James Bowring was born at Exeter, in 1792. He possessed at an early age a remarkable power of attaining languages, and acquired some reputation by his metrical translations of foreign poems. He became editor of "The Westminster Review" in 1825, and was elected to Parliament in 1835. In 1849, he was appointed Consul at Canton, and in 1854, was made Governor of Hong Kong, and received the honour of knighthood. He is the author of some important works on politics and travel, and is the recipient of several testimonials from foreign governments and societies. His poems and hymns have also added to his reputation. His "Matins and Vespers" have passed through many editions. In religion he is a Unitarian.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charl… Go to person page >
How sweetly flowed the Gospel's sound. Sir J. Bowring. [Jesus the Teacher.] Published in his Matins and Vespers, &c, 2nd edition, 1824, p. 234, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Jesus teaching the people." In 1837 it was included in Beard's Unitarian Collection, No. 121, and subsequently in a number of hymn-books, especially modern American collections. Original text in Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884, with, in stanza i., line 4, “And joy and gladness" for “And joy and reverence."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)