Now let Thy servant die in peace. [Nunc Dimittis.] In the 1745 Draft of the Translations and Paraphrases of the Church of Scotland, the following paraphrase of Simeon's Song appeared:—
i. "Now let thy Servant die in Peace,
from this vain World dismist:
I've seen thy great salvation, Lord:
and hasten to my Rest.
2. “Thy long-expected Grace, disclos'd
before the People's View,
Hath prov'd thy Love was constant still,
and promises were true.
3. "This is the Sun, whose cheering Rays.
through Gentile Darkness spread,
Pour Glory round thy chosen Race,
and Blessings on their Head."
The author of this paraphrase is unknown. A second Paraphrase of the same passage, beginning, "When Jesus, by the Virgin brought” appeared in John Logan's Poems, 1781, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. This text is given in full in Dr. Grosart's Works of M. Bruce, 1865, pp. 135-6. For reasons assigned in the memoir of M. Bruce in this work, we regard this paraphrase as the work of Bruce, possibly with a few alterations by Logan. During the same year, 1781, the authorized Translations and Paraphrases of the Church of Scotland were published. In them, as No. 38, is a paraphrase of Simeon's Song, in 11 stanzas of 4 lines, "Just and devout old Simeon liv'd." This is thus composed:—
Stanzas i.-iii. First given in the Draft of 1781.
Stanzas iv.-vi. From the paraphrase as given in Logan's Poems.
Stanza vii. New, in Draft of 1781.
Stanza viii. Based on 1745 text as above.
Stanza ix. From the paraphrase in Logan's Poems.
Stanzas x., xi. Based on 1745 text as above.
This arrangement was made, according to the markings by the daughter of W. Cameron, by J. Logan. In Miss J. E. Leeson's Psalms & Hymns, &c, 1853, No. lxviii., the hymn beginning, "Now lettest Thou Thy servant, Lord," in 16 lines, is based upon stanzas viii., ix., and xi. of the 1781 text as above. It is by Miss Leeson, as is also the second hymn on the same subject, "Behold, according to Thy word."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)