John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly temperament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >
God hath two families of love. J. M. Neale. [Evening.] First published as an "Evening Hymn "in his Hymns for Children, 1st series, 1842, No. xiv., in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, the doxology being Bishop Ken's "Praise God from whom," &c. The form in which it appeared in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns has been adopted for "the correction of the popular error that the faithful departed are now reigning in heaven " (Ellerton's Notes on Church Hymns 1881). The alterations made on this account in the Church Hymns text are so many and important that practically, both in form and in doctrine, it is almost a new hymn. Most of these changes are due to the compilers of that collection. The original is also in common use in Great Britain and America.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)