As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (b. Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1818; Londonderry, Ireland, 1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal. In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland. She showed her concern for disadvantaged people by traveling many miles each day to visit the sick and the poor, providing food, warm clothes, and medical supplies. She and her sister also founded a school for the deaf. Alexander was strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement and by John Keble's Christian Year. Her first book of poetry, Verses for Seasons, was a "Christian Year" for children. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandment… Go to person page >
When Christ came down on earth of old. Cecil F. Alexander. [Advent.] Contributed to the S. P. C. K. Hymns, 1852, No. 2, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. This is altered in Kennedy, 1863, to “From heaven when Christ came down of old," and in the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book, 1883, to “When Christ from heaven came down of old." In the Lyra Anglicana, 1862, Mrs. Alexander expanded the original hymn to 8 stanzas of 4 lines, as “When Jesus came to earth of old." This is in Thring's Collection, 1882. From it "O Son of God, in glory crowned," in the Ibrox Hymnal, 1871, is taken.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)
Display Title: When Christ Came Down On Earth Of OldFirst Line: When Christ came down on earth of oldTune Title: FRANKAuthor: Cecil F. AlexanderMeter: LMSource: Hymns Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1832