stanzas i., ii., v. are given as No. 53. 19. Christians, dismiss your fear. Easter. No. 33, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines into Dr. Alexander's Augustine Hymn Book, 1849, No. 79, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. 20. Dismiss us with Thy blessing, Lord. Close of Service. No. 78, in 2 stanzas of 4 lines. In a few collections. 21. Gird thy loins up, Christian soldier. The Christian Armour . No. 29, in 5 stanzas of 8 lines, on Eph. vi. 11. Found in several of the older, and a few of the modern collections. 22. Glory to God on high, Our peace, &c. Holy Communion. No. 3, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. In Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, No. 704, st. v., vi. are omitted. 23. Holy Ghost, inspire our praises. On behalf of Ministers. No. 77, in 5 stanzas of 8 lines. In the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, No. 412, st. iii.-v. are given as, "Happy soul that hears and follows." 24. Jesus once for sinners slain. Holy Communion. No. 18, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. In American use. 25. Lord, help us on Thy word to feed. Close of Service. No. 80, in 2 stanzas of 4 lines. In several modern hymnbooks. 26. O for a glance of heavenly day. Lent. No. 64, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. In Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, and other American collections it is usually repeated in full. In Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833, it was given as, "Lord, shed a beam of heavenly day," and this is repeated in modern hymnbooks. 27. Once more before we part. Close of Service. No. 79, in 2 stanzas of 4 lines. Popular in Great Britain and America. 28. Once more we come before our God. Before a Sermon. No. 21, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, into Hatfield, 1872, No. 111, and others. 29. Sons of God by bless'd adoption. Burial. No. 45, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, into Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 981, as "Sons of God by blest adoption." 30. Suffering Saviour, Lamb of God . Holy Communion. No. 14, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. In W. F. Stevenson's Hymns for Church & Home, 1873, st. iii., vii. are omitted. 31. That doleful night before His death. Holy Communion. No. 17, in 2 stanzas of 8 lines. In the Scottish Evangelical Union Hymnal, 1878, st. i. 11. 4-8, and st. ii., are given as, "To keep Thy Feast, Lord, we are met." iii. From his Appendix, 1765. 32. Christians, in your several stations. Christian Duty. No. 7, in 5 stanzas of 6 lines. It is slightly altered in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 742, and dated 1759 in error. 33. Prayer was [is] appointed to convey. Prayer. No. 12 in 6 stanzas of 4 lines into Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 542, with alterations and the omission of st. ii., v. In some American collections it begins, "Prayer is to God, the soul's sure way." --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ======================= Hart, Joseph, p. 492, ii. Other hymns in common use are— 1. The blest memorials of Thy grief (1762). Holy Communion. 2. To comprehend the great Three-One (1759). Holy Trinity. 3. Vain man, thy fond pursuits forbear (1759). Death. 4. When the blest day of Pentecost (1759). Whitsuntide. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Reginald Heber

1783 - 1826 Hymnal Number: d36 Author of "Brightest and best of the sons of the morning" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995 ==================== Heber, Reginald, D.D. Born at Malpas, April 21, 1783, educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; Vicar of Hodnet, 1807; Bishop of Calcutta, 1823; died at Trichinopoly, India, April 3, 1826. The gift of versification shewed itself in Heber's childhood; and his Newdigate prize poem Palestine, which was read to Scott at breakfast in his rooms at Brazenose, Oxford, and owed one of its most striking passages to Scott's suggestion, is almost the only prize poem that has won a permanent place in poetical literature. His sixteen years at Hodnet, where he held a halfway position between a parson and a squire, were marked not only by his devoted care of his people, as a parish priest, but by literary work. He was the friend of Milman, Gifford, Southey, and others, in the world of letters, endeared to them by his candour, gentleness, "salient playfulness," as well as learning and culture. He was on the original staff of The Quarterly Review; Bampton Lecturer (1815); and Preacher at Lincoln's Inn (1822). His edition of Jeremy Taylor is still the classic edition. During this portion of his life he had often had a lurking fondness for India, had traced on the map Indian journeys, and had been tempted to wish himself Bishop of Calcutta. When he was forty years old the literary life was closed by his call to the Episcopate. No memory of Indian annals is holier than that of the three years of ceaseless travel, splendid administration, and saintly enthusiasm, of his tenure of the see of Calcutta. He ordained the first Christian native—Christian David. His first visitation ranged through Bengal, Bombay, and Ceylon; and at Delhi and Lucknow he was prostrated with fever. His second visitation took him through the scenes of Schwartz's labours in Madras Presidency to Trichinopoly, where on April 3,1826, he confirmed forty-two persons, and he was deeply moved by the impression of the struggling mission, so much so that “he showed no appearance of bodily exhaus¬tion." On his return from the service ”He retired into his own room, and according to his invariable custom, wrote on the back of the address on Confirmation 'Trichinopoly, April 3, 1826.' This was his last act, for immediately on taking off his clothes, he went into a large cold bath, where he had bathed the two preceding mornings, but which was now the destined agent of his removal to Paradise. Half an hour after, his servant, alarmed at his long absence, entered the room and found him a lifeless corpse." Life, &c, 1830, vol. ii. p. 437. Heber's hymns were all written during the Hodnet period. Even the great missionary hymn, "From Greenland's icy mountains," notwithstanding the Indian allusions ("India's coral strand," "Ceylon's isle"), was written before he received the offer of Calcutta. The touching funeral hymn, "Thou art gone to the grave," was written on the loss of his first babe, which was a deep grief to him. Some of the hymns were published (1811-16) in the Christian Observer, the rest were not published till after his death. They formed part of a ms. collection made for Hodnet (but not published), which contained, besides a few hymns from older and special sources, contributions by Milman. The first idea of the collection appears in a letter in 1809 asking for a copy of the Olney Hymns, which he "admired very much." The plan was to compose hymns connected with the Epistles and Gospels, to be sung after the Nicene Creed. He was the first to publish sermons on the Sunday services (1822), and a writer in The Guardian has pointed out that these efforts of Heber were the germs of the now familiar practice, developed through the Christian Year (perhaps following Ken's Hymns on the Festivals), and by Augustus Hare, of welding together sermon, hymnal, and liturgy. Heber tried to obtain from Archbishop Manners Sutton and the Bishop of London (1820) authorization of his ms. collection of hymns by the Church, enlarging on the "powerful engine" which hymns were among Dissenters, and the irregular use of them in the church, which it was impossible to suppress, and better to regulate. The authorization was not granted. The lyric spirit of Scott and Byron passed into our hymns in Heber's verse; imparting a fuller rhythm to the older measures, as illustrated by "Oh, Saviour, is Thy promise fled," or the martial hymn, "The Son of God goes forth to war;" pressing into sacred service the freer rhythms of contemporary poetry (e.g. "Brightest and best of the sons of the morning"; "God that madest earth and heaven"); and aiming at consistent grace of literary expression.. Their beauties and faults spring from this modern spirit. They have not the scriptural strength of our best early hymns, nor the dogmatic force of the best Latin ones. They are too flowing and florid, and the conditions of hymn composition are not sufficiently understood. But as pure and graceful devotional poetry, always true and reverent, they are an unfailing pleasure. The finest of them is that majestic anthem, founded on the rhythm of the English Bible, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty." The greatest evidence of Heber's popularity as a hymnwriter, and his refined taste as a compiler, is found in the fact that the total contents of his ms. collection which were given in his posthumous Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year. London, J. Murray, 1827; which included 57 hymns by Heber, 12 by Milman, and 29 by other writers, are in common in Great Britain and America at the present time. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] Of Bishop Heber's hymns, about one half are annotated under their respective first lines. Those given below were published in Heber's posthumous Hymns, &c, 1827. Some of them are in extensive use in Great Britain and America; but as they possess no special histories they are grouped together as from the Hymns, &c, 1827:— 1. Beneath our feet, and o'er our head. Burial. 2. Creator of the rolling flood. St. Peter's Day, or, Gospel for 6th Sunday after Trinity. 3. Lo, the lilies of the field. Teachings of Nature: or, Gospel for 15th Sunday after Trinity. 4. 0 God, by Whom the seed is given. Sexagesima. 6. 0 God, my sins are manifold. Forgiveness, or, Gospel for 22nd S. after Trinity. 6. 0 hand of bounty, largely spread. Water into Wine, or, Gospel for 2nd S. after Epiphany. 7. 0 King of earth, and air, and sea. Feeding the Multitude; or, Gospel for 4th S. in Lent. 8. 0 more than merciful, Whose bounty gave. Good Friday. 9. 0 most merciful! 0 most bountiful. Introit Holy Communion. 10. 0 Thou, Whom neither time nor space. God unsearchable, or, Gospel for 5th Sunday in Lent. 11. 0 weep not o'er thy children's tomb. Innocents Day. 12. Room for the proud! Ye sons of clay. Dives and Lazarus, or, Gospel for 1st Sunday after Trinity. 13. Sit thou on my right hand, my Son, saith the Lord. Ascension. 14. Spirit of truth, on this thy day. Whit-Sunday. 15. The feeble pulse, the gasping breath. Burial, or, Gospel for 1st S. after Trinity. 16. The God of glory walks His round. Septuagesima, or, the Labourers in the Marketplace. 17. The sound of war in earth and air. Wrestling against Principalities and Powers, or, Epistle for 2lst Sunday after Trinity. 18. The world is grown old, her pleasures are past. Advent; or, Epistle for 4th Sunday in Advent. 19. There was joy in heaven. The Lost Sheep; or, Gospel for 3rd S. after Trinity. 20. Though sorrows rise and dangers roll. St. James's Day. 21. To conquer and to save, the Son of God. Christ the Conqueror. 22. Virgin-born, we bow before Thee. The Virgin Mary. Blessed amongst women, or, Gospel for 3rd S. in Lent. 23. Wake not, 0 mother, sounds of lamentation. Raising the Widow's Son, or, Gospel for 16th S. after Trinity. 24. When on her Maker's bosom. Holy Matrimony, or, Gospel for 2nd S. after Epiphany. 25. When through the torn sail the wild tempest is streaming. Stilling the Sea, or, Gospel for 4th Sunday after Epiphany. 26. Who yonder on the desert heath. The Good Samaritan, or, Gospel for 13th Sunday after Trinity. This list is a good index of the subjects treated of in those of Heber's hymns which are given under their first lines, and shows that he used the Gospels far more than the Epistles in his work. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

William Cowper

1731 - 1800 Hymnal Number: d38 Author of "Hark, my soul, it is the Lord" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25, 1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hastings, Colman, and the future model of his versification. Churchill, among his contemporaries or friends. Destined for the Bar, he was articled to a solicitor, along with Thurlow. During this period he fell in love with his cousin, Theodora Cowper, sister to Lady Hesketh, and wrote love poems to her. The marriage was forbidden by her father, but she never forgot him, and in after years secretly aided his necessities. Fits of melancholy, from which he had suffered in school days, began to increase, as he entered on life, much straitened in means after his father's death. But on the whole, it is the playful, humorous side of him that is most prominent in the nine years after his call to the Bar; spent in the society of Colman, Bonnell Thornton, and Lloyd, and in writing satires for The Connoisseur and St. James's Chronicle and halfpenny ballads. Then came the awful calamity, which destroyed all hopes of distinction, and made him a sedentary invalid, dependent on his friends. He had been nominated to the Clerkship of the Journals of the House of Lords, but the dread of appearing before them to show his fitness for the appointment overthrew his reason. He attempted his life with "laudanum, knife and cord,"—-in the third attempt nearly succeeding. The dark delusion of his life now first showed itself—a belief in his reprobation by God. But for the present, under the wise and Christian treatment of Dr. Cotton (q. v.) at St. Albans, it passed away; and the eight years that followed, of which the two first were spent at Huntingdon (where he formed his lifelong friendship with Mrs. Unwin), and the remainder at Olney in active piety among the poor, and enthusiastic devotions under the guidance of John Newton (q. v.), were full of the realisation of God's favour, and the happiest, most lucid period of his life. But the tension of long religious exercises, the nervous excitement of leading at prayer meetings, and the extreme despondence (far more than the Calvinism) of Newton, could scarcely have been a healthy atmosphere for a shy, sensitive spirit, that needed most of all the joyous sunlight of Christianity. A year after his brother's death, madness returned. Under the conviction that it was the command of God, he attempted suicide; and he then settled down into a belief in stark contradiction to his Calvinistic creed, "that the Lord, after having renewed him in holiness, had doomed him to everlasting perdition" (Southey). In its darkest form his affliction lasted sixteen months, during which he chiefly resided in J. Newton's house, patiently tended by him and by his devoted nurse, Mrs. Unwin. Gradually he became interested in carpentering, gardening, glazing, and the tendance of some tame hares and other playmates. At the close of 1780, Mrs. Unwin suggested to him some serious poetical work; and the occupation proved so congenial, that his first volume was published in 1782. To a gay episode in 1783 (his fascination by the wit of Lady Austen) his greatest poem, The Task, and also John Gilpin were owing. His other principal work was his Homer, published in 1791. The dark cloud had greatly lifted from his life when Lady Hesketh's care accomplished his removal to Weston (1786): but the loss of his dear friend William Unwin lowered it again for some months. The five years' illness of Mrs. Unwin, during which his nurse of old became his tenderly-watched patient, deepened the darkness more and more. And her death (1796) brought “fixed despair," of which his last poem, The Castaway, is the terrible memorial. Perhaps no more beautiful sentence has been written of him, than the testimony of one, who saw him after death, that with the "composure and calmness" of the face there “mingled, as it were, a holy surprise." Cowper's poetry marks the dawn of the return from the conventionality of Pope to natural expression, and the study of quiet nature. His ambition was higher than this, to be the Bard of Christianity. His great poems show no trace of his monomania, and are full of healthy piety. His fame as a poet is less than as a letter-writer: the charm of his letters is unsurpassed. Though the most considerable poet, who has written hymns, he has contributed little to the development of their structure, adopting the traditional modes of his time and Newton's severe canons. The spiritual ideas of the hymns are identical with Newton's: their highest note is peace and thankful contemplation, rather than joy: more than half of them are full of trustful or reassuring faith: ten of them are either submissive (44), self-reproachful (17, 42, 43), full of sad yearning (1, 34), questioning (9), or dark spiritual conflict (38-40). The specialty of Cowper's handling is a greater plaintiveness, tenderness, and refinement. A study of these hymns as they stood originally under the classified heads of the Olney Hymns, 1779, which in some cases probably indicate the aim of Cowper as well as the ultimate arrangement of the book by Newton, shows that one or two hymns were more the history of his conversion, than transcripts of present feelings; and the study of Newton's hymns in the same volume, full of heavy indictment against the sins of his own regenerate life, brings out the peculiar danger of his friendship to the poet: it tends also to modify considerably the conclusions of Southey as to the signs of incipient madness in Cowper's maddest hymns. Cowper's best hymns are given in The Book of Praise by Lord Selborne. Two may be selected from them; the exquisitely tender "Hark! my soul, it is the Lord" (q. v.), and "Oh, for a closer walk with God" (q. v.). Anyone who knows Mrs. Browning's noble lines on Cowper's grave will find even a deeper beauty in the latter, which is a purely English hymn of perfect structure and streamlike cadence, by connecting its sadness and its aspiration not only with the “discord on the music" and the "darkness on the glory," but the rapture of his heavenly waking beneath the "pathetic eyes” of Christ. Authorities. Lives, by Hayley; Grimshaw; Southey; Professor Goldwin Smith; Mr. Benham (attached to Globe Edition); Life of Newton, by Rev. Josiah Bull; and the Olney Hymns. The numbers of the hymns quoted refer to the Olney Hymns. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================ Cowper, W. , p. 265, i. Other hymns are:— 1. Holy Lord God, I love Thy truth. Hatred of Sin. 2. I was a grovelling creature once. Hope and Confidence. 3. No strength of nature can suffice. Obedience through love. 4. The Lord receives His highest praise. Faith. 5. The saints should never be dismayed. Providence. All these hymns appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907) ===================== Cowper, W., p. 265, i. Prof. John E. B. Mayor, of Cambridge, contributed some letters by Cowper, hitherto unpublished, together with notes thereon, to Notes and Queries, July 2 to Sept. 24, 1904. These letters are dated from Huntingdon, where he spent two years after leaving St. Alban's (see p. 265, i.), and Olney. The first is dated "Huntingdon, June 24, 1765," and the last "From Olney, July 14, 1772." They together with extracts from other letters by J. Newton (dated respectively Aug. 8, 1772, Nov. 4, 1772), two quotations without date, followed by the last in the N. & Q. series, Aug. 1773, are of intense interest to all students of Cowper, and especially to those who have given attention to the religious side of the poet's life, with its faint lights and deep and awful shadows. From the hymnological standpoint the additional information which we gather is not important, except concerning the hymns "0 for a closer walk with God," "God moves in a mysterious way," "Tis my happiness below," and "Hear what God, the Lord, hath spoken." Concerning the last three, their position in the manuscripts, and the date of the last from J. Newton in the above order, "Aug. 1773," is conclusive proof against the common belief that "God moves in a mysterious way" was written as the outpouring of Cowper's soul in gratitude for the frustration of his attempted suicide in October 1773. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

John Fawcett

1740 - 1817 Hymnal Number: d44 Author of "How did the powers of darkness rage" in Conference Hymns, Selected and Original. 3rd ed. Fawcett, John, D.D., was born Jan. 6, 1739 or 1740, at Lidget Green, near Bradford, Yorks. Converted at the age of sixteen under the ministry of G. Whitefield, he at first joined the Methodists, but three years later united with the Baptist Church at Bradford. Having begun to preach he was, in 1765, ordained Baptist minister at Wainsgate, near Hebden Bridge, Yorks. In 1772 he was invited to London, to succeed the celebrated Dr. J. Gill, as pastor of Carter's Lane; the invitation had been formally accepted, the farewell sermon at Wainsgate had been preached and the wagons loaded with his goods for removal, when the love and tears of his attached people prevailed and he decided to remain. In 1777 a new chapel was built for him at Hebden Bridge, and about the same time he opened a school at Brearley Hall, his place of residence. In 1793 he was invited to become President of the Baptist Academy at Bristol, but declined. In 1811 he received from America the degree of D.D., and died in 1817, at the age of 78. Dr. Fawcett was the author of a number of prose works on Practical Religion, several of which attained a large circulation. His poetical publications are:— (1) Poetic Essays, 1767; (2) The Christian's Humble Plea, a Poem, in answer to Dr. Priestley against the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1772; (3) Three hymns, in the Gospel Magazine, 1777; (4) The Death of Eumenio, a Divine Poem, 1779; (5) Another poem, suggested by the decease of a friend, The Reign of Death, 1780; and (6) Hymns adapted to the circumstances of Public Worship and Private Devotion, Leeds, G. Wright & Son. 1782. They are 166 in number, and were mostly composed to be sung after sermons by the author. Whilst not attaining a high degree of excellence as poetry, they are "eminently spiritual and practical," and a number of them are found in all the Baptist and Congregational hymn-books that have appeared during the last 100 years. The best known of these are, “Infinite excellence is Thine;" "How precious is the Book divine;" "Thus far my God hath led me on;" "Religion is the chief concern;" "Blest be the tie that binds;" “I my Ebenezer raise;" and "Praise to Thee, Thou great Creator." These hymns, together with others by Fawcett, are annotated under their respective first lines. [Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A.] In addition the following hymns, also by Fawcett, but of less importance, are in common use: 1. Behold the sin-atoning Lamb. Passiontide. No. 60 of his Hymns, 1782, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. In several hymnals in Great Britain and America. 2. I my Ebenezer raise. Birthday. No. 102 of his Hymns, in 10 stanzas of 4 lines. Usually given in an abbreviated form. 3. Infinite excellence is Thine. Jesus the Desire of Nations. No. 42 of his Hymns, in 12 stanzas of 4 lines. In several hymn-books in Great Britain and America in an abridged form. 4. Jesus, the heavenly Lover, gave. Redemption in Christ. No. 10 of his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "The marriage between Christ and the Soul." In Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, it reads, “Jesus, the heavenly Bridegroom, gave," and stanza v. is omitted. 5. Lord, hast Thou made me know Thy ways? Perseverance. No. 122 of his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 8 stanza of 4 lines. In the Baptist Hymnal, 1879, No. 451, stanzas iv.-vii. are omitted. 6. 0 God, my Helper, ever near. New Year. No. 108 of his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. The New Congregational Hymn Book, 1859-69 omits st. vi. 7. 0, my soul, what means this sadness? Sorrow turned to Joy. No. 111 of his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 5 stanzas of 6 lines, and based upon the words, "Why art Thou cast down, O my soul?" &c. It is in common use in America, and usually with the omission of stanza ii. as in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872. 8. Sinners, the voice of God regard. Invitation to Repentance. No. 63 of his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines on Isaiah lv. 7, "Let the wicked forsake his way," &c. It is in common use in America, but usually in an abbreviated form. 9. Thy presence, gracious God, afford. Before Sermon. No 165 in his Hymns, &c., in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and a chorus of two lines. In Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymnbook, 1872, No. 126, the chorus is omitted. Fawcett has another hymn on the same subject (No. 79) and beginning, "Thy blessing, gracious God, afford," but this is not in common use. 10. Thy way, 0 God, is in the sea. Imperfect Knowledge of God. No. 66 in his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines on 1 Corinthians xiii. 9, "We know in part," &c. It is in several American collections, usually abbreviated, and sometimes as, "Thy way, O Lord, is in the sea." In this form it is in The Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, &c. 11. With humble heart and tongue. Prayer for Guidance in Youth. No. 86 in his Hymns, &c., 1782, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines on Psalms cxix. 9. "Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way." It is No. 954 in the Baptist Psalms and Hymns, 1858-80. About 20 of Fawcett's hymns are thus still in common use. Two hymns which have been ascribed to him from time to time, but concerning which there are some doubts, are fully annotated under their respective first lines. These are," Humble souls that seek salvation," and "Lord, dismiss us with Thy blessing." -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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