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The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care, -one of his earliest productions, the tradition is that he gathered its imagery when a boy living at Netheravon, near Salisbury Plain, during his lonely two-mile walks to school at Amesbury and back again. All his hymns appeared first in the Spectator, to which he was a prolific contributor.
The hymn “When all Thy mercies” still has “Geneva" for its vocal mate in somt congregational manuals. The tune is one of the rare survivals of the old “canon" musical method, the parts coming in one after another with identical notes. It is always delightful as a performance with its glory of harmony and its sweet duet, and for generations it had no other words than Addison's hymn.
John Cole, author of “Geneva," was born in Tewksbury, Eng., 1774, and came to the United States in his boyhood (1785). Baltimore, Md. became his American home, and he was educated there. Early in life he became a musician and music publisher. At least twelve of his principal song collections from 1800 to 1832 are mentioned by Mr. Hubert P. Main, most of them sacred and containing many of his own tunes.
He continued to compose music till his death, Aug. 17, 1855. Mr. Cole was leader of the regiTHE TUNE.
The hymn has been sometimes sung to “Pisgah,” an old revival piece by J. C. Lowry (1820) once much heard in camp-meetings, but it is a pedestrian tune with too many quavers, and a head. long tempo.
Bradbury's “ Jazer,” in three-four time, is a melody with modulations, though more sympathetic, but it is hard to divorce the hymn from its long-time consort, old “Arlington.” It has the accent of its sincerity, and the breath of its devotion.
“LO, ON A NARROW NECK OF LAND.”
This hymn of Charles Wesley is always desig. nated now by the above line, the first of the second stanza as originally written. It is said to have been composed at Land's End, in Cornwall, with the British Channel and the broad Atlantic in view and surging on both sides around a “narrow neck of land."
Lol on a narrow neck of land,
Or shuts me up in hell.
Eternal things impress:
And tremble on the brink of fate,
And wake to righteousness. The preachers and poets of the great spiritual movement of the eighteenth century in England abated nothing in the candor of their words. The terrible earnestness of conviction tipped their tongues and pens with fire.
Lady Huntingdon would have lent “Meribah” gladly to this hymn, but Mason was not yet born. Many times it has been borrowed for Wesley's words since it came to its own, and the spirit of the pious Countess has doubtless approved the loan. It is rich enough to furnish forth her own lyric and more than one other of like matter and metre.
The muscular music of “Ganges” has sometimes carried the hymn, and there are those who think its thunder is not a whit more Hebraic than the words require.
"COME YE SINNERS POOR AND NEEDY.”
prayer-meetings and religious assemblies during the last hundred and fifty years. Its author, Joseph Hart, spoke what he knew and testified what he felt. Born in London, 1712, and liberally educated, he was in his young manhood very religious, but he went so far astray as to indulge in evil practices, and even published writings, both original and translated, against Christianity and religion of any kind. But he could not drink at the Dead Sea and live. The apples of Sodom sickened him. Conscience asserted itself, and the pangs of remorse nearly drove him to despair till he turned back to the source he had forsaken. He alludes to this experience in the lines
Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
Is to feel your need of Him. During Passion Week, 1767, he had an amazing view of the sufferings of Christ, under the stress of which his heart was changed. In the joy of this experience he wrote
Come ye sinners poor and needy, -and
Come all ye chosen saints of God. Probably no two hymn-lines have been oftener repeated than
If you tarry till you're better
You will never come at all.
Come ye sinners poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
He is able,
The whole hymn-ten stanzas-is not sung now as one, but two, the second division beginning with the line
Come ye weary, heavy laden. Rev. Joseph Hart became minister of Jewin St. Congregational Chapel, London, about 1760, where he labored till his death, May 24, 1768.
THE TUNE. A revival song by Jeremiah Ingalls (1764-1828), written about 1804, with an easy, popular swing and a sforzando chorus
Turn to the Lord and seek salvation, -monopolized this hymn for a good many years. The tunes commonly assigned to it have since been “Greenville” and Von Weber's “Wilmot,” in which last it is now more generally sung-dropping the echo lines at the end of each stanza.
Carl Maria Von Weber, son of a roving musician, was born in Eutin, Germany, 1786. He developed no remarkable genius till he was about twenty years old, though being a fine vocalist, his singing brought him popularity and gain; but in 1806 he nearly lost his voice by accidently drinking nitric acid. He was for several years private secretary to Duke Ludwig at Stuttgart, and in 1813 ChapelMaster at Prague, from which place he went to Dresden in 1817 as Musik-Director.
Von Weber's Korner songs won the hearts of all Germany, and his immortal “Der Freischutz"