Gently, my [Father] Saviour, let me down. R. Hill. [Death anticipated.] In the Life of the Rev. Rowland Hill, M.A., by the Rev. Edwin Sidney, 1834, Mr. Sidney says, in describing the death of Mr. Hill, "Sometimes he repeated the first verse of his own beautiful hymn, ”Gently, my Saviour, let me down"; but he does not indicate where the full text could be found, nor the date of its composition. Dr. Hatfield in his American Church Hymn Book, 1872, No. 1357, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, dates it 1832, that is, the year before Mr. Hill's death. In the American Church Praise Book, N.Y., 1882, No. 655, it is dated 1796. This is certainly an error. The hymn is essentially an old man's hymn, and Dr. Hatfield's date is consistent with this fact. The hymn was given in 3 stanzas of 4 lines in the American Universalists' Hymns for Christian Devotion, 1846, No. 536, as "Gently, my Father, let me down."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Gently, my Saviour, let me down , p. 409, i. This hymn was first printed in E. Sidney's Life of Rowland Hill , 1834, p. 404, and to it he adds the following note:— "This hymn was written by Mr. Hill for the comfort of a dying member of his Surrey Chapel congregation, who received it a few hours before death. I found it amongst his papers, in his own handwriting, and I believe it never has been printed. It is called 'The Prayer of the Dying Christian.'" The hymn is in 8 stanzas of 4 lines.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)