James Bowring was born at Exeter, in 1792. He possessed at an early age a remarkable power of attaining languages, and acquired some reputation by his metrical translations of foreign poems. He became editor of "The Westminster Review" in 1825, and was elected to Parliament in 1835. In 1849, he was appointed Consul at Canton, and in 1854, was made Governor of Hong Kong, and received the honour of knighthood. He is the author of some important works on politics and travel, and is the recipient of several testimonials from foreign governments and societies. His poems and hymns have also added to his reputation. His "Matins and Vespers" have passed through many editions. In religion he is a Unitarian.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charl… Go to person page >
Upon the Gospel's sacred page. Sir J. Bowring. [Progress of the Gospel.] Contributed to Beard's Unitarian Collection of Hymns, 1837, No. 206, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, “Progress of Gospel truth." It was included in the 3rd edition of the author's Matins and Vespers, 1841, p. 240, and subsequently in several hymnbooks, especially in America. In the American Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit, 1864, No. 698, "On mightier wing, in loftier flight," is composed of st. ii., iv., v. (slightly altered) of this hymn.
John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Composed by George J. Elvey (PHH 48) in 1862 for 'Just as I Am, without One Plea" (263), ST. CRISPIN was first published in the 1863 edition of Edward Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes. The tune title honors a third-century Roman martyr, Crispin, who, along with Crispinian, preached in Gaul…