Butcher, Edmund, born at Colchester, Essex, in 1757, and brought up as a linen-draper. After undergoing a preliminary training for the Unitarian Ministry, he was appointed to the charge of Leather Lane Chapel, Holborn, in 1789. From thence he removed to Sidbury Vale, Sidmouth, in 1798. Died April 14, 1822. Memoir in the Christian Moderator, 1827. His works include Picture of Sidmouth; Tour through various parts of England; Sermons, to which are added suitable Hymns, 1798; and the Substance of the Holy Scriptures Methodized, 1801. His hymns were given in the two latter works, in the Protestant Dissenters’ Magazine (of which he was some time editor); in Kippis's Collection, 1795; the Christian Guardian, 1802-1808; Aspland's Selection, 1810… Go to person page >
Great God, as seasons disappear. E. Butcher. [Harvest.] This hymn is adapted to Sermon xvi., in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, in his Sermons to which are added suitable Hymns, 1798. It is found in two forms, the first chiefly in the Nonconformist collections, including Baptist Psalms and Hymns, 1858; Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book, 1866, No. 1033, and others; and the second in several hymn-books in the Church of England. The text in the latter, as found in Bp. Bickersteth's Psalms & Hymns, 1858; Harland's Church Psalter, &c, is much altered, and dates from Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)