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dearing young charms,” now known as the tune of “Fair Harvard,” is rather startling at first, but the adoption is quite in keeping with the policy of Luther and Wesley.
“St. Kevin," written to it forty years ago by John Henry Cornell, organist of St. Paul's, New York City, is sweet and sympathetic.
The newest church collection (1905) gives the beautiful air and harmony of “Athens” to the hymn, and notes the music as a "Greek Melody."
But the nameless English tune, of uncertain authorship* that accompanies the words in the smaller old manuals, and which delighted Sundayschools for a generation, is still the favorite in the memory of thousands, and may be the very music first written. “WE SPEAK OF THE REALMS OF THE BLEST.”
Mrs. Elizabeth Mills, wife of the Hon. Thomas Mills, M.P., was born at Stoke Newington, Eng., 1805. She was one of the brief voices that sing one song and die. This hymn was the only note of her minstrelsy, and it has outlived her by more than three-quarters of a century. She wrote it about three weeks before her decease in Finsbury Place, London, April 21, 1839, at the age of twenty-four.
We speak of the land of the blest,
A country so bright and so fair,
* * * * * * *Harmonized by Hubert P. Main,
We speak of its freedom from sin,
From sorrow, temptation and care,
But what must it be to be there!
The hymn, like several of the Gospel hymns besides, was carried into the Sunday-schools by its music. Mr. Stebbins' popular duet-and-chorus is fluent and easily learned and rendered by rote; and while it captures the ear and compels the voice of the youngest, it expresses both the pathos and the exaltation of the words.
George Coles Stebbins was born in East Carleton, Orleans Co., N. Y., Feb. 26, 1846. Educated at common school, and an academy in Albany, he turned his attention to music and studied in Rochester, Chicago, and Boston. It was in Chicago that his musical career began, while chorister at the First Baptist Church; and while holding the same position at Clarendon St. Church, Boston, (1874–6), he entered on a course of evangelistic work with D. L. Moody as gospel singer and composer. He was co-editor with Sankey and McGranahan of Gospel Hymns.
This hymn, beginning originally with the lines,–
Up and away like the dew of the morning,
-has been repeatedly altered since it left Dr. Bonar's hands. Besides the change of metaphors, the first personal pronoun singular is changed to the plural. There was strength, and a natural vivacity in
So let me steal away gently and lovingly,
As at present sung the first stanza reads-,
Losing their light in the glorious sun,
The idea voiced in the refrain is true and beautiful, and the very euphony of its words helps to enforce its meaning and make the song pleasant and suggestive for young and old. It has passed into popular quotation, and become almost a proverb.
THE TUNE. The tune (in Gospel Hymns No. 6) is Mr. Sankey's.
Ira David Sankey was born in Edinburgh, Lawrence Co., Pa., Aug. 28, 1840. He united with the Methodist Church at the age of fifteen, and became choir leader, Sunday-school superintendent and president of the Y. M. C. A., all in his native town. Hearing Philip Phillips sing impressed him deeply, when a young man, with the power of a gifted solo vocalist over assembled multitudes, but he did not fully realize his own capability till Dwight L. Moody heard his remarkable voice and convinced him of his divine mission to be a gospel singer.
The success of his revival tours with Mr. Moody in America and England is history.
Mr. Sankey has compiled at least five singing books, and has written the Story of the Gospel Hymns. Until overtaken by blindness, in his later years he frequently appeared as a lecturer on sacred music. The manuscript of his story of the Gospel Hymns was destroyed by accident, but, undismayed by the ruin of his work, and the loss of his eye-sight, like Sir Isaac Newton and Thomas Carlyle, he began his task again. With the help of an amanuensis the book was restored and, in 1905, given to the public. (See page 258.)
“SAVIOUR, LIKE A SHEPHERD LEAD US."
Mrs. Dorothy Ann Thrupp, of Paddington Green, London, the author of this hymn, was born June 20, 1799, and died, in London, Dec. 14, 1847. Her hymns first appeared in Mrs. Herbert Mayo's Selection of Poetry and Hymns for the Use of Infant and Juvenile Schools,” (1838.)
We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,
Be the Guardian of our way:
The tune everywhere accepted and loved is W. B. Bradbury's; written in 1856.
“YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION."
A much used and valued hymn, with a captivating tune and chorus for young assemblies. Both words and music are by H. R. Palmer, composed in 1868.
Yield not to temptation,
Horatio Richmond Palmer was born in Sherburne, N.Y., April 26, 1834, of a musical family, and sang alto in his father's choir when only nine. He studied music unremittingly, and taught music at fifteen. Brought up in a Christian home, his religious life began in his youth, and he consecrated his art to the good of man and the glory of God.
He became well-known as a composer of sacred music, and as a publisher-the sales of his Song Queen amounting to 200,000 copies. As a leader of musical conventions and in the Church Choral Union, his influence in elevating the standard of song-worship has been widely felt.