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Trav'ler, blessedness and light
Peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
Seel it bursts o'er all the earth.
“YE CHRISTIAN HERALDS, GO PROCLAIM."
In some versions “Ye Christian heroes,” etc.
Professor David R. Breed attributes this stirring hymn to Mrs. Vokes (or Voke) an English or Welsh lady, who is supposed to have written it somewhere near 1780, and supports the claim by its date of publication in Missionary and Devotional Hymns at Portsea, Wales, in 1797. In this Dr. Breed follows (he says) "the accepted tradition.” On the other hand the Coronation Hymnal (1894) refers the authorship to a Baptist minister, the Rev. Bourne Hall Draper, of Southampton (Eng.), born 1775, and this choice has the approval of Dr. Charles Robinson. The question occurs whether, when the hymn was published in good faith as Mrs. Vokes', it was really the work of a then unknown youth of twenty-two.
The probability is that the hymn owns a mother instead of a father—and a grand hymn it is; one of the most stimulatingin Missionary song-literature.
God shield you with a wall of firel
And hush the tumult into peace, -has been tampered with by editors, altering the last line to “Calm the troubled seas,” etc., (for the sake of the longer vowel;) but the substitution, “He'll shield you," etc., in the first line, turns a prayer into a mere statement.
The hymn was—and should remain-a Godspeed to men like William Carey, who had already begun to think and preach his immortal motto, "Attempt great things for God; expect great things of God.”
Is the “Missionary Chant," and no other. Its composer, Heinrich Christopher Zeuner, was born in Eisleben, Saxony, Sept. 20, 1795. He came to the United States in 1827, and was for many years organist at Park Street Church, Boston, and for the Handel and Haydn Society. In 1854 he removed to Philadelphia where he served three years as organist to St. Andrews Church, and Arch Street Presbyterian. He became insane in 1857, and in November of that year died by his own hand.
He published an oratorio “The Feast of Tabernacles," and two popular books, the American Harp, 1832, and The Ancient Lyre, 1833. His compositions are remarkably spirited and vigo orous, and his work as a tune-maker was much
in demand during his life, and is sure to continue, in its best examples, as long as good sacred music is appreciated.
To another beautiful missionary hymn of Mrs. Vokes, of quieter tone, but songful and sweet, Dr. Mason wrote the tune of “Migdol.” It is its musical twin.
Soon may the last glad song arise
"ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP APPEARING."
This admired and always popular church hymn was written near the beginning of the last century by the Rev. Thomas Kelly, born in Dublin, 1760. He was the son of the Hon. Chief Baron Thomas Kelly of that city, a judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas. His father designed him for the legal profession, but after his graduation at Trinity College he took holy orders in the Episcopal Church, and labored as a clergyman among the scenes of his youth for more than sixty years, becoming a Nonconformist in his later ministry. He was a sweet-souled man, who made troops of friends, and was honored as much for his piety as for his poetry, music, and oriental learning.
"I expect never to die,” he said, when Lord Plunkett once told him he would reach a great age. He finished his earthly work on the 14th of May,
1855, when he was eighty-five years old. But he still lives. His zeal for the coming of the Kingdom of Christ prompted his best hymn.
On the mountain-top appearing,
Lo! the sacred herald stands,
Zion long in hostile lands;
Have thy friends unfaithful proved ?
Cease thy mourning;
To presume that Kelly made both words and music together is possible, for he was himself a composer, but no such original tune seems to survive. In modern use Dr. Hastings' “Zion” is most frequently attached to the hymn, and was probably written for it.
“YE CHRISTIAN HEROES, WAKE TO GLORY.”
This rather crude parody on the “Marsellaise Hymn" (see Chap. 9) is printed in the American Vocalist, among numerous samples of early New England psalmody of untraced authorship. It might have been sung at primitive missionary meetings, to spur the zeal and faith of a Francis