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Jesus my all to heaven is gone,
I'll go for all Thy paths are peace. The memory has not passed away of the hearty unison with which prayer-meeting and campmeeting assemblies used to “crescendo" the last stanza
Then will I tell to sinners round
And say “Behold the way to God." The Rev. George Coles was born in Stewkley, Eng., Jan. 2, 1792, and died in New York City, May 1, 1858. He was editor of the N. Y. Christian Advocate, and Sunday School Advocate, for several years, and was a musician of some ability, besides being a good singer.
"SWEET THE MOMENTS, RICH IN BLESSING.”
The Hon. and Rev. Walter Shirley, Rector of Loughgree, county of Galway, Ireland, revised this hymn under the chastening discipline of a most trying experience. His brother, the Earl of Ferrars, a licentious man, murdered an old and faithful servant in a fit of rage, and was executed at Tyburn for the crime. Sir Walter, after the disgrace and long distress of the imprisonment, trial, and final tragedy, returned to his little parish in Ireland, humbled but driven nearer to the Cross.
Sweet the moments, rich in blessing
Which before the Cross I spend;
From the sinner's dying Friend. All the emotion of one who buries a mortifying sorrow in the heart of Christ, and tries to forget, trembles in the lines of the above hymn as he changed and adapted it in his saddest but devoutest hours. Its original writer was the Rev. James Allen, nearly twenty years younger than himself, a man of culture and piety, but a Christian of shifting creeds. It is not impossible that he sent his hymn to Shirley to revise. At all events it owes its present form to Shirley's hand.
Truly blessèd is the station
Low before His cross to lie,
Beaming in His gracious eye.* The influence of Sir Walter's family misfortune is evident also in the mood out of which breathed his other trustful lines
Peace, troubled soul, whose plaintive moan
Hath taught these rocks the notes of woe, (changed now to “hath taught these scenes," etc).
Sir Walter Shirley, cousin of the Countess of Huntingdon, was born 1725, and died in 1786.
* Floating in His languid eye" seems to have been the earlier version
been a manne Christian denomel, and for forty
Even in his last sickness he continued to preach to his people in his house, seated in his chair.
Rev. James Oswald Allen was born at Gayle, Yorkshire, Eng., June 24, 1743. He left the University of Cambridge after a year's study, and became an itinerant preacher, but seems to have been a man of unstable religious views. After roving from one Christian denomination to another several times, he built a Chapel, and for forty years ministered there to a small Independent congregation. He died in Gayle, Oct. 31, 1804.
The tune long and happily associated with "Sweet the Moments” is “Sicily," or the “Sicilian Hymn"—from an old Latin hymn-tune, "O Sanctissima."
“O FOR A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD." The author, William Cowper, son of a clergyman, was born at Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, Eng., Nov. 15, 1731, and died at Dereham, Norfolk, April 25, 1800. Through much of his adult life he was afflicted with a mental ailment inducing melancholia and at times partial insanity, during which he once attempted suicide. He sought literary occupation as an antidote to his disorder of mind, and besides a great number of lighter pieces which diverted him and his friends, composed “The Task," an able and delightful moral and domestic poetic treatise in blank verse, and in the same style of verse translated Homer's Odyssey and Iliad.