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(the Free Archer), and numerous tender melodies like the airs to “ John Anderson, my Jo" and "O Poortith Cauld” have gone to all civilized nations. No other composer had such feeling for beauty of sound.
This beloved musician was physically frail and delicate, and died of untimely decline, during a visit to London in 1826.
“O HAPPY SAINTS WHO DWELL IN LIGHT."
Sometimes printed “O happy souls.” This poetical and flowing hymn seems to have been forgotten in the making up of most modern church hymnals. Hymns on heaven and heavenly joys abound in embarrassing numbers, but it is difficult to understand why this beautiful lyric should be universally neglected. It was written probably about 1760, by Rev. John Berridge, from the text, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” The first line of the second stanza
Released from sorrow, toil and strife, -has been tinkered in some of the older hymnbooks, where it is found to read-,
Released from sorrow, toil and grief, -not only committing a tautology, but destroying the perfect rhyme with "life" in the next line. The whole hymn, too, has been much altered by substituted words and shifted lines, though not generally to the serious detriment of its meaning and The Rev. John Berridge-friend of the Wesleys, Whitefield, and Lady Huntingdon—was an eccentric but very worthy and spiritual minister, born the son of a farmer, in Kingston, Nottinghamshire, Eng., Mar. 1, 1716. He studied at Cambridge, and was ordained curate of Stapleford and subsequently located as vicar of Everton, 1775. He died Jan. 22, 1793. He loved to preach, and he was determined that his tombstone should preach after his voice was still. His epitaph, composed by himself, is both a testimony and a memoir: “Here lie the earthly remains of John Berridge, late vicar of
Everton, and an itinerant servant of Jesus Christ, who loved his Master and His work, and after running His errands many years, was called up to wait on Him above. “Reader, art thou born again? “No salvation without the new birth. “I was born in sin, February, 1716. “Remained ignorant of my fallen state till 1730. “Lived proudly on faith and works for salvation till 1751. “Admitted to Everton vicarage, 1755. “Fled to Jesus alone for refuge, 1756. “Fell asleep in Jesus Christ,—" (1793.)
The once popular score that easily made the hymn a favorite, was “Salem,” in the old Psalmodist. It still appears in some note-books, though the name of its composer is uncertain. Its notes (in 6-8 time) succeed each other in syllabic modulations that give a soft dactylic accent to the measure and a wavy current to the lines:
O happy saints that dwell in light,
And sing His love in melting strains.
- and welcome to an endless life,
"THOU DEAR REDEEMER, DYING LAMB."
The author, John Cennick, like Joseph Hart, was led to Christ after a reckless boyhood and youth, by the work of the Divine Spirit in his soul, independent of any direct outward influence. Sickened of his cards, novels, and playhouse pleasures, he had begun a sort of mechanical reform, when one day, walking in the streets of London, he suddenly seemed to hear the text spoken “I am thy salvation!” His consecration began at that moment.
He studied for the ministry, and became a preacher, first under direction of the Wesleys, chen under Whitefield, but afterwards joined the Moravians, or “Brethren.” He was born at Reading, Derbyshire, Eng., Dec. 12, 1718. and died in London, July 4, 1755.
The word “Rhine" (in some collections in others “Emmons”) names a revival tune once so linked with this hymn and so well known that few religious people now past middle life could enjoy singing it to any other. With a compass one note beyond an octave and a third, it utters every line with a clear, bold gladness sure to infect a meeting with its own spiritual fervor.
Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb,
I love to hear of Thee;
Nor half so sweet can be. The composer of the bright legato melody just described was Frederick Burgmüller, a young German musician, born in 1804. He was a remarkable genius, both in composition and execution, but his health was frail, and he did not live to fulfil the rich possibilities that lay within him. He died in 1824-only twenty years old. The tune “Rhine” (“Emmons') is from one of his marches.
“WHILE THEE I SEEK, PROTECTING POWER.”
Helen Maria Williams wrote this sweet hymn, probably about the year 1800. She was a brilliant woman, better known in literary society for her political verses and essays than by her hymns; but the hymn here noted bears sufficient witness to her deep religious feeling:
While Thee I seek, Protecting Power,
Be my vain wishes stilled,
With better hopes be filled.
To Thee my thoughts would soar,
That mercy I adore.
Wedded so many years to the gentle, flowing music of Pleyel's “Brattle Street,” few lovers of the hymn recall its words without the melody of that emotional choral.
The plain psalm-tune, “Simpson,” by Louis Spohr, divides the stanzas into quatrains.
“JESUS MY ALL TO HEAVEN IS GONE." This hymn, by Cennick, was familiarized to the public more than two generations ago by its revival tune, sometimes called “Duane Street,” longmeter double. It is staffed in various keys, but its movement is full of life and emphasis, and its melody is contagious. The piece was composed by Rev. George Coles, in 1835.
The fact that this hymn of Cennick with Coles's tune appears in the New Methodist Hymnal indicates the survival of both in modern favor.