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-and every line enforcing its exhortation with a new word. “To be wise," "to implore," "to return,” and “to be blest” were natural cumulatives that summoned and wooed the sinner careless and astray. It is a finished piece of work, but it owes its longevity less to its structural form than to its spirit. For generations it has been sung to “Pleyel's Hymn."
The Rev. Thomas Scott (not Rev. Thomas Scott the Commentator) was born in Norwich, Eng., in 1705, and died at Hupton, in Norfolk, 1776. He was a Dissenting minister, pastor for twenty-one years—until disabled by feeble health—at Lowestoft in Suffolk. He was the author of
Angels roll the rock away.
“MUST JESUS BEAR THE CROSS ALONE?"
This emotional and appealing hymn still holds its own in the hearts of millions, though probably two hundred years old. It was written by a clergyman of the Church of England, the Rev. Thomas Shepherd, Vicar of Tilbrook, born in 1665. Joining the Nonconformists in 1694, he settled first in Castle Hill, Nottingham, and afterward in Bocking, Essex, where he remained until his death, January, 1739. He published a selection of his sermons, and Penitential Cries, a book of sacred lyrics, some of which still appear in collections.
The startling question in the above line is answered with emphasis in the third of the stanza,
No! There's a cross for every one,
And there's a cross for me,
—and this is followed by the song of resolve and triumph,
The consecrated cross I'll bear,
Till death shall set me free.
* * * * * *
O Resurrection Day!
And bear my soul away! The hymn is a personal New Testament. No one who analyzes it and feels its Christian vitality will wonder why it has lived so long.
THE TUNE. For half a century George N. Allen, composer of “Maitland," the music inseparable from the hymn, was credited with the authorship of the words also, but his vocal aid to the heart-stirring poem earned him sufficient praise. The tune did not meet the hymn till the latter was so old that the real author was mostly forgotten, for Allen wrote the music in 1849; but if the fine stanzas needed any renewing it was his tune that made them new. Since it was published nobody has wanted another.
George Nelson Allen was born in Mansfield, Mass., Sept. 7, 1812, and lived at Oberlin, O. It was there that he composed “Maitland,” and compiled the Social and Sabbath Hymn-book-besides songs for the Western Bell, published by Oliver Ditson and Co. He died in Cincinnati, Dec. 9, 1877.
"AWAKE MY SOUL, STRETCH EVERY NERVEI"
This most popular of Dr. Doddridge's hymns is also the richest one of all in lyrical and spiritual life. It is a stadium song that sounds the startingnote for every young Christian at the outset of his career, and the slogan for every faint Christian on the way.
A beavenly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown. Like the “Coronation” hymn, it transports the devout singer till he feels only the momentum of the words and forgets whether it is common or hallelujah metre that carries him along.
A cloud of witnesses around
Hold thee in full survey;
And onward urge thy way!
That calls thee from on high,
To thine aspiring eye. In all persuasive hymnology there is no more kindling lyric that this. As a field-hymn it is indispensable.
Whenever and by whomsoever the brave proCessional known as “Christmas" was picked from among the great Handel's Songs and mated with Doddridge's lines, the act gave both hymn and tune new reason to endure, and all posterity rejoices in the blend. Old “Christmas" was origa inally one of the melodies in the great Composer's Opera of "Circ" (Cyrus) 1738. It was written to Latin words (Von si iactuel, and afterwards adapted to an English versification of Job 29:15, “I was eyes to the blind."
Handel, himself became blind at the age of sixty eight (1753).
“THERE IS A GREEN HILL FAR AWAY."
Written in 1848 by Miss Cecil Frances Humphreys, an Irish lady, daughter of Major John Humphreys of Dublin. She was bom in that city in 1823. Her best known name is Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander, her husband being the Rt. Rev. William Alexander, Bishop of Derry. Among her works are Hymns for Little Children, Narrative Hymns, Hymns Descriptive and Devotional, and Moral Songs. Died 1895.
“There is a green hill" is poetic license, but the hymn is sweet and sympathetic, and almost child like in its simplicity.
There is a green hill far away
ymns for Little Chile. Among her