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There, there on eagle wings we soar,
While glory crowns the Mercy Seat.
He was a popular and effective preacher and a graceful writer. Forty-seven hymns are credited to him, the above being the best known. To presume it is "his best,” leaves a good margin of merit for the remainder.
"From every stormy wind that blows" has practically but one tune. It has been sung to Hastings “Retreat" ever since the music was made.
"CHILD OF SIN AND SORROW.”
Child of sin and sorrow, filled with dismay,
Child of sin and sorrow, hear and obey.
“LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT.”
John Henry Newman, born in London, Feb. 21, 1801_known in religious history as Cardinal Newman-wrote this hymn when he was a young clergyman of the Church of England. “Born
within the sound of Bow bells,” says Dr. Benson, "he was an imaginative boy, and so superstitious, that he used constantly to cross himself when going into the dark.” Intelligent students of the fine hymn will note this habit of its author's mind
—and surmise its influence on his religious musings.
The agitations during the High Church movement, and the persuasions of Hurrell Froude, a Romanist friend, while he was a tutor at Oxford, gradually weakened his Protestant faith, and in his unrest he travelled to the Mediterranean coast, crossed to Sicily, where he fell violently ill, and after his recovery waited three weeks in Palermo foi a return boat. On his trip to Marsailles he wrote the hymn—with no thought that it would ever be called a hymn.
When complimented on the beautiful production after it became famous he modestly said, “It was not the hymn but the tune that has gained the popularity. The tune is Dykes' and Dr. Dykes is a great master."
Dr. Newman was created a Cardinal of the Church of Rome in the Catholic Cathedral of London, 1879. Died Aug. 11, 1890.
“Lux Benigna," by Dr. Dykes, was composed in Aug. 1865, and was the tune chosen for this hymn by a committee preparing the Appendix
to Hymns Ancient and Modern. Dr. Dykes' statement that the tune came into his head while walking through the Strand in London “presents a striking contrast with the solitary origin of the hymn itself” (Benson).
Lead, kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on.
Lead Thou me on.
So long Thy power hath bless'd me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
The night is gone,
"I HEARD THE VOICE OF JESUS SAY."
Few if any Christian writers of his generation have possessed tuneful gifts in greater opulence or produced more vital and lasting treasures of spiritual verse than Horatius Bonar of Scotland. He inherited some of his poetic faculty from his grandfather, a clergyman who wrote several hymns, and it is told of Horatius that hymns used to “ come to” him while riding on railroad trains, He was educated in the Edinburgh University and studied theology with Dr. Chalmers, and his life was greatly influenced by Dr. Guthrie, whom he followed in the establishment of the Free Church of Scotland.
Born in 1808 in Edinburgh, he was about forty years old when he came back from a successful pastorate at Kelso to the city of his home and Alma Mater, and became virtually Chalmers' successor as minister of the Chalmers Memorial Church.
The peculiar richness of Bonar's sacred songs very early created for them a warm welcome in the religious world, and any devout lyric or poem with his name attached to it is sure to be read.
Dr. Bonar died in Edinburgh, July 31, 1889. Writing of the hymn, “I heard the voice," etc., Dr. David Breed calls it “one of the most ingenious hymns in the language,” referring to the fact that the invitation and response exactly halve each stanza between them—song followed by countersong. “Ingenious" seems hardly the right word for a division so obviously natural and almost automatic. It is a simple art beauty that a poet of culture makes by instinct. Bowring's “Watchman, tell us of the night," is not the only other instance of similar countersong structure, and the regularity in Thomas Scott's little hymn, “Hasten, sinner, to be wise," is only a simpler case of the way a poem plans itself by the compulsion of its subject.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Come unto me and rest,
Thy head upon My breast:
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad,
And He has made me glad.
Cathedral, e nenry Havergal. c years earlier by
The old melody of “Evan,” long a favorite, and since known everywhere through the currency given to it in the Gospel Hymns, has been in many collections connected with the words. It is good congregational psalmody, and not unsuited to the sentiment, taken line by line, but it divides the stanzas into quatrains, which breaks the happy continuity. "Evan” was made by Dr. Mason in 1850 from a song written four years earlier by Rev. William Henry Havergal, Canon of Worcester Cathedral, Eng. He was the father of Frances Ridley Havergal.
The more ancient “Athens,” by Felice Giardini (1716–1796), author of the “Italian Hymn," has clung, and still clings lovingly to Bonar's hymn in many communities. Its simplicity, and the involuntary accent of its sextuple time, exactly reproducing the easy iambic of the verses, inevitably made it popular, and thousands of older singers today will have no other music with “I heard the voice of Jesus say.”
"Vox Jesu," from the andante in one of the quartets of Louis Spohr (1784-1859), is a psalmtune of good harmony, but too little feeling.
An excellent tune for all the shades of expression