Ryland, John, D.D., son of Rev. John Collett Ryland, was born at Warwick, Jan. 29, 1753. At that time his father was Baptist minister at Warwick, but in 1759 removed to Northampton. "J. Ryland, junior," as for many years he was accustomed to subscribe himself, was in 1781 ordained co-pastor with his father at Northampton. In 1794 he accepted the presidency of the Baptist College and the pastorate of the church in Broadmead, Bristol, and these offices he retained until his death on June 25, 1825. Dr. Ryland was a man of considerable literary culture, and received the degree of D.D. from Brown University, Rhode Island. He was one of the founders of the Baptist Missionary Society, and for the three years following the death of Rev. A. Fuller,… Go to person page >
Lord, teach a little child to pray. Thy grace betimes, &c. J. Ryland. [A Child's Prayer.] This simple prayer for a child's use is the most popular and widely used of Dr. Ryland's hymns. From his Memoirs of Andrew Fuller, 1831, pp. 442 and 453, we find that this hymn, and another, beginning "God is very good to me," wore written by him at the request of Mrs. Fuller for the use of her child Sarah, who died May 30, 1786, aged 6 years and 6 months. In some of the numerous collections in which it is found it is erroneously attributed to "Jane Taylor." The Taylor hymn opens with the same line, but the second is "And then accept my prayer."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)