William W. Walford, a blind preacher of England, is the author of the hymn beginning "Sweet hour of prayer." This hymn first appeared in print in the New York Observer September 13, 1845. The contributor who furnished the hymn says:
"During my residence at Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, I became acquainted with W. W. Walford, the blind preacher, a man of obscure birth and connections and no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory. In the pulpit he never failed to select a lesson well adapted to his subject, giving chapter and verse with unerring precision, and scarcely ever misplacing a word in his repetition of the Psalms, every part of the New Testament, the prophecies, and some of the histories, so as to have the r… Go to person page >
Translator: Ernst Gebhardt
Ernst (Heinrich) Gebhardt (1832-1899), a Methodist minister of Germany, spent some time in South America and North America and England accompanying R. Pearsail Smith as song leader at his evangelistic meetings. Gebhardt wrote many original hymns and translated over 50 Gospel hymns from English into German, most of them Moody and Sankey songs. They appeared in his Frohe Botschaft and Evangeliums-Lieder (C. F. Spittler, Basel), which were distributed in Europe and America in innumerable volumes. He was the compiler and editor of many other songbooks.
Gebhardt's translations of such songs as "Rock of Ages"—"Fels des Heils," and "Oh, Have You Not Heard"—"Ich weiss einen Strom" seem to have more poetic quality than the English. His contri… Go to person page >