Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >
Apparebit repentina dies magna Domini. Anon. cir. 7th century. [Advent.] The earliest reference which we have to this hymn is in Bede's De Metris (672-735). It is an acrostic, the first verse commencing with A, the third with B, the fifth with C, &c. Dr. Neale speaks of it as a "rugged, but grand Judgment Hymn," dates it "as early as the 7th century," and declares that "it manifestly contains the germ of the Dies Irae." The text is given in Cassander's Hymni Ecclesiastici, Col. 1556; Thomasius, vol. ii. p. 433; Rambach, Anthologie, i. p. 126; Daniel, 1841, vol. i. No. 161; Du Méril, Poésies Populaires Latines, 1843, p. 135; Trench's S. Latin Poetry, 1849 and 1873, and others. [Rev.W. A. Shouts, B. D.]
Translation in common use:—
1. That great day of wrath and terror. By J. M. Neale, in his Mediaeval Hymns, 1851, p. 9. From this translation a cento has been given in the Cumbrae Hymn Book, 1863. No. 235. Mrs. Charles has also rendered it as: "Suddenly to all appearing the great day of God shall come," in her Voice of Christian Life in Song, 1858, p. 142, but it is not in common use.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)