The world can neither give nor take

Author: John Mason

Mason, John. The known facts of his life are scanty. He was the son of a Dissenting Minister, and the grandfather of John Mason, the author of A Treatise on Self-Knowledge. He was educated at Strixton School, Northants, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. After taking his M.A., he became Curate of Isham; and in 1668, Vicar of Stantonbury, Bucks. A little more than five years afterwards he was appointed Rector of Water-Stratford. Here he composed the volume containing The Songs of Praise, his paraphrase of The Song of Solomon, and the Poem on Dives and Lazarus, with which Shepherd's Penitential Cries was afterwards bound up. This volume passed through twenty editions. Besides the Songs of Praise, it contains six Penitential Cries by Mason, and it i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The world can neither give nor take
Author: John Mason
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The world can neither give nor take. [The Love of God.] This is a cento compiled from John Mason's Songs of Praise, published in 1683. It is thus composed:—
Stanzas i., ii. From "Song of Praise," No. 23, for Peace of Conscience stanzas ii., iv.
Stanza iii. From "Song of praise,” No. 28, stanza iv.
Stanzas iv., v., vi. From the same stanzas iv., v., and vi. altered.

In this form it is found in the Countess of Huntingdon's Collection, 1780, and later editions. Original text in D. Sedgwick's reprint of Mason's Songs of Praise, 1863. The 1780 text of the cento is in Lyra Brittanica, p. 655, where its compilation and alterations are ascribed to Lady Huntingdon. This ascription, however, is open to doubt. The cento is still in common use.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


ST. MARY (Prys)

CLIFTON (Clifton)


MARTYRDOM was originally an eighteenth-century Scottish folk melody used for the ballad "Helen of Kirkconnel." Hugh Wilson (b. Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, c. 1766; d. Duntocher, Scotland, 1824) adapted MARTYRDOM into a hymn tune in duple meter around 1800. A triple-meter version of the tune was fir…

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