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When peace like a river attendeth my way,
A friend of Spafford who knew his history read this hymn while repining under an inferior affliction of his own. “If he can feel like that after suffering what he has suffered,” he said, “I will cease my complaints.”
It may not have been the weight of Mr. Spafford's sorrows wearing him down, but one would infer some mental disturbance in the man seven or eight years later. “In 1881" [writes Mr. Hubert P. Main]“ he went to Jerusalem under the hallucination that he was a second Messiah-and died there on the seventh anniversary of his landing in Palestine, Sept. 5, 1888.” The aberrations of an overwrought mind are beckonings to God's compassion. When reason wanders He takes the soul of His helpless child into his own keeping—and “it is well.”
The tune to Spafford's hymn is by P. P. Bliss; a gentle, gliding melody that suits the mood of the words.
“WAITING AND WATCHING FOR ME.”
Written by Mrs. Marianne Farningham Hearn, born in Kent, Eng., Dec. 17, 1834. The hymn was first published in the fall of 1864 in the London Church World. Its unrythmical first line
When mysterious whispers are foating about, -was replaced by the one now familiar
When my final farewell to the world I have said,
And gladly lain down to my rest,
And fold my pale hands on my breast,
The walls of that City I see,
Be waiting and watching for me? Mrs. Hearn-a member of the Baptist denom. ination has long been the editor of the (English) Sunday School Times, but her literary work has been more largely in connection with the Christian World newspaper of which she has been a staffmember since its foundation.
THE TUNE. The long lines, not easily manageable for con gregational singing, are wisely set by Mr. Bliss to duet music. There is a weighty thought in the hymn for every Christian, and experience has shown that a pair of good singers can make it very affecting, but the only use of the repeat, by way of a chorus, seems to be to give the miscellaneous voices a brief chance to sing.
“HE WILL HIDE ME.”
(Isa. 49:2.) Miss Mary Elizabeth Servoss, the author of this trustful hymn, was born in Schenectady, N. Y., Aug. 22, 1849. When a very young girl her ad
miration of Fanny Crosby's writings, and the great and good service they were doing in the world, inspired her with a longing to resemble her. Though her burden was as real, it was not like the other's, and her opportunities for religious meditation and literary work were fewer than those of the elder lady, but the limited number of hymns she has written have much of the spirit and beauty of their model.
Providence decreed for her a life of domestic care and patient waiting. For eighteen years she. was the constant attendant of a disabled grandmother, and long afterwards love and duty made her the home nurse during her mother's protracted illness and the last sickness of her father, until both parents passed away.
From her present home in Edeson, Ill., some utterances of her chastened spirit have found their way to the public, and been a gospel of blessing. Besides “He Will Hide Me," other hymns of Miss Servoss are “Portals of Light," "He Careth,” “Patiently Enduring,” and “Gates of Praise,” the last being the best known.
When the storms of life are raging,
Tempests wild on sea and land,
In the shadow of God's hand.
He will hide me, He will hide me,
He will hide me, safeiv hide me
In the shadow of His hand.
So while here the cross I'm bearing,
Meeting storms and biows wild,
He will hide me, etc.
An animating choral in nine eight tempo, with a swinging movement and fugue chorus, is rather florid for the hymn, but underiably musical. Mr. James McGranahan was the composer. He was bom in Adamsville, Pa., July 4, 1840. His education was acquired mostly at the public schools, and boch in general knowledge and in musical accomplishments it may be said of him that he is “self-made."
Music was born in him, and at the age of nineteen, with some raluable help from men like Bassini, Webb, Root and Zerrahn, he had studied to so good purpose that he taught music classes himself. This talent, joined to the gift of a very sweet tenor voice, made him the natural successor of the lamented Bliss, and, with Major D. W. Whittle, he entered on a career of gospel work, making between 1881 and 188; two successful tours of England, Scotland and Ireland, and through the chief American cities.
Among his publications are the Male Chorus Book, Songs of the Gospel and the Gospel Male Choir.
Resides at Kinsman, O.
“REVIVE THY WORK, O LORD.”
(Heb. 3:2.) The supposed date of the hymn is 1860; the author, Albert Midlane. He was born at Newport on the Isle of Wight, Jan. 23, 1825 a business man, but, being a Sunday-school teacher, he was prompted to write verses for children. The habit grew upon him till he became a frequent and acceptable hymn-writer, both for juvenile and for general use. English collections have at least three hundred credited to him.
Revive Thy work, O Lord,
Thy mighty arm make bare,
And make Thy people hear.
Music and words together make a song-litany alive with all the old psalm-tune unction and the new vigor; and both were upon Mr. McGranahan when he wrote the choral. It is one of his successes.
Revive thy work, O Lord,
Exalt Thy precious name,