Gill, Thomas Hornblower, was born at Bristol Road, Birmingham, Feb. 10th, 1819. His parents belonged to English Presbyterian families which, like many others, had become Unitarian in their doctrine. He was educated at King Edward's Grammar School under Dr. Jeune, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough. He left the school in 1838, and would have proceeded to the University of Oxford, but was prevented by his hereditary Unitarianism (long since given up), which forbade subscription to the Articles of the Church of England then necessary for entrance to the University. This constrained him to lead the life of an isolated student, in which he gave himself chiefly to historical and theological subjects. Hence his life has been singularly devoid of ou… Go to person page >
Thou biddest, Lord, Thy sons be bold. T. H. Gill. [Liberty of the Children of God.] The second hymn written by the author, composed in 1845, and first published in G. Dawson's Psalms & Hymns, 1846, No. 115, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines. In 1853 it was included in Hedge & Huntington's Hymns for the Church of Christ, Boston, U.S.A., No. 507, with the omission of stanzas ii., viii., and was thus introduced to the American collections. It was revised for the author's Golden Chain, &c, 1869, and included as No. 132 in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, with the heading "The glorious Liberty of the Children of God." In Dale's English Hymn Book, 1874, No. 633, stanza ii. of the 1869 text is omitted. The American Hymns of the Spirit, Boston, 1864, contains two centos from this hymn, (1) "We stand unto our God, how near!" and (2) "Thou biddest, Lord, Thy sons be bold."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)