George W. Bethune

George W. Bethune
Short Name: George W. Bethune
Full Name: Bethune, George W. (George Washington), 1805-1862
Birth Year: 1805
Death Year: 1862

Bethune, George Washington, D.D. A very eminent divine of the Reformed Dutch body, born in New York, 1805, graduated at Dickinson Coll., Carlisle, Phila., 1822, and studied theology at Princeton. In 1827 he was appointed Pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church, Rinebeck, New York. In 1830 passed to Utica, in 1834 to Philadelphia, and in 1850 to the Brooklyn Heights, New York. In 1861 he visited Florence, Italy, for his health, and died in that city, almost suddenly after preaching, April 27, 1862. His Life and Letters were edited by A. R. Van Nest, 1867. He was offered the Chancellorship of New York University, and the Provostship of the University of Pennsylvania, both of which he declined. His works include The Fruits of the Spirit, 1839; Sermons, 1847; Lays of Love & Faith, 1847; The British Female Poets, 1848, and others. Of his hymns, some of which liave attained to some repute, we have:—

    1. Tossed upon life's raging billow. Sailor's Hymn. Appeared in the Christian Lyre, 1830; in the Seamen's Devotional Assistant the same year, and in Dr. Bethune's Lays, 1847, p. 168, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines. It "is said to have been the Author's first and favourite hymn, having been written when he was on a voyage to the West Indies, for the benefit of his health, in the year 1825" (Lyra Sac. Amer. p. 297). It is a "Sailor's Hymn;" as such it was given in Lyra Sac. Amer., and thence passed into The Hymnary, 1872, and other English collections.
    2. O for the happy hour. Whitsuntide. "A Prayer for the Spirit," contributed to the Parish Hymns, Phila., 1843, and republished in the Lays, &c, 1847, p. 158, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. It is found in many modern collections.
    3. It is not death to die. A translation of Caesar Malan's "Non, ce n'est pas mourir," (q.v.) from his Lays, 1847, p. 141, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. As stated above, Dr. Bethune died at Florence. His remains were taken to New York, and buried in Greenwood Cemetery. This hymn, in compliance with a request made by him before his death, was sung at his funeral. It is found in several English hymnals.
    4. Light of the Immortal Father's glory. Evening. A translation of a Greek hymn. (q.v.). It appeared in his Lays, &c, 1847, p. 137, in 2 stanzas of 8 lines, and is in common use.
    5. Farewell to thee, brother. Parting. "The departing Missionary," published in his Lays, &c, 1847, p. 170, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and included in Lyra Sac. Amer., 1868, and thence into English collections. It is not in common use in America.
    6. O Jesus, when I think of Thee. Easter. This is said to bear the date of 1847. It was 1st pub. in his Life, &c, 1867. Included in Lyra Sac. Americana (where it is stated to have been found in MS. amongst the author's papers), and from the Lyra into English collections. It is an Easter hymn of no special merit.
    7. Come, let us sing of Jesus. S. Schools. Published in 1850, suited to Sunday schools, and is found in Snepp's Songs of Grace and Glory and others.
    8. O Thou Who in Jordan didst bow Thy meek head. Adult Baptism. Written for and much used by the Baptists. It is dated 1857.
    9. There is no Name so sweet on earth. Name of Jesus. Said by Mr. H. P. Main to be by Dr. Bethune. It has been wrongly ascribed to E. Roberts, a musician.
    10. When time seems short and death is near. Death anticipated. This was found in the author's portfolio, and was written on Saturday, April 27th, 1862, the day before his death at Florence (Life, &c, p. 409). It was included in the Lyra Sac. Amer., 1808, and from thence passed into one or two English hymnals.

In his Lays, &c, 1847, Dr. Bethune included the following "Christmas Carols for Sunday School Children”:

    1. The Almighty Spirit to a poor, &c.
    2. Joy and gladness, joy and gladness.
    3. Full many a year has sped.
    4. We come, we come, with loud acclaim.

In the same work there are also metrical renderings of Psalms ix., xix., xxiii., cxxvi., and cxxvii. In the Lyra Sacra Americana, 14 pieces by Dr. Bethune are given, including many of the above.

-John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Bethune, George Washington, p. 138, ii. Other hymns from his Lays of Love and Faith, 1847, are in common use:-
1. 'Tis He, 'tis He, I know Him now. Easter.
2. Upon the well by Sychar's gate. Resignation.
3. Yes, boar them to their rest. Evening. "Hymn to Night, suggested by the Bas-relief of Thorwaldsen."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Wikipedia Biography

George Washington Bethune (March 18, 1805 – April 28, 1862) was a preacher-pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church.

Texts by George W. Bethune (39)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
大地無名甜至如此!名甜至此高天無!(Dàdì wúmíng tián zhì rúcǐ! Míng tián zhìcǐ gāo tiān wú!)George W. Bethune (Author)Chinese2
لا يوجد اسم في السماGeorge W. Bethune (Author)Arabic1
ليس موت الجسم موتاGeorge W. Bethune (Author)Arabic1
Aole inoa ma ke aoGeo. W. Bethune (Author)Hawaiian3
Come, let us sing of Jesus, While hearts and accents blendGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English97
Der Name Jesus ist so süßGeorge W. Bethune (Author)German1
Farewell to thee, brotherGeorge W. Bethune (Author)7
Full many a year has spedGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
God's blessing be upon our own, our native landGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English3
Hark, the angels singing, Wake the happy mornG. W. Bethune, D. D. (Author)English1
I love to sing when I am gladBethune (Author)English4
I see thee sweetly smileGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English1
If only I have TheeDr. G. W. Bethune (Translator)English7
In the dying of the yearGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
It is not death to dieGeorge W. Bethune (Translator)English98
Jesus, Shepherd of thy sheep, Hither with thy flock we comeGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English3
Joy and gladness, joy and gladnessGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English6
Let others praise the ruby brightGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English7
Light of the immortal father's gloryGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
Live to do good, but not with thought to winGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
No hay otro nombre para míGeorge W. Bethune (Author)Spanish2
O blessed Jesus, when I see thee bendingGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English3
O city of the jasper wallGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English29
O for the happy hourRev. George W. Bethune, 1805-1862 (Author)English52
O Jesus, when I think of theeGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English47
O thou who in Jordan didst bow Thy meek headGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English39
The desert flower afar may bloomGeorge W. Bethune (Author)3
There is no name so sweet on earthGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English244
They seek their father countryGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
'Tis he, 'tis he, I know him nowGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English4
Tossed upon life's raging billowGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English67
Upon the well by Sychar's gateGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
We come to the fountain, we stand by the waveGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
We come, we come, with loud acclaimDr. Bethune (Author)English25
We love to sing of Christ our King (Chorus)George W. Bethune (Author)English4
When time seems short and death is nearGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English20
Who shall sing if not the childrenGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2
Within her downy cradle, there lay a little childG. W. Bethune, D.D. (Author)English3
Yes, bear them to their restGeorge W. Bethune (Author)English2

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