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the work of Handel. His “Magnificat” was one of his favorite productions, and he borrowed strains from it in several of his later and lesser productions.
George Frederic Handei, author of the immortal “Messiah,” was born at Halle, Saxony, in 1685, and died in London in 1759. The musical bent of his genius was apparent almost from his infancy. At the age of eighteen he was earning his living with his violin, and writing his first opera. After a sojourn in Italy, he settled in Hanover as Chapel Master to the Elector, who afterwards became the English king, George I. The friendship of the king and several of his noblemen drew him to England, where he spent forty-seven years and composed his greatest works.
He wrote three hymn-tunes (it is said at the request of a converted actress), “Canons,” “Fitzwilliam,” and “Gopsall,” the first an invitation, “Sinners, Obey the Gospel Word,” the second a meditation, “O Love Divine, How Sweet Thou Art," and the third a resurrection song to Welsey's words “Rejoice, the Lord is King.” This last still survives in some hymnals.
Be Thou, O God, exalted high,
This sublime quatrain, attributed to Nahum Tate, like the Lord's Prayer, is suited to alloccasions, to all Christian denominations, and to all places and conditions of men. It has been translated into all civilized languages, and has been rising to heaven for many generations from congregations round the globe wherever the faith of Christendom has built its altars. This doxology is the first stanza of a sixteen line hymn (possibly longer originally), the rest of which is forgotten.
Nahum Tate was born in Dublin, in 1652, and educated there at Trinity College. He was appointed poet-laureate by King William III. in 1690, and it was in conjunction with Dr. Nicholas Brady that he executed his “New"metrical version of the Psalms. The entire Psalter, with an appendix of Hymns, was licensed by William and Mary and published in 1703. The hymns in the volume are all by Tate. He died in London, Aug. 12, 1717.
Rev. Nicholas Brady, D.D., was an Irishman, son of an officer in the royal army, and was born at Bandon, County of Cork, Oct. 28, 1659. He studied in the Westminister School at Oxford, but afterwards entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1685. William made him Queen Mary's Chaplain. He died May 20, 1726.
The other nearly contemporary form of doxology is in common use, but though elevated and devotional in spirit, it cannot be universal, owing to its credal line being objectionable to non-Trinitarian Protestants:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The author, the Rev. Thomas Ken, was born in Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, Eng., July, 1637, and was educated at Winchester School, Hertford College, and New College, Oxford. In 1662 he took holy orders, and seventeen years later the king (Charles II.) appointed him chaplain to his sister Mary, Princess of Orange. Later the king, just before his death, made him Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Like John the Baptist, and Bourdaloue, and Knox, he was a faithful spiritual monitor and adviser during all his days at court. “I must go in and hear Ken tell me my faults,” the king used to say at chapel time. The “good little man” (as he called the bishop) never lost the favor of the dissipated monarch. As Macaulay says, “Of all the prelates, he liked Ken the best."
Under James, the Papist, Ken was a loyal subject, though once arrested as one of the "seven bishops” for his opposition to the king's religion, and he kept his oath of allegiance so firmly that it cost him his place. William III. deprived him of his bishopic, and he retired in poverty to a home kindly offered him by Lord Viscount Weymouth in Longleat, near Frome, in Somersetshire, where he spent a serene and beloved old age. He died æt. seventy-four, March 17, 1711 (N. S.), and was
carried to his grave, according to his request, by “six of the poorest men in the parish.”
His great doxology is the refrain or final stanza of each of his three long hymns, “Morning," “Evening” and “Midnight,” printed in a Prayer . Manual for the use of the students of Winchester College. The "Evening Hymn" drew scenic inspiration, it is told, from the lovely view in Horningsham Park at “Heaven's Gate Hill,” while walking to and from church.
Another four-line doxology, adopted probably from Dr. Hatfield (1807-1883), is almost entirely superseded by Ken's stanza, being of even more pronounced credal character.
To God the Father, God the Son,
By all on earth and all in heaven. The Methodist Hymnal prints a collection of ten doxologies, two by Watts, one by Charles Wesley, one by John Wesley, one by William Goode, one by Edwin F. Hatfield, one attributed to “Tate and Brady," one by Robert Hawkes, and the one by Ken above noted. These are all technically and intentionally doxologies. To give a history of doxologies in the general sense of the word would carry one through every Christian age and language and end with a concordance of the Book of Psalms.