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causes" in everything that happens, recalls the fact that Benjamin Flower, editor of the Cambridge Intelligencer, while in jail (1798) at the instigation of Bp. Watson for an article defending the French Revolution, and criticising the Bishop's political course, was visited by several sympathizing ladies, one of whom was Miss Eliza Gould. The young lady's first acquaintance with him there in his cell led to an attachment which eventuated in marriage. Of that marriage Sarah Flower was born. By the theory of providential sequences Mr. Stead makes it appear that the forgotten vindictiveness of a British prelate "was the causa causans of one of the most spiritual and aspiring hymns in the Christian Hymnary."
“Nearer, My God, to Thee" was on the lips of President McKinley as he lay dying by a murderer's wicked shot. It is dear to President Roosevelt for its memories of the battle of Las Quasimas, where the Rough Riders sang it at the burial of their slain comrades. Bishop Marvin was saved by it from hopeless dejection, while practically an exile during the Civil War, by hearing it sung in the wilds of Arkansas, by an old woman in a log hut.
A letter from Pittsburg, Pa., to a leading Boston paper relates the name and experience of a forger who had left the latter city and wandered eight years a fugitive from justice. On the 5th of November, (Sunday,) 1905, he found himself in Pittsburg, and ventured into the Dixon Theatre,
where a religious service was being held, to hear the music. The hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee" so overcame him that he went out weeping bitterly. He walked the floor of his room all night, and in the morning telephoned for the police, confessed his name and crime, and surrendered himself to be taken back to the Boston authorities.
Mrs. Sarah Flower Adams, author of the noble hymn (supposed to have been written in 1840), was born at Harlow, Eng., Feb. 22, 1805, and died there in 1848. At her funeral another of her hymns was sung, ending
When falls the shadow, cold in death
"Father, Thy will, not mine, be done." The attempts to evangelize “Nearer, My God, to Thee” by those who cannot forget that Mrs. Adams was a Unitarian, are to be deplored. Such zeal is as needless as trying to sectarianize an Old Testament Psalm. The poem is a perfect religious piece-to be sung as it stands, with thanks that it was ever created.
In English churches (since 1861) the hymn was and may still be sung to “Horbury," composed by Rev. John B. Dykes, and “St. Edmund,” by Sir Arthur Sullivan. Both tunes are simple and appropriate, but such a hymn earns and inevitably acquires a single tune-voice, so that its music instantly names it by its words when played on instruments. Such a voice was given it by Lowell Mason's “Bethany,” (1856). (Why not “Bethel,” instead, every one who notes the imagery of the words must wonder.) “Bethany” appealed to the popular heart, and long ago (in America) hymn and tune became each other's property. It is even simpler than the English tunes, and a single hearing fixes it in memory.
"I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR."
hymn in 1872, was born in Hoosick, N. Y., in 1835.
She sent the hymn (five stanzas) to Dr. Lowry, who composed its tune, adding a chorus, to make it more effective. It first appeared in a small collection of original songs prepared by Lowry and Doane for the National Baptist Sunday School Association, which met at Cincinnati, O., November, 1872, and was sung there.
I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord,
Can peace afford.
I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee,
I come to Theel
One instance, at least, of a hymn made doubly impressive by its chorus will be attested by all who have sung or heard the pleading words and music of Mrs. Hawks' and Dr. Lowry's “I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee."
“I GAVE MY LIFE FOR THEE.”
This was written in her youth by Frances Ridley Havergal, and was suggested by the motto over the head of Christ in the great picture, “Ecce Homo,” in the Art Gallery of Dusseldorf, Prussia, where she was at school. The sight—as was the case with young Count Zinzendorf-seems to have had much to do with the gifted girl's early religious experience, and indeed exerted its influence on her whole life. The motto read “I did this for thee; what doest thou for me?" and the generative effect of the solemn picture and its question soon appeared in the hymn that flowed from Miss Havergal's heart and pen.
I gave my life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
And quickened from the dead.
What hast thou given for me? Miss Frances Ridley Havergal, sometimes called “The Theodosia of the 19th century," was born at Astley, Worcestershire, Eng., Dec. 14, 1836. Her father, Rev. William Henry Havergal, a clergyman of the Church of England, was himself a poet and a skilled musician, and much of the daughter's ability came to her by natural bequest as well as by education. Born a poet, she became a fine instrumentalist, a composer and an accomplished linguist. Her health was frail, but her life was a devoted one, and full of good works. Her consecrated words were destined to outlast her by many generations.
“Writing is praying with me,” she said. Death met her in 1879, when still in the prime of womanhood.
The music that has made this hymn of Miss Havergal familiar in America is named from its first line, and was composed by the lamented Philip P. Bliss (christened Philipp Bliss*), a pupil of Dr. George F. Root.
He was born in Rome, Pa., Jan. 9, 1838, and less than thirty-nine years later suddenly ended his life, a victim of the awful railroad disaster at Ashtabula O., Dec. 29, 1876, while returning from a visit to his aged mother. His wife, Lucy Young Bliss, perished with him there, in the swift flames that enveloped the wreck of the train.
The name of Mr. Bliss had become almost a household word through his numerous popular Christian melodies, which were the American
*Mr. Bliss himself changed the spelling of his name, preferring to let the third P. do duty alone, as a middle initial.