Page images

tionized England did better days for him commence. He continued his studies in London, but passed many of his intervening years in the old parish at Southampton. He wrote rhymes for his mother's delectation when he was seven, but not until he reached a promising precocity of eighteen did he display his power. Whether the congregation used the rough verses of Sternhold and Hopkins, or whether they were afflicted by those (no better) of Barton, it cannot be settled now: but one time he startled the grave officers of the parish by expressing his disgust with the performance. “Give us something

" which will be better, young man !" they replied. He took up the challenge at once, and offered his first hymn; this the people sang at the close of the evening service. It was the one beginning, “ Behold the glories of the Lamb." In most of the collections of his poems this can be found; but when a choice had to be made for modern uses, the preference soon was given to those which were the fruit of his maturer experience.

REV. PHILIP DODDRIDGE, D. D. However, his work was cordially accepted; and each evening for a long time he presented Rev. Philip Doddridge, D. D., was an English

Any good encyclopedia would tell us that a fresh composition, until he had given them clergyman belonging to the Independent or at last two hundred and twenty-two in all; Congregational branch of the Church. He these they printed in a portable form for local was the son of a merchant, and the last one use. It is admitted now that this one writer has born in London, June 26, 1702 ; his constitu

of a large family of twenty children. He was done more for the Church in this line of tion was feeble from his infancy. His paChristian usefulness than any other. He rents were religious people, and early turned gave a new impulse to the service of God's the lad's attention to an education for the praise, and worthily bears the name of the ministry. But they both died while yet he was * Father of English'Hymnody.” Dr. Watts' hymns were gathered, in 1707, who showed much kindness to the afflicted

young, and his care devolved upon friends, into a volume divided into three books ac- orphan. At twenty years of age he was or. cording to subject. The one now before us

dained, and became the pastor of the small is No. 135 of Book I.: "Come, dearest Lord, parish of Kibworth. In 1729 he was called descend and dwell." He entitled it, “The love of Christ shed abroad in the heart. Eph. purpose of training young men for the minis

to open an academy at Northampton for the 3:16."

try. He remained at this work for some 5

twenty years. He was one of the most volu

L. M. “A Nobler Rest."

minous writers of religious literature in that THINE earthly Sabbaths, Lord, we love, But there's a nobler rest above;

period. His Family Expositor, a commenTo that our longing souls aspire,

tary upon the New Testament, his Rise and With cheerful hope and strong desire. Progress of Religion in the Soul, and his 2 No more fatigue, no more distress,

Life of Colonel Gardiner, are still popular, Nor sin nor death shall reach the place; and famous as books of the highest worth. No groans shall mingle with the songs

But the rapid development of consumptive That warble from immortal tongues.

tendencies in his constitution rendered it ne3. No rude alarms of raging foes,

cessary for him to seek health in a milder cliNo cares to break the long repose,

mate. He started for Portugal, and died at No midnight shade, no clouded sun, But sacred, high, eternal noon.

Lisbon, October 26, 1751; he now lies buried

in the English graveyard in that foreign city 4. O long-expected day, begin!

by the sea.
Dawn on these realms of woe and sin;
Fain would we leave this weary road,

This hymn, written by Dr. Philip Dod-
And sleep in death to rest with God. dridge to be sung at the close of a sermon he


preached June 2, 1736, from the text, Heb. articled to an architect, and chose this for his 4:9, “ There remaineth therefore a rest to the profession. He afterwards joined the Estabpeople of God,” is given in Hymns Founded lished Church; in a letter, written shortly beon various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, fore his death, he says: “From early years 1755. As it was first sent to the public the I had a strong leaning towards the Church of opening stanza, which, indeed, is very tame England, the services of which I always found comparatively, commenced, “ Lord of the Sab- more congenial to my own feelings." bath, hear our vows." This has been dropped He was singularly happy and voluminous in most of the modern collections. A zeal or in his production of religious poetry. He is a freak of restoration, however, bids fair to said to have composed more than two thouspoil the favorite lyric, which owes much of sand hymns. Of these, many have been perits excellence to the wise pruning it has had petuated in the modern collections. This one from editors along the years. Admitting and is to be found in the Cottage Minstrel, 1821, enduring all this talk just at the present so and is there entitled, “ The Cottager's Reflecpopular about “ the tinkering of hymns,” we tions upon the Sabbath Evening." He issued still would like to ask whether people do ac- his first volume in 1817. Others followed ; tually prefer in the first stanza to say, “ The the Sacred Lyrics appeared in 1821; this songs which from the Desert rise": and in the contained most of his best known producsecond stanza to say, “ With ardent Pangs of tions. He died in Homerton, a suburb of strong desire": and in the third stanza to say, London, January 7, 1867, being then seventyNo Groans to mingle with the songs.

six years of age. These can all be found, and other felicities The evening of the Lord's Day must have like them, in the original draft as printed in Sir been a favorite part of his life, for many of Roundell Palmer's Book of Praise, page 335. his poems refer to it. He seemed to feel the

A very pathetic entry is to be seen in the glory of it, the rest of it, the prophecy of it. Diary of Rev. Dr. Gardiner Spring. He had He never shows his religious experience more been in some heavy trouble for a long time, delightfully or more helpfully than when he is and had not kept up his music in the house- singing of Sabbath night and “the morrow's hold; and now, recording how he had opened quick returning light," which“ must call us his piano for the first time in some weeks, he to the world again. Yet his whole heart is writes: “I felt that, while all God's works filled with the dear hope of a dawn where praise him, my tongue also should be vocal sun that never sets shall rise." with his praise. How beautiful is this green


Gates of Heaven." earth on a Sabbath day! I could only give

How sweet to leave the world awhile, utterance to the words:

And seek the presence of our Lord ! "' Thine earthly Sabbaths, Lord, we love:

Dear Saviour, on thy people smile,

And come, according to thy word.
But there's a nobler rest above.'"

2 From busy scenes we now retreat,
Sabbath Eve.

That we may here converse with thee:

Ah, Lord! behold us at thy feet :
Sweet is the light of Sabbath eve,

Let this the "gate of heaven "be.
And soft the sunbeams lingering there;
For these blest hours the world I leave,

3 “Chief often thousand !" now appear, Wafted on wings of faith and prayer.

That we by faith may see thy face:

Oh, speak, that we thy voice may hear,
2 The time how lovely and how still!

And let thy presence fill this place.
Peace shines and smiles on all below:
The plain, the stream, the wood, the hill,

Rev. Thomas Kelly was the son of Right
All fair with evening's setting glow.

Honorable Baron Kelly, and was born near 3 Season of rest! the tranquil soul

Athoy, in Queens County, Ireland, July 13,
Feels the sweet calm and melts to love,
And while these sacred moments roll,

1769. He graduated at Dublin University, Faith sees the smiling heaven above. and at first took up the study of law. Even4. Nor will our days of toil be long;

tually he changed the plan of his professional Our pilgrimage will soon be trod;

life, and in 1792 he was ordained a clergyman And we shall join the ceaseless song,

in the Established Church. But he was too The endless Sabbath of our God.

zealous for anything like tame routine, and James Edmeston was born at Wapping, in some considered him almost a fanatic. RowLondon, September 10, 1791. He was edu- land Hill made his acquaintance and before cated at Hackney, where his parents resided. long they were both silenced because their He was the grandson of Rev. Samuel Brewer, preaching was too direct and spiritual for an Independent minister in Stepney for fifty those times. The Archbishop of Dublin closed years, and the young poet was brought up in all the pulpits of his diocese to these two men. that connection. In his sixteenth year he was That made Thomas Kelly an Independent.


L. M.

L. M.

L. M.

He set up chapels as he pleased. He was a In Book II. of Dr. Isaac Watts' Hymns musician and a poet, and he consecrated all this will be found as No. 15. It consists of his gifts to his divine Lord.

six stanzas, and is entitled, “ The Enioyment He married at thirty years of age a lady of of Christ; or Delight in Worship.” In many like heart, views and purpose. He became parts of Switzerland a bell from the principal very wealthy and grew to be exceedingly tower tolls daily a few minutes before noon; popular and greatly useful. So he labored in ere the hour strikes it ceases. It peals over Dublin more than sixty years. He died of a the plain and over the green valleys, and stroke of paralysis in 1855, May 14. His last echoes in the recesses of the surrounding words were, " The Lord is my everything;” mountains. Men leave their labor as they for he heard some one repeating to him, “The listen. The stillness that follows is most Lord is my shepherd," and his strength was suggestive. As its call sweeps over the busy sufficient for the full response.

harvest field the reaper drops his sickle, In 1804 he published a volume of ninety- though half full of golden grain, and throws six Hymns on Various Passages of Scrip himself down to rest beneath the shade; the ture, afterwards enlarged. The hymn before hand that held the trowel leaves it where it us appeared in 1815. It had six stanzas. The lies. All seem glad of the cessation of toil, author evidently wrote it with Jacob's vision thankful for the rest and shade and refreshat Bethel in his mind, Gen. 28:17; but he ment offered them in the heat and hurry of affixed to it as his title, Matt. 18:20.

the day.

Such is the office and such the

same sweet invitation of the Sabbath-bell in 8 Giver of Rest.

L. M.

this land of light and peace. With its clear Come, Holy Spirit! calm my mind, And fit me to approach my God;

ringing voice it speaks in the name of the Remove each vain, each worldly thought, Lord of the Sabbath, “Come unto me, and I And lead me to thy blest abode.

will give you rest.”
2 Hast thou imparted to my soul
A living spark of holy fire?


Psalm 84.
Oh, kindle now the sacred flame;
Make me to burn with pure desire.

How pleasant, how divinely fair,

O Lord of hosts ! thy dwellings are !
3 A brighter faith and hope impart,

With long desire my spirit faints
And let me now my Saviour see;

To meet the assemblies of thy saints.
Oh, soothe and cheer my burdened heart,
And bid my spirit rest in thee.

2 My flesh would rest in thine abode,

My panting heart cries out for God; It is somewhat singular that no one has

My God! my King! why should I be

So far from all my joys, and thee? been able to obtain even the slightest authentic information concerning the author of this

3 Blest are the saints who sit on high,

Around thy throne of Majesty; very acceptable hymn, which has been in

Thy brightest glories shine above, cluded in almost all the prominent denomina

And all their work is praise and love. tional collections for many years. It has been 4 Blest are the souls who find a place traced back to a Collection of Psalms and Within the temple of thy grace; Hymns for the use of the Lock Chapel, Lon

There they behold thy gentler rays,

And seek thy face, and learn thy praise. don. Everything comes on hearsay, and all there is of it is this: he was probably an Eng

5 Cheerful they walk with growing strength,

Till all shall meet in heaven at length; lish layman, his whole name was John Stew

Till all before thy face appear, art, and he made the hymn, or lived, in 1803. Aud join in nobler worship there. Invocation. .

L. M.

In the original form this hymn of Dr. Watts Far from my thoughts, vain world, begone! appears with seven stanzas, and is entitled Let my religious hours alone:

“The Pleasure of Public Worship." It is the Fain would mine eyes my Saviour see: I wait a visit, Lord, from thee.

first part of Psalm 84, L. M. The more en

tirely I can give my Sabbaths to God,” once 2 My heart grows warm with holy fire, And kindles with a pure desire:

said the sainted Robert Murray McCheyne, Come, my dear Jesus! from above,

“and half forget that I am not before the And feed my soul with heavenly love.

throne of the Lamb, with my harp of gold, 3. Blest Saviour! what delicious fare,

the happier am I, and I feel it my duty to be How sweet thine enteriainments are !

as happy as God intended me to be."
Never did angels taste, above,
Redeeming grace and dying love.

Psalm 84.
4 Hail, great Immanuel, all-divine !

GREAT God! attend, while Zion sings
In thee thy Father's glories shine:

The joy that from thy presence springs;
Thou brightest, sweetest, fairest One

To spend one day with thee on earth
That eyes have seen, or angels known!

Exceeds a thousand days of mirth.

L. M.

2 Might I enjoy the meanest plain

mained pastor until his death, though someWithin thy house, O God of grace! Nor tents of ease, nor thrones of power,

times his services were in demand for preachShould tempt my feet to leave thy door. ing elsewhere. He skillfully utilized his time 3 God is our sun, he makes our day;

by employing the first day of the week for his God is our shield, he guards our way

absences from home and his services in other From all the assaults of hell and sin, From foes without and foes within.

pulpits. He was widely popular in his work, 4 All needful grace will God bestow,

and continued in the confidence of all who And crown that grace with glory, too;

knew him till his death, which took place July He gives us all things, and withholds No real good from upright souls.

4, 1713. Among his last words were: “I re5 ( Gol, our King, whose sovereign sway

joice in the God of my salvation, who is my The glorious hosts of heaven obey,

strength and my God." Display thy grace, exert thy power,

It is a little difficult to keep the genealogy Till all on earth thy name adore !

of this Stennett family perfectly clear, espeWe find here the second part of Dr. Isaac cially as more than one of the name wrote Watts' version of Psalm 84, L. M. It con- hymns for their own comfort and handed sists of five stanzas, and is entitled “God in them down for singing among people who his Church, or Grace and Glory.” It was in took very little pains to keep literary titles discommenting upon that single expression, “one tinct. There is no great importance in the day in thy courts is better than a thousand,” matter; but it can be remembered as a fact, that the good Bishop Horne exclaimed: “If by any who care to know, that Edward Stenthis be the case upon earth, how much more nett began the line. He was a dissenting in heaven! Oh, come that one glorious day minister who with other Non-conformists sufwhose sun shall never go down, nor any cloud fered persecution, and for a short time imobscure the luster of his beams; that day prisonment because of their enthusiastic espouwhen the temple of God shall be opened in sal of the cause of the Commonwealth. After heaven, and we shall be admitted to serve him the Revolution he removed to Wallingford. for ever therein !"

Joseph was his son, and he had a son Joseph

in his turn; and that son had a son Samuel, 12 "Return, my Soul !"

L. M.

who had a son Joseph; and all the men were ANOTHER six days' work is done,

ministers; then this remarkable line ceased. Another Sabbath is begun; Return, my soul! enjoy thy rest,

Psalm 92.

L. M. Improve the day thy God hath blessed.

Sweet is the work, my God, my King, 2 Oh, that our thoughts and thanks may rise

To praise thy name, give thanks and sing; As grateful incense to the skies ;

To show thy love by morning light, And draw from heaven that sweet repose,

And talk of all thy truth at night. Which none but he that feels it knows.

2 Sweet is the day of sacred rest : 3. This heavenly calm, within the breast,

No mortal care shall seize my breast; Is the dear pledge of glorious rest

Oh, may my heart in tune be found, Which for the church of God remains

Like David's harp of solemn sound! The end of cares, the end of pains.

3 My heart shall triumph in my Lord, 4 In holy duties let the day,

And bless his works, and bless his word: In holy pleasures, pass away;

Thy works of grace, how bright they shine! How sweet a Sabbath thus to spend,

How deep thy counsels! how divine ! In hope of one that ne'er shall end.

4 Lord, I shall share a glorious part, Rev. Joseph Stennett, the author of this

When grace hath well refined my heart,

And fresh supplies of joy are shed, Sabbath hymn, was born at Abingdon, Berks, Like holy oil to cheer my head. England, in 1663. He was the second of that

5 Then shall I see, and hear, and know race which for upward of a century of useful- All I desired or wished below: ness enriched the ministry of the Baptist And every power find sweet employ,

In that eternal world of joy. Church in England. Scholarship and excellent ability, piety and zeal, have always been In the version of the Psalms by Dr. Watts, accredited to him as a preacher and a Chris- this appears in seven stanzas as the first part, tian. He was a teacher for some years in L. M., of Psalm 92. It is entitled, “ A Psalm London. In 1688 he married Susanna, daugh- for the Lord's Day." In one of the greatest ter of George Guill, a French Protestant English coal mines there is a constant formarefugee; and shortly after this, believing him- tion of limestone, caused by the trickling of self called to the ministry, he was ordained as water through the rocks. This persistent pastor of the Seventh-D)ay Baptist Church, dripping contains many minute particles of then worshiping in Devonshire Square, Lon- lime, and these are deposited in the open don, of which his father had once been the spaces, and as the water runs off are soon minister. Of this same congregation he re- settled down into solid limestone. This would

[ocr errors]

L. M. 61.

Psalm 103.

L. M.

be as pure as the whitest marble but for the man he ever loved and expected to wed jilted black dust which rises from the coal while him cruelly; yet he uttered but one cry of his the miners are at work; that dust is mixed soul voiced in the hymn, “ How vain are all with the soft mass and discolors its whole things here below," one pardonable pang of substance. On Sunday no work is done; of self-pity as he surrendered his life. He was course no dust is raised. So there is one small in figure and insignificant in personlayer of pure white among the seven. And less than five feet in height; the woman said that is the result all over the mine in each of she “ loved the jewel, but could not admire the extensive galleries. The miners have the casket that contained it.” And still this given a name of their own to this peculiar great and good man was as happy as a bird; conformation; they call it the “Sunday-stone." he called upon “ all the powers within " him For it has six black streaks in it, separated by to keep on singing till he went home to “ the thin white lines to mark the short rests of the land of pure delight.” nights; and then it has one large white streak

Though I could reach from pole to pole, in it brighter and cleaner than ail the rest.

And grasp the ocean in a span, It seems like a constant tally of the days. Is

I must be measured by my soul

The mind 's the measure of the man." there an eternal tally of God's Sabbaths, autonomical, self-reckoning, which we all are at


Day of time to meet ?

The day of rest once more comes round,

A day to all believers dear; 14

The silver trumpets seem to sound

That call the tribes of Israel near;
BLESS, O my soul! the living God,

Ye people all, obey the call,
Call home thy thoughts that roam abroad;

And in Jehovah's courts appear.
Let all the powers within me join
In work and worship so divine.

2 Obedient to thy summons, Lord,

We to thy sanctuary come ;
2 Bless, O my soul! the God of grace;

Thy gracious presence here afford,
His favors claim thy highest praise ;

And send thy people joysul home;
Why should the wonders he hath wrought

or thee, our King, oh, may we sing,
Be lost in silence and forgot ?

And none with such a theme be dumb. 3 'Tis he, my soul! who sent his Son

3 Oh, hasten, Lord, the day when those
To die for crimes which thou hast done ;

Who know thee here shall see thy face:
He owns the ransom, and forgives

When suffering shall for ever close,
The hourly follies of our lives.

And they shall reach their destined place;

Then shall they rest, supremely blest,
4 Let the whole earth his power confess,

Eternal debtors to thy grace.
Let the whole earth adore his grace;
The Gentile with the Jew shall join

This is No. 148 of Thomas Kelly's third
In work and worship so divine.

edition, 1809, though it is likely the composiThis is the First Part, L. M., of Psalm 103, tion of the hymn dates three years earlier. in Dr. Isaac Watts' collection, where it is en- Some double rhymes make it seem a little titled : “ Blessing God for his goodness to odd, but it is only a plain long meter of six Soul and Body.” This must have been a lines. The author has attached to it the text, favorite theme with the poet, for he made one Num. 10:2, and has evidently meant it for a version in this meter consisting of eight verses, call to worship: "Make thee two trumpets of then another in the same consisting of six silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: more, to which after a “ Pause" he added that thou mayest use them for the calling of still three; and then taking up short meter the assembly, and for the journeying of the he made one version of six verses, and an- camps." other of eight more, to which he added still a Rabbi Jehudah, one of the celebrated docthird of four verses—thirty-five stanzas given tors of the Jewish law, was wont to call the to this one psalm.

attention of his pupils to the fact that the IsSo at last we learn the secret of this man's raelites broke the first Sabbath, and therefore power: it lay mostly in the wonderful grace God let them go into captivity. He would of gratitude in his heart. He had lost his point, in proof of this, to the statement that health; he was an invalid nearly all of his life. the children of Israel went out to gather manHe had passed away from his youth; many of na on the holy day, and that the very next his old friends were gone. He had no home chapter says, “ Then came Amalek, and fought of his own in the world; he lived for thirty with Israel in Rephidim.” There can be no years the guest of a generous nobleman. He doubt that the sober and reverent setting had no children; yet he wrote Divine and apart of one day in the seven is obligatory for Moral Songs for Infant Jlinds, one of the all time. And it might well be expected that, best books ever made for little ones to learn whenever a duty so plain as this is denied by and sing. He never married. The only wo- any believer, there will be an incursion of

« PreviousContinue »