Copyright
William Garrett Horder.

The hymn lover: an account of the rise and growth of English hymnody online

. (page 21 of 37)
Online LibraryWilliam Garrett HorderThe hymn lover: an account of the rise and growth of English hymnody → online text (page 21 of 37)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the result, but one ignorant of the originals may be dis-
posed to say that the collection is of considerable value.
Some of the hymns from Mr. Brooke's own pen are
exquisitely beautiful. The finest is the following, of
which I give the best verses : —

When the Lord of Love was here,
Hapi^ hearte to Him were dear,
.'ffaoagh His heart was sad;



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HTMNISTS.—n, 291

Worn and lonely for our sake,

Yet He turned aside to make

All the weary glad.

Meek and lowly were His ways.
From His loving grew Hb praise,

From His giving, prayer :
All the outcasts thronged to hear,
All the sorrowful drew near

To enjoy His care.

When He walked the fields, He drew
From the flowers, and hirds, and dew,

Parables of God ;
For within His heart of love
All the soul of man did move,

Qod had His abode.

Fill us with Thy deep desire,
All the sinM to inspire,

With the Father's life:
Free us from the cares that press
On the heart of worldlineas,

From the fret and strife.

Lord, be ours Thy power to keep
In the very heart of grief.

And in trial, love.
In our meekness to be wise,
And through sorrow to arise

To our God above.

Nearly, thougli not quite equal, is the following : —

Immortal Love, within whose righteous will

Is alwa3r8 peace ;
O pity me, storm-tossed on waves of HI,

Let passion cease ;
Come down in power within my heart to reign,
For I am weak, and struggle has been vain.

The days are gone, when far and wide my will

Drove me astray ;
And now I fain would climb the arduous hHl,

That narrow way
Which leads through mist and rocks to Thine abode ;
Toiling for man and Thee, Almighty God.

Whate*er of pain Thy loving hand allot,
I gladly bear ;



Digitized



by Google



292 THE HYMN LOVER,



Only, O Lord, let peace be not forgot,

Nor yet Thy care,
Freedom from stormii, and wild desiree within,
Peaoe from the fierce oppression of my sin.

So may I, far away, when evening ialla

On life and love,
Anive at last the holy, happy halls.

With Thee above,
Wouided yet healed, sin-laden yet forgiven.
And sure that goodness is my only heaven.

To Miss Leeson we owe verses one, two, and six, to Mr.

Brooke the remaining verses, of the following beautiful

hymn for children : —

In the dark and silent night,

BlessM Lord, be Thoa my light,

So shall nothing me affright. Hallelojah I

Safely shadowed 'neath Thy wing.

Help Thy little one to sing

Glory to the heavenly King. Halleliyah I

All is still ; the evening star

Rides upon its golden car ;

In its light Thy glories are. Halleluiah i

And the moon, whose gentle ray

Olinmiers like a softer day.

Seems to whisper, " Watch and pray." HaUelojah I

Softly nestled like a dove,
I am happy in Thy love ;
Angels watch me from above. HaUelojah !

Angels sing, and so woold I,

WMle opon my bed I lie,

Praise my Father silently. HaUelojah I

As a specimen of the way in which Mr. Brooke has dealt
with and completed the work of other writers, I give the
following, the nucleus of which is a hymn of Lamartine's,
to which Mr. Whittier lent a new tenderness hy his trans-
lation, and Mr. Brooke completed, with, as I think,
certain lines of Charles Wesley running in his mind at
the time he did his work : —



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HYMNTSTS,-TL 298

Mysterious Spirit, unto whom
Ib known my sad and earth-bound frame ;
Thou whom my soul, *midst doubt and gloom,
Adoreth with a perfect flame ;
Give me the speed of bird or wind.
Or torrent rusning to the sea.
That soaring upwards I may find
My resting place in Thee.

Thoughts of my soul, how swift ye go,
Swifl as the eagle's wing of fire
Or arrows from the lightning's bow,
To God, the goal of my desire I
The weary tempest sleeps at last,
The torrent in the sea finds rest ;
Let me not always be outcast,

Lord ! take me to Tliy breast.

My prayer hath pierced to (Jod — the life.
The resurrection power is mine :
From sin and grief, from pain and strife,
1 rise on wings of love divine ;
Swifter than torrent, tempest, light,
I fly to my cerene abode.
And on the last and holiest height,
Find rest and joy in God.

Mr. Brooke's mind is so steeped in the works of the

English poets, that it must be very difficult to separate

himself, in his hymn writing, from their influence,

although in some of his hymns — ^for example, the first I

have quoted — I do not trace any such influence. That,

and others, seem to be quite original.

William Tidd Matson (bom 1833), a minister of the

Congregational Church possesses considerable mastery of

the art of hymn composition, and has written many hymns

for music which already existed. In this task he has

been very successful ; but this is an inversion of the true

order — music should be written for words, not words for

music. Sense should come before sound. Still, bearing in

mind the conditions under which many of his hymns have



Digitized



by Google



294 THE H7^fN LOVER.

been produced, they are very creditable performances, as
may be seen by the following, both of which were written
to be sung to German chorales : —

God U ID His temple.

The Almighty Father I
Roimd Hill footstool let us gather : —

Him with adoration

Serve, the Lord most holy,
Who hath mercy on the lowly,
Let ns raise
Hymns of praise,

For HiM great salvation : —

God is in His temple !

Christ oomes to His temple :

We, His word receiving,
Are made happy in believing.

Lo I from sin delivered T

He hath turned our sadness,
Our deep gloom to light and gladness !
Let us raise
Hymns of praise,

For our honds are severed : —

Christ comes to His temple I

Come and claim Thy temple,
Gracious Holy Spirit !
In our hearts Thy home inherit :—
Make in us Thy dwelling ;
Thy high work fulfilling.
Into ours Thy will instilling ;

Till we raise

Hymns of praise,
Beyond mortal telling.
In the eternal temple !

This is his best. The metre of the music rendered his

task in the following more difficult, but still it is a clever

piece of work : —

Glory, glory to God in the Highest !

Angels in chorus ioyftilly ory ;
Glory, glory to God in the Highest !

Trembling and weak our voices reply :
Fain would we echo their anthem above.
Fain would we sing to the fountain of love



Digitized



by Google



LIVING E7MNIST8.-IL 295



Glory to God Id the Highest !
What though hot feehly our acoents ariie,
Deigning to hearken, He bends from the skiea ;

Glory to God in the Highest !

Glory, glory to God in the Higliest I
Bright beaming stars of midnight proclaim,

Glory, glory to God in the Highest I
All nature peals forth in praise to His name.

Warbles the woodland, and whispers ^e Iveeae,

Boar out the torrents and tempeat'toesed seas.
Glory to God in the Highest I

Loudly creation still ceaseless prolongs,

Praise to her liaker in all her glad songs.
Glory to God in the Highest!

Glory, gloiT to God in the Highest I
Joining the choir, our tribute we bring ;

Glory, glory to God in the Highest ;
Mortals, break silenoe. grat^Uy sing,

Beigning in majesty, thronki above,

Tours is the royallest gift of His love-
Glory to God in the Higheat t

Spread through creation. His grandeur we trace,

Only in man He revealeth His grace,
Glory to God in the Highest !

His best-known hymn is ** Lord, I was blind : I could not

see," which consists of a series of antitheses which are

effective, but a little too sharply and even hardly drawn.

Lord, 1 was blind : 1 could not see
In Thy marred visage any grace ;
Bat now the beauty of Thy face
In radiant vision dawns on me.

Lord, I was deaf: I could not hear
The thrilling music of Thy voice ;
But now I hear Thee and rejoice.
And idl Thy uttered words are dear.

Lord, I was dumb : 1 could not speak
The grace and glory of Thy Name ;
But now, as touched with living flame.
My lips Thine eager praises wiS^e.

Lord, 1 was dead : I could not stir
My lifelesn soul to come to Thee ;
But now, since Thou hast quickened me,
I rise from sin's dark sepulchre.



Digitized



by Google



296 THE HYMN LOVER.

Lord, Thou hast made the blind to stte,
The deaf to hear, the dumb to speak,
The dead to live ; and lo, I break
The chains of my captivity.

.The followiDg is a very good hymn of an ethical type, but

with a very weak ending : —

Teach me, O Lord, Thy holy way,
And give me an obedient mind,
That in Thy service I may find
My soul's delight from day to day.

Guide me, O Saviour, with Thy hand,
And so control my thoughts and deeds,
That I may tread the path which leads
Right onward to the blessed land.

Help me, O Saviour, here to trace
The sacred footsteps Thou hast trod.
And meekly walking with my God,
To grow in goodness, truth, and grace.

Guard me, O Lord, that I may ne*er
Forsake the right, or do the wrong ;
Against temptation make me strong.
And round me spread Thy sheltering care.

Bless me in every task, O Lord,
Begun, continued, done for Thee ;
Fulfil Thy perfect work in me ;
And Thine abounding grace afford.

Richard Frederick Littledale (bom 1833), some of

whose hymns have appeared under the signature A. L. P.

(a London Priest), and who was one of the chief editors

of " The People's Hymnal " prepared for the High

Anglican section of the Church, both as an original

hymnist and a translator, has done excellent work. One

of the most vigorous and lyric hymns of thanksgiving for

rain after drought is the following. It is so lyric that

it almost sings itself : —

O sing to the Lord,

Whose bountiful hand
Again doth acord

His gifls to the land.



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HYMSTSTS.-ir. 297

Uis clouda have shed down

Their plenteousness here,
His goodness shall crown

The hopes of the year.

In defts of the hills

The founts He hath bnrst,
And poureth their rills

Through valleys athirst.

The river of God

The pastores hath hlest,
The dry, withered sod

In greenness is drest.

And every fold

Shall team with its sheep,
With harvests of gold

The fields shall he deep.

The vales shall rejoice

With laughter and song,
And man's grateful voice

The music prolong.

So too may He pour

The Last and the First.
His graces in store

On spirits athirst.

Till, when the great Day

Of Harvest hath come,
He takes us away

To garner at home.

Almost equal is his hymn for those at sea : —

O God, who meteet in Thine hand

The waters of the mighty sea.
And barrest ocean with the sand

By Thy perpetual decree ;

What time the floods lift up their voice

And break in anger on the shore
When deep to deep calls with the noise

Of waterspouts and billows* roar ;

When ihey who to the sea go down.

And in the waters ply their toU,
Are lifted on the surge's crown.

And plunged where seething eddies boil;



Digitized



by Google



298 thf: hymn loveb.



liule then, O Lord, the ocean's wnth,
And bind the tempest with Thy will ;

Tread, as of old, the water's path,
And speak Thy Hdding, ** Peace, be stOI."

So with Thy mercies ever new

Thy servants set from peril free,
And bring them, Pilot, wise and tme,

Unto the port where they would be.

And when there shall be sea no more,
Save that of mingled flame and glass.

Where goes no galley sped by oar.
Where gallant ships no longer pass,

When dawns the Resurrection mom.

Upon that shore, O Jesu, stand,
And give Thy pilgrims, faint and worn.

Their welcome to the Happy Land.

The following translatioii of a hymn for the Burial of a
Child, from the Paris Missal is admirable : —

Let no tears to-day be shed,
Holy is this narrow bed.

Hallelujah I

Death eternal life bestows.
Open heaven's portal throws.

Hallelujah !

And no peril waits at last
Bim who now away hath ]



' HaUelojah !



Not salvation hardly won,
Not the meed of race well run ;

Hallelujah !

But the pity of the Lord
Gives Hw child a Ml reward.

Hallelujah!

Grants the prize without the course;
Crowns without the battle's force.

HaUelijahl

GK)d, who loveth innocence.
Hastes to take His darling hence.

HallelQJahl

Christ, when this sad life is done.
Join us to Thy little one.

HaDelvjaht



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HYMNISTS,—IL 299



And in Thine own tender love,
Bring us to the home above.

Hallelujah !

Samnd Bformg Gould (bom 1834), Yicar of Lew
Trenchard, Devonshire, an accomplished and prolific
author, has written but few hymns, but those are of
a yery high order. To him we owe one of the most
beautiful and deservedly popular children's hymns in
the language, *' Now the day is over " ; whilst for adults
he has written the stirring processional *' Onward, Chris-
tian soldiers." To him we also owe the fine rendering
of Ingemann's Danish hymn, " Through the night of
doubt and sorrow." These are all too well known to
need quotation.

William Chatterton Dix (bom 1837) has been cited by
Lord Belbome as an example of the fact that the power
of hymn writing still exists in our day. A citation tme
but needless, since our lot has been cast not in an age
in which the lyric fire bums lower, but rather brighter,
than in any preceding age. Mr. Dix is a highly gifted
hymn writer. Some of his less known compositions are
touched by the High Church spirit, to which section he
belongs, but the best are too deeply Christian to show
any special theological or ecclesiastical bias. The most
popular is the well known " As with gladness men of
old," which underwent some alterations at the hands of
the Editors of '' Hymns Ancient and Modem." Nearly
equal, however, is the following — a most successful hymn
of invitation — ^the most difficult subject to treat' in verses
without a preaching, if not a pharisaic tone, making those'



Digitized



by Google



3(V> THE HYMN LOVER.

who sing to pose as saints singing to sinners. This
danger Mr. Dix has successfully avoided, as my readers
may^see : —

" Come unto Me, ye weary,

And I will give you rest,"
O bleBf-M voice of JeBus,

Which comes to hearts oppressed.
It tells of benediction,

Of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending.

Of love which cannot cease.

*' Gome unto Me, dear children.

And I will give you Light."
O loving voice of Jesus,

Which comes to cheer the night.
Our hearts were filled with sadness,

And we had lost our way,
But morning brings us gladness,

And songs the break of day.

•' Come cnto Me, ye fidnting.

And 1 will give you Life."
O n^useful voice of Jesus,

Which comes to end our strife.
The foe is stem and eager.

The fight is fierce and long,
But Thou hast made us mighty.

And stronger than the strong.

*' And whosoever cometh

I will not catst him out."
O ^tient love of Jesuo,

Which drives away our doubt ;
Which calls us, very sinners,

Unworthy though we be
OC love so free and boundless,

To come, dear Lord, to Thee !

But the most perfect in the melody of its words — the
hymn is musical, even as it is read — ^is his Harvest
hymn. I do not know where one more perfect and
melodious could he found : —



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HYMMST8, - IL 301



To Thee, O Lord, our hearU we raise

Id hymns of adoration,
To Thee bring sacrifice of praise

With shouts of exultation ;
Bright robes of gold the fields adorn.

The hills with joy are ringing,
The valleys stand so thick with corn

That even they are singing

And now, on this oar festal day.

Thy boanteoQs Hand confessing,
Upon Thine altar, Lord, we lay

The first-fruits of Thy bleesins ;
By Thee the souls of men are fed

With gifts of grace supernal,
Thou, who dost give us earthly bread.

Give us the Bread Eternal.

We bear the burden of the day,

And often toil seems dreary ;
But labour ends with sunset ray,

And rest comes for the weary ;
May we, the angel-reaping o*er,

Stand at the last accepted,
Christ's golden sheaves for evermore

To garners bright elected.

Oh, blessed is that land of Ood,

Where saints abide for ever ;
Where golden fields spread far and broad,

Where flows the crystal river :
The strains of all its holy throng

With ours to-day are blending ;
Thrice blessM is that harvest-song

Which never hath an ending.

Parts of this hymn have been very happily woven into
Sir John Stainer's fine anthem, ** Ye shall dwell in the
land."

Samuel John Stone (horn 1839), who is now Vicar of
Haggerston, has written many hymns, some of which
have acquired a world-wide popularity. The hymn hy
which he is best known is " Weary of earth, and laden
with my sin," which appeared first of all in ^^Lyra Fideliwny
Tmhe Hymns on the Apostles' Creed'' (1866). It is



Digitized



by Google



502 THE HYMN LOVER,

the hymn on Article X, " The Forgiveness of Sins."
Since its first publication, it has been slightly altered by
the author. The last lines originally read —

Like that, sweet nard, let my devotion prove,
Greatly forgiven, how I greatly love.

which now reads —

Like Ijiary's gift let my devotion prove,
Forgiven greatly, how I greatly love.

Next in popularity to this is " The Church's one founda-
tion," which is the hymn on Article IK in Lyra F\delium,
** The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints."
But of still greater merit is the following hymn for the
close of^the year : —

The old vear^B long campaign is o'er :

Behold a new begun ;
Not yet is doeed the holy war,

Not yet the triumph won.
Cat of his stUl and deep repoee

We hear the old year say :
** Go forth again to meet your foes,

Ye children of the day !

'< Go forth I firm faith in every heart,

Bright hope on every helm,
Through that shall pierce no fiery dart,

And this no fear o*erwbelm.
Go in the spirit and the might

Of Him who led the way ;
Close with the legions of the m'ght,

Ye children of the day."

So forth we go to meet the strife,

We will not fear nor fly ;
Love we the holy warrior's life.

His death we hope to die.
We slumber not, that charge in view,

*' Toil on while toil ye may.
Then ni^t will be no night to you,

Ye children of the day.*'



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HYMNI8TS.—IL 803

Lord God, our Qlorj, Three in One,

Thine own ■ustaiD, defend ;
And give, though dim this earthly sun,

Thy troe light to the end ;
Till looming tread the darkness down,

And ni^ht be swept away,
And infinite, sweet triumph crown

Thy children of ihe day.

IS'early equal, too, is the following : —

Dark it the sky that overhangs my soul,

The mists are thick that throogh the valley roll,

Bat as I tread, I cheer my heart and say,

(« When the day breaks the shadows flee away."

Unholy phantoms from the deep arise,

And ffatheir throngh the gloom before mine eyes ;

But all shall vanish at the dawning ray,—

** When the day breaks the shadows flee away."

I bear the lamp my Master gave to me,
Boming and shining must it ever be,
And I must tend it till the night decay, —
'* Till the day break, and shadows flee away."

He maketh all things good unto His own,
For them in every darkness light is sown ;
He will make good the gloom of this my day, —
Tfll that day break, and shadows flee away.

He will be near me in the awful hour
When the last foe shall come in blaokest power ;
And He will hear me when at last I pray —
*' Let the day break, the shadows flee away ! "

In Him, my CkxJ, my Glory, I will trust :
Awake and sing, O dwellers in the du^t !
Who shall come, will come, and wiU not delay, —
His day will break, those shadows flee away !

Mr. Stone is the author of ^* The Knight of Intercession,"
and also of the hymn used at the Thanksgiving Service
for the recovery of the Prince of Wales, at St. Paul's.

To Gerald Moultrie (bom 1839) we owe the following
^e rendering of the magnificent Midnight Hymn of the
Greek Church, which deserves quotation, hoth on aooount



Digitized



by Google



304 THE HYMN LOVER.



of the impressiyeness of the original and the adndrable
way in which it has been translated : —

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the oight,
And blest is he whoee loins are girt, whose lamp is burning bright ;
Bat woe to that dull servant, whom his Master shall surpnie
With lamp untrimmed, unbuming, and with slumber in his eyes.

Do thou, my soul, beware, beware lest thou in sleep sink down,
Lest thou be given o'er to death, and lose the golden crown ;
But see that thou be sober, with a watchful eye, and thus
Cry — Holy, Holy, Holy God, have mercy upon us.

That Day, the Day of Fear, shall come ; my soul, slack not thy tofl.
But lisht thy lamp, and feed it well, and make it bright with oil ;
Thou knowest not how soon may sound the cry at eventide,
" Behold, the Bridegroom comes. Arise I Oo forth to meet the
Bride."

Beware, my soul ; take thou good heed, lest thou in slumber lie.
And, like the foolish, stand without, and knock, and vainly cry ;
But watch, and bear thy lamp undimmed, and Christ shall giid thee

on
His own bright Wedding Robe of Light— the Glory of the Son.

Ada Cross, rUe Cambridge (bom 1844), is the authoresa
of two volumes, entitled " Hymns on the Litany " and
" Hymns on the Holy Communion," from which several
of great beauty have passed into recent hymnals. One
for Sunday morning, ** The dawn of God's dear Sabbath,'^
and another for the Communion, ** Jesu, great Eedeemer,
source of life divine," are of great merit, and are now
widely known.

Elizabeth Charles {nee Rundle) is the well-known
authoress of " The Schonberg Cotta Family," and many
stories of a religious historical type. Her book ** The
Voice of Christian Life in Song" is an admirable con-
tribution to that subject, and contains many good
translations of the hymns of other lands. I have already



Digitized



by Google



LIVING HYMNCSTS.'-IL 305



quoted (p. 51) an example, in her rendering of one of the
hymns of the Yenerahle Bede. Bat she has written some
admirahle original hymns, most of them included in her
volume of poems " The Three Wakings " ; these are hoth
original and suggestive. As they are not widely known,
I will quote what are in my judgment the best. The
following is full of spiritual insight into the work which
the Cross is intended to effect in our hearts : —

Never further than Thy cross,

Neyer higher than Thy feet ;
Here earth's predoui things seem dross,

Here earth^s Utter things grow sweet.

Gazing thus our sin we see,
Learn Thy love while gazing thus ;

Sin which lud the cross on Thee,
Love which bore the cross for us.

Here we learn to serve and give,

And, rejoicing, self deny ;
Here we gather love to live.

Here we gather faith to die.

Symbols of our liberty

And our service here unite ;
Captives, by Thy cross set free,

Soldiers of Thy cross we fight.

Pressing onwards as we can,
' Still to this our hearts must tend ;
Where our earliest hopes began,
There our last aspirings end.

Till amid the Hosts of Light,

We in Thee redeemed, complete,
Through Thy cross made pure and white,

Cast our crowns before Thy feet.

Her hymn for the Communion lifts our eyes from the doaid
to the living Christ in a verj striking way : —

Around a table, not a tomb,
He willed our gathering-place to be ;

When Koing to prepare our home,
Our Saviour said — • Remember Me."



Digitized



by Google



306 THE HYMN LOVER.



We kneel aroand do scalptured stone,
Marking the place where Jesus lay ;

Empty the tomo, the angels gone,
The stone for ever rolled away.

N^ I sculptured stones are for the dead I
Thy thi^ dark days of death are o*er ;

ThoQ art the Life, our living Head,
Our living Light for evermore ;

Of no fond relics, sadly dear,

O Master 1 are Thine own possest ;
The crown of thorns, the cross, the spear,

The purple robe, the seamless vest.

Nay, relics are for those who mourn

The memory of an absent friend ;
Not absent Thou, nor we forlorn I

'* With you each day until the end ! "

Thus round Thy table, not Thy tomb,
We keep Thy sacred feast with Thee ;

Until within the Father*s home
Oor endless gathering-plaoe shall be

The following may be objected to, as not being in the

strictest sense a hymn, but it is so rousing, so full of a

large sympathy, that both Bishop Bickersteth in his

"Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer,'*

and I, in my " Congregational Hymns," could not resist

the temptation to stretch a point, so as to include it. My

readers shall judge whether we were wise or not in so

douig : —

Is Thy omse of comfort wasting ? rise and share it with another.
And through all the years of famine it shall serve thee and thy
brother.

Love divine will fill thy storehouse, or thy handful still renew ;



Online LibraryWilliam Garrett HorderThe hymn lover: an account of the rise and growth of English hymnody → online text (page 21 of 37)