Wallace, James Cowden, was born at Dudley, circa 1793. He was brother of the Rev. Robert Wallace (1791-1880), Professor of Theology in Manchester New College, and author of Antitrinitarian Biography. J. C. Wallace was Unitarian minister at Totnes, 1824, and afterwards at Brighton and Wareham. He died at Wareham in 1841. He was a prolific hymnwriter, and contributed various other poetical pieces to the Monthly Repository. In a Selection of Hymns for Unitarian Worship, by R. Wallace, Chesterfield, 1822, there are 13 of his hymns, and in the 2nd edition of the same, 1826, there are 29 more. There are also 10 of his hymns in the Dukinfield Selection of Psalms & Hymns for Christian Worship, 1822 (still in use), and 64 in Beard's Collection of H… Go to person page >
There's not a star whose twinkling light. J. C. Wallace. [God seen in Nature.] This hymn appeared in A Supplement to the 4th edition of Robert Aspland's Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Unitarian Worship, London: Rowland Hunter, 1825, No. 48, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Creator seen in his Works." As it has undergone rearrangement and enlargement, we give the opening line of each stanza:—
Stanza i. “There's not a star whose twinkling light."
Stanza ii. "There's not a cloud whose dews distil."
Stanza iii. "There's not a place in earth's vast round.”
Stanza iv. “Around, beneath, below, above."
Stanza v, “Then rise, my soul! and sing His name."
In J. R. Beard's Unitarian Collection of Hymns, &c, Lond.: J. Green, 1837, to which Mr. Wallace contributed more than sixty hymns, this hymn was given in 6 stanzas, and is rearranged thus:—
i. "There's not a place." ii. "There's not of grass." iii. "There's not a tempest." iv. “There's not a star." v. "Around, beneath." vi. "Then rise, my soul."
In the new edition of Mr. Beard's Collection, 1860, another arrangement with changes is introduced, which leaves the hymn thus:—
i. “There's not a tint that paints the rose." ii. "At early dawn." iii. "There's not of grass." iv. "There's not a tempest" v. " There's not a star." vi. "There's not a cloud." vii. "There's not a place." viii. "Around, beneath." ix. "Then rise, my soul."
From these outlines the construction of the hymns, "There's not a place," &c, and "There's not a tint," &c, as in Curwen's Child’s Own Hymn Book, Major's Book of Praise, the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book and many others, including American collections, may easily be traced, and a reference to Aspland's and Beard's works, as above, will correct the text. In Major's Book of Praise for Home & School the author is said to be John Aikman Wallace, and in the Prim. Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book, 1879, Heber, but both are in error.
—John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Display Title: There's not a star whose twinkling lightFirst Line: There's not a star whose twinkling lightAuthor: WallaceMeter: C. M.Date: 1871Subject: Character, Attributes, and Providence of God | ; God | seen in his works; God seen in his Works |