Hastings, Thomas, MUS. DOC., son of Dr. Seth Hastings, was born at Washington, Lichfield County, Connecticut, October 15, 1784. In 1786, his father moved to Clinton, Oneida Co., N. Y. There, amid rough frontier life, his opportunities for education were small; but at an early age he developed a taste for music, and began teaching it in 1806. Seeking a wider field, he went, in 1817, to Troy, then to Albany, and in 1823 to Utica, where he conducted a religious journal, in which he advocated his special views on church music. In 1832 he was called to New York to assume the charge of several Church Choirs, and there his last forty years were spent in great and increasing usefulness and repute. He died at New York, May 15, 1872. His aim was the… Go to person page >
Return, 0 wanderer, to thy home, p. 494, ii. 16. In the 1889 Supplemental Hymns to Hymns Ancient & Modern, No. C28, the first stanza of this hymn by Dr. Hastings is given as stanza i., and the remaining stanzas ii.-vi. are by the Rev. A. G. Purchas of Auckland, New Zealand, and musical editor of the New Zealand Hymnal. Mr. Purchas wrote those stanzas during the Mission held by Messrs. Bodington and Mason, in New Zealand in 1886. The hymn in this form was printed as a leaflet for use in the Mission.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)