Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. H… Go to person page >
From Egypt lately come. T. Kelly. [Seeking a Better Country.] First published in his Collection of Psalms & Hymns extracted from Various Authors, with an Appendix, 1802, No. 250, in 7 stanzas of 6 lines. It was repeated in the numerous editions of his Hymns on Various Passages of Scripture, &c, from the first, 1804, to the latest, 1853. It is rarely given in its original and full form. The version, "From Egypt's bondage come," appeared in Cotterill’s Selection, 8th edition, 1819, and was repeated in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825. It came into general use, and is a popular form of the hymn. Other altered texts are in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833; Hall's Mitre, 1836; the Society for Promoting Christian Knolwedge Church Hymns, 1871, &c. These begin with the same first line as in Cotterill, but differ somewhat in the body of the text. The same differences are repeated in the American collections, but most of these are in error as to date. In a few hymn-books the hymn opens with stanza ii., "To Canaan's sacred bound," as in the Marylebone Psalms & Hymns, 1851.
Although this tune is widely attributed to Isaac Smith and was published in Smiths Collection of Psalm Tunes, London, ca. 1780, Smith does not claim to be the composer. The tune also appeared in other books of similar or earlier date. Southern Harmony, 1835 attributes the tune to J. Street.
- From T…