Longfellow, Samuel, B. A., brother of the Poet, was born at Portland, Maine, June 18, 1819, and educated at Harvard, where he graduated in Arts in 1839, and in Theology in 1846. On receiving ordination as an Unitarian Minister, he became Pastor at Fall River, Massachusetts, 1848; at Brooklyn, 1853; and at Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1860. In 1846 he edited, with the Rev. S. Johnson (q. v.), A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion. This collection was enlarged and revised in 1848. In 1859 his Vespers was published, and in 1864 the Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit , under the joint editorship of the Rev. S. Johnson and himself. His Life of his brother, the Poet Longfellow, was published in 1886. To the works named he contributed the follow… Go to person page >
Father, give Thy benediction. [Close of Divine Service.] Given anonymously in 1 stanza of 8 lines, in Longfellow and Johnson's Hymns of the Spirit, Boston, U.S.A., 1861, No. 127, and in the Boston Hymn and Tune Book, 1868.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)
VESPER HYMN appeared in John A. Stevenson's Selection of Popular National Airs (1818) as a setting for Thomas Moore's "Hark! The Vesper Hymn Is Stealing." A footnote in that hymnal explained that Stevenson had added what is-now the first line of the retrain to a "Russian Air." Some later hymnals att…