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Lowell Mason

1792 - 1872 Person Name: Lowell Mason, 1792-1872 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Composer of "MISSIONARY HYMN" in Lutheran Service Book Dr. Lowell Mason (the degree was conferred by the University of New York) is justly called the father of American church music; and by his labors were founded the germinating principles of national musical intelligence and knowledge, which afforded a soil upon which all higher musical culture has been founded. To him we owe some of our best ideas in religious church music, elementary musical education, music in the schools, the popularization of classical chorus singing, and the art of teaching music upon the Inductive or Pestalozzian plan. More than that, we owe him no small share of the respect which the profession of music enjoys at the present time as contrasted with the contempt in which it was held a century or more ago. In fact, the entire art of music, as now understood and practiced in America, has derived advantage from the work of this great man. Lowell Mason was born in Medfield, Mass., January 8, 1792. From childhood he had manifested an intense love for music, and had devoted all his spare time and effort to improving himself according to such opportunities as were available to him. At the age of twenty he found himself filling a clerkship in a banking house in Savannah, Ga. Here he lost no opportunity of gratifying his passion for musical advancement, and was fortunate to meet for the first time a thoroughly qualified instructor, in the person of F. L. Abel. Applying his spare hours assiduously to the cultivation of the pursuit to which his passion inclined him, he soon acquired a proficiency that enabled him to enter the field of original composition, and his first work of this kind was embodied in the compilation of a collection of church music, which contained many of his own compositions. The manuscript was offered unavailingly to publishers in Philadelphia and in Boston. Fortunately for our musical advancement it finally secured the attention of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, and by its committee was submitted to Dr. G. K. Jackson, the severest critic in Boston. Dr. Jackson approved most heartily of the work, and added a few of his own compositions to it. Thus enlarged, it was finally published in 1822 as The Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Mason's name was omitted from the publication at his own request, which he thus explains, "I was then a bank officer in Savannah, and did not wish to be known as a musical man, as I had not the least thought of ever making music a profession." President Winchester, of the Handel and Haydn Society, sold the copyright for the young man. Mr. Mason went back to Savannah with probably $500 in his pocket as the preliminary result of his Boston visit. The book soon sprang into universal popularity, being at once adopted by the singing schools of New England, and through this means entering into the church choirs, to whom it opened up a higher field of harmonic beauty. Its career of success ran through some seventeen editions. On realizing this success, Mason determined to accept an invitation to come to Boston and enter upon a musical career. This was in 1826. He was made an honorary member of the Handel and Haydn Society, but declined to accept this, and entered the ranks as an active member. He had been invited to come to Boston by President Winchester and other musical friends and was guaranteed an income of $2,000 a year. He was also appointed, by the influence of these friends, director of music at the Hanover, Green, and Park Street churches, to alternate six months with each congregation. Finally he made a permanent arrangement with the Bowdoin Street Church, and gave up the guarantee, but again friendly influence stepped in and procured for him the position of teller at the American Bank. In 1827 Lowell Mason became president and conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society. It was the beginning of a career that was to win for him as has been already stated the title of "The Father of American Church Music." Although this may seem rather a bold claim it is not too much under the circumstances. Mr. Mason might have been in the average ranks of musicianship had he lived in Europe; in America he was well in advance of his surroundings. It was not too high praise (in spite of Mason's very simple style) when Dr. Jackson wrote of his song collection: "It is much the best book I have seen published in this country, and I do not hesitate to give it my most decided approbation," or that the great contrapuntist, Hauptmann, should say the harmonies of the tunes were dignified and churchlike and that the counterpoint was good, plain, singable and melodious. Charles C. Perkins gives a few of the reasons why Lowell Mason was the very man to lead American music as it then existed. He says, "First and foremost, he was not so very much superior to the members as to be unreasonably impatient at their shortcomings. Second, he was a born teacher, who, by hard work, had fitted himself to give instruction in singing. Third, he was one of themselves, a plain, self-made man, who could understand them and be understood of them." The personality of Dr. Mason was of great use to the art and appreciation of music in this country. He was of strong mind, dignified manners, sensitive, yet sweet and engaging. Prof. Horace Mann, one of the great educators of that day, said he would walk fifty miles to see and hear Mr. Mason teach if he could not otherwise have that advantage. Dr. Mason visited a number of the music schools in Europe, studied their methods, and incorporated the best things in his own work. He founded the Boston Academy of Music. The aim of this institution was to reach the masses and introduce music into the public schools. Dr. Mason resided in Boston from 1826 to 1851, when he removed to New York. Not only Boston benefited directly by this enthusiastic teacher's instruction, but he was constantly traveling to other societies in distant cities and helping their work. He had a notable class at North Reading, Mass., and he went in his later years as far as Rochester, where he trained a chorus of five hundred voices, many of them teachers, and some of them coming long distances to study under him. Before 1810 he had developed his idea of "Teachers' Conventions," and, as in these he had representatives from different states, he made musical missionaries for almost the entire country. He left behind him no less than fifty volumes of musical collections, instruction books, and manuals. As a composer of solid, enduring church music. Dr. Mason was one of the most successful this country has introduced. He was a deeply pious man, and was a communicant of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Mason in 1817 married Miss Abigail Gregory, of Leesborough, Mass. The family consisted of four sons, Daniel Gregory, Lowell, William and Henry. The two former founded the publishing house of Mason Bros., dissolved by the death of the former in 19G9. Lowell and Henry were the founders of the great organ manufacturer of Mason & Hamlin. Dr. William Mason was one of the most eminent musicians that America has yet produced. Dr. Lowell Mason died at "Silverspring," a beautiful residence on the side of Orange Mountain, New Jersey, August 11, 1872, bequeathing his great musical library, much of which had been collected abroad, to Yale College. --Hall, J. H. (c1914). Biographies of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company.

Nolan Williams

Person Name: Nolan Williams, Jr., b. 1969 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Arranger of "[Your grace and mercy brought me through]" in African American Heritage Hymnal

John L. Bell

b. 1949 Person Name: John L. Bell (b. 1949) Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Author of "Jesus Christ, our living Lord" in Church Hymnary (4th ed.) John Bell (b. 1949) was born in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, intending to be a music teacher when he felt the call to the ministry. But in frustration with his classes, he did volunteer work in a deprived neighborhood in London for a time and also served for two years as an associate pastor at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam. After graduating he worked for five years as a youth pastor for the Church of Scotland, serving a large region that included about 500 churches. He then took a similar position with the Iona Community, and with his colleague Graham Maule, began to broaden the youth ministry to focus on renewal of the church’s worship. His approach soon turned to composing songs within the identifiable traditions of hymnody that began to address concerns missing from the current Scottish hymnal: "I discovered that seldom did our hymns represent the plight of poor people to God. There was nothing that dealt with unemployment, nothing that dealt with living in a multicultural society and feeling disenfranchised. There was nothing about child abuse…,that reflected concern for the developing world, nothing that helped see ourselves as brothers and sisters to those who are suffering from poverty or persecution." [from an interview in Reformed Worship (March 1993)] That concern not only led to writing many songs, but increasingly to introducing them internationally in many conferences, while also gathering songs from around the world. He was convener for the fourth edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church Hymnary (2005), a very different collection from the previous 1973 edition. His books, The Singing Thing and The Singing Thing Too, as well as the many collections of songs and worship resources produced by John Bell—some together with other members of the Iona Community’s “Wild Goose Resource Group,” —are available in North America from GIA Publications. Emily Brink

Ken Canedo

Person Name: Ken Canedo, b. 1953 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Author of "For the Sake of Christ" in Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.)

Anna Letitia Waring

1823 - 1910 Person Name: A. L. Waring Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Author of "Compassed about with songs, my soul was still" in Hymns and Meditations See also in: Hymn Writers of the Church ================ Waring, Anna Laetitia, daughter of Elijah Waring, and niece of Samuel Miller Waring, was born at Neath, Glamorganshire, in 1820. In 1850 she published her Hymns and Meditations, by A. L. W., a small book of 19 hymns. The 4th edition was published in 1854. The 10th edition, 1863, is enlarged to 38 hymns. She also published Additional Hymns, 1858, and contributed some pieces to the Sunday Magazine, 1871. Her most widely known hymns are: "Father, I know that all my life," "Go not far from me, O my Strength," and "My heart is resting, O my God." The rest in common use include:— 1. Dear Saviour of a dying world. Resurrection. (1854.) 2. In heavenly love abiding. Safety in God. (1850.) 3. Jesus, Lord of heaven above. Love to Jesus desired. (1854.) 4. Lord, a happy child of Thine. Evening. (1850.) 5. My Saviour, on the [Thy] words of truth. Hope in the Word of God. (1850.) Sometimes stanza iv., "It is not as Thou wilt with me," is given separately. 6. O this is blessing, this is rest. Rest in the Love of Jesus. (1854.) 7. O Thou Lord of heaven above. The Resurrection. 8. Source of my life's refreshing springs. Rest in God. (1850.) 9. Sunlight of the heavenly day. New Year (1854.) 10. Sweet is the solace of Thy love. Safety and Comfort in God. (1850.) 11. Tender mercies on my way. Praise of Divine Mercies. (1850.) 12. Thanksgiving and the voice of melody. New Year (1854). 13. Though some good things of lower worth. Love of God in Christ, (1860.) These hymns are marked by great simplicity, concentration of thought, and elegance of diction. They are popular, and deserve to be so. [George Arthur Crawford, M.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) =============== Waring, Anna L., p. 1233, ii. Of her hymns we have found the following in Lovell Squire's Selection of Scriptural Poetry, 3rd ed., 1848: 1. Father, I know that all my life, p. 367, ii. 2. Sweet is the solace of Thy love, p. 1233, ii. 10. 3. Though some good things of, &c., p. 1233, ii. 13. The statement in J. Telford's The Methodist Hymn Book Illustrated, 1906, p. 271, that Miss Waring contributed to her uncle's (S. M. Waring's) Sacred Melodies, 182G, cannot be correct, as she was then only six years old. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

Ray Palmer

1808 - 1887 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Author of "My Faith Looks Up to Thee" in Glory to God Ray Palmer (b. Little Compton, RI, 1808; d. Newark, NJ, 1887) is often considered to be one of America's best nineteenth-century hymn writers. After completing grammar school he worked in a Boston dry goods store, but a religious awakening prodded him to study for the ministry. He attended Yale College (supporting himself by teaching) and was ordained in 1835. A pastor in Congregational churches in Bath, Maine (1835-1850), and Albany, New York (1850-1865), he also served as secretary of the American Congregational Union (1865-1878). Palmer was a popular preacher and author, writing original poetry as well as translating hymns. He published several volumes of poetry and hymns, including Sabbath Hymn Book (1858), Hymns and Sacred Pieces (1865), and Hymns of My Holy Hours (1868). His complete poetical works were published in 1876. Bert Polman =================== Palmer, Ray, D.D., son of the Hon. Thomas Palmer, a Judge in Rhode Island, was born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, Nov. 12, 1808. His early life was spent at Boston, where he was for some time clerk in a dry-goods store. At Boston he joined the Park Street Congregational Church, then under the pastoral care of Dr. S. E. Dwight. After spending three years at Phillips Academy, Andover, he entered Yale College, New Haven, where he graduated in 1830. In 1835 he became pastor of the Central Congregational Church, Bath, Maine. During his pastorate there he visited Europe in 1847. In 1850 he was appointed to the First Congregational Church, at Albany, New York, and in 1865 Corresponding Secretary to the American Congregational Union, New York. He resigned in 1878, and retired to Newark, New Jersey. He died at Newark, Mar. 29, 1887. Dr. Palmer's published works in prose and verse include:-- (1) Memoirs and Select Remains of Charles Pond, 1829; (2) The Spirit's Life, a Poem, 1837; (3) How to Live, or Memoirs of Mrs. C. L. Watson, 1839; (4) Doctrinal Text Book, 1839; (5) Spiritual Improvement, 1839, republished as Closet Hours in 185; (6) What is Truth? or Hints on the Formation of Religious Opinions, 1860; (7) Remember Me, or The Holy Communion, 1865; (8) Hymns and Sacred Pieces, with Miscellaneous Poems, 1865; (9) Hymns of my Holy Hours, and Other Pieces, 1868; (10) Home, or the Unlost Paradise, 1873; and (11) Voices of Hope and Gladness, 1881. Most of Dr. Palmer's hymns have passed into congregational use, and have won great acceptance. The best of them by their combination of thought, poetry, and devotion, are superior to almost all others of American origin. The first which he wrote has become the most widely known of all. It is:— 1. My faith looks up to Thee. Faith in Christ. This hymn was written by the author when fresh from College, and during an engagement in teaching in New York. This was in 1830. The author says concerning its composition, "I gave form to what I felt, by writing, with little effort, the stanzas. I recollect I wrote them with very tender emotion, and ended the last line with tears." A short time afterwards the hymn was given to Dr. Lowell Mason for use, if thought good, in a work then being compiled by him and Dr. T. Hastings. In 1831 that work was published as Spiritual Songs for Social Worship: adapted to the use of Families, &c. Words and Music arranged by Thomas Hastings, of New York, and Lowell Mason of Boston. It is No. 141 in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled "Self Consecration," and accompanied with the tune by Dr. L. Mason, there given as "My faith looks up to Thee, "but subsequently known as Olivet. (Orig. text of hymn in Thring's Collection, 1882.) It has passed into most modern collections in all English-speaking countries, and has been rendered into numerous languages. That in Latin, by H. M. Macgill (p. 708, ii.), begins "Fides Te mea spectat." 2. Fount of everlasting love. Praise for renewed Spiritual Life. This also appeared in the Spiritual Songs, &c, 1831, No. 191, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Praise for a Revival." The hymns which are given below are all in Dr. Palmer's Poetical Works, N. Y., 1876, and the dates appended in brackets are those given by him in that work. 3. Thou who roll'st the year around. (1832.) Close of the Year. In several American collections. 4. Away from earth my spirit turns. (1833.) Holy Communion. Appeared in Lowell Mason's Union Hymns, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. In the Church Praise Book, N. Y.. 1882, it begins with st. ii., "Thou, Saviour, art the Living Bread." 5. Before Thy throne with tearful eyes. (1834.) Liberty of Faith. 6. Stealing from the world away. (1834.) Evening. Written at New Haven in 1834, and is very popular in America. 7. Thine [Thy] holy day's returning. (1834.) Sunday Morning. 8. Wake thee, 0 Zion. (1862.) Zion Exultant. 9. We stand in deep repentance. (1834.) Lent. This last, No. 9, in common with Nos. 10, 11, 12, is marked "original," in the Presbyterian Parish Hymns, 1843. Probably they were given to the editors of that book in manuscript, and had not previously appeared. 10. And is there, Lord, a rest? (1843.) Rest in Heaven. Written at Bath, Maine, in 1843. 11. 0 sweetly breathe the lyres above. Consecration to Christ. This was accidentally omitted from Dr. Palmer's Poetical Works, 18?6. S. W. Duffield says:— "It was written in the winter of 1842-43, at a time of revival. At the previous Communion several had been received under circumstances that made Doddridge's hymn, ‘0 happy day that fixed my choice 'a most appropriate selection. Not caring to repeat it, and needing something similar, Dr. Palmer composed the present hymn." English Hymns, N. Y., 1886, p. 432. 12. When downward to the darksome tomb. (1842.) Death Contemplated. Written at Bath, Maine, 1842. From 1843 there comes a long break, and Dr. Palmer seems to have done no more hymn-writing until called upon by Professors Park and Phelps, of Andover, for contributions to their Sabbath Hymn-Book, 1858. His hymns written for that important collection rank amongst the best that America has produced. This is specially true of the first four (Nos. 13-16) from the Latin. 13. Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts. (l858.) Translation of a cento from "Jesu dulcis memoria" (p. 588, ii.). 14. 0 Bread to Pilgrims given. (1858.) Translation of “O esca viatorum" (q.v.). 15. 0 Christ our King, Creator Lord. (1858.) Translation of “Rex Christe, factor omnium " 16. Come Holy Ghost, in love. (1858.) Translation of “Veni Sancte Spiritus" (q.v.) 17. Jesus, these eyes have never seen. (1858.) Christ loved, though unseen. This hymn is accounted by many as next in merit and beauty to "My faith looks up to Thee." 18. Lord, my weak thought in vain would climb. (1858.) God Unsearchable. This hymn deals with the mysteries of Predestination in a reverent and devout manner. 19. Thy Father's house! thine own bright home. (1858.) Heaven. The next group, Nos. 20-27, appeared in Dr. Robinson's Songs for the Sanctuary, 1865. 20. Lord, Thou wilt bring the joyful day. (1864.) Contemplation of Heaven. Written in New York City. 21. Eternal Father, Thou hast said. (i860.) Missions. 22. Jesus, Lamb of God, for me. (1863.) Jesus, the Way of Salvation. Written in Albany, New York. 23. Take me, 0 my Father, take me. (1864.) Lent. 24. Wouldst thou eternal life obtain. (1864.) Good Friday. 25. Come Jesus, Redeemer, abide Thou with me. (1864.) Holy Communion. 26. Lord, Thou on earth didst love Thine own. (1864.) Fellowship with Christ. 27. Thou, Saviour, from Thy throne on high. (1864.) Prayer. The next four (Nos. 28-31) present another group. They appeared in D. E. Jones's Songs for the New Life, 1869, and the Reformed Dutch Hymns of the Church, N. Y., 1869. The dates of composition are from Dr. Palmer's Poems, 1876. 28. Lord, Thou hast taught our hearts to glow. (1865.) Ordination, or Meeting of Ministers. 29. When inward turns my searching gaze. (1868.) Evening. 30. 0 Jesus, sweet the tears I shed. (1867.) Good Friday. 31. Jesus, this [my] heart within me burns. (1868.) Love. The hymns which follow are from various sources. 32. 0 Christ, the Lord of heaven, to Thee. (1867.) Universal Praise to Christ. Appeared in the author's Hymns of my Holy Hours, 1867. It is a hymn of great merit, and is widely used. 33. Behold the shade of night is now receding. (1869.) A translation of "Ecce jam noctis." (p. 320, i., and Various). 34. Hid evening shadows let us all be waking. (1869.) A translation of "Nocte surgentes" (p. 809, i.). 35. I give my heart to Thee. (Aug. 20, 1868.) A translation of "Cor meum Tibi dedo," p. 262, ii. 36. Holy Ghost, that promised came. (1873.) Whitsuntide. From the author's Poems, 1876. 37. 0 Holy Comforter, I hear. The Comforter. Appeared in the Boston Congregationalist, September 7th, 1867. 38. Lord, when my soul her secrets doth reveal. (1865.) Holy Communion. Most of the foregoing hymns are in common in Great Britain, and all are found in one or more American hymnbooks of importance. [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) =================== Palmer, Ray, D.D., p. 877, i. The following original hymns by Dr. Palmer are also in common use:— 1. O Rock of Ages, since on Thee. Faith. From his Poetical Works, 1876, p. 27, where it is dated 1869. Bp. Bickersteth says "This hymn"... is "worthy of Luther." (Note Hymnal Companion, ed. 1876.) 2. Thy holy will, my God, be mine. Resignation. From his Hymns of my Holy Hours, &c, 1868, p. 47. Also in his P. Works, 1876, dated 1867. 3. We praise Thee, Saviour, for Thy grace. Holy Communion. From his Hymns and Sacred Pieces, &c, 1865. Also in P. Works, 1876, dated 1864. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907) ========== Ray Palmer was born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, in 1808. He studied at Phillip's Academy, Andover, Mass., and graduated at Yale College in 1830. In 1835, he was ordained pastor of a Congregational Society in Bath, Maine, from which he removed, in 1850, to the pastorate of a Congregational Society in Albany, N.Y. He has published many hymns, some of his own authorship, and some translations. He has published some sermons and reviews. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.

Evelyn Simpson-Curenton

b. 1953 Person Name: Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, b. 1953 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Arranger of "NEW BRITAIN" in Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) Evelyn Simpson Curenton (born 1953) is a leading African-American composer, pianist, organist, and vocalist. Simpson Curenton began piano lessons at age 5, began to perform with the Singing Simpsons of Philadelphia, a family group, and earned a B.M., Music Education and Voice from Temple University. She has been commissioned to write works for the American Guild of Organists, George Shirley, the late Duke Ellington, and her sister, the late Joy Simpson, arranged music for Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman, and the Porgy and Bess Chorus of the New York Metropolitan Opera, and has performed with musical organizations such as Philadelphia's National Opera Ebony (later renamed Opera North). Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Curenton is Music Director of the Washington Performing Arts Society's Men and Women of the Gospel and an associate of the Smithsonian Institution. She has given lectures and participated in workshops on early 18th-century black religious music and the music of African-Americans during the Civil Rights era. --en.wikipedia.org

Randall Keith DeBruyn

b. 1947 Person Name: Randall DeBruyn, b. 1947 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Adapter of "NEW BRITAIN" in Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.)

Robert Lowry

1826 - 1899 Person Name: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 Composer of "I NEED THEE" in Singing the Faith Robert Lowry was born in Philadelphia, March 12, 1826. His fondness for music was exhibited in his earliest years. As a child he amused himself with the various musical instruments that came into his hands. At the age of seventeen he joined the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and soon became an active worker in the Sunday-school as teacher and chorister. At the age of twenty-two he gave himself to the work of the ministry, and entered upon a course of study at the University of Lewisburg, Pa. At the age of twenty-eight he was graduated with the highest honors of his class. In the same year of his graduation, he entered upon the work of the ministry. He served as pastor at West Chester, Pa., 1851-1858; in New York City, 1859-1861; in Brooklyn, 1861-1869; in Lewisburg, Pa., 1869-1875. While pastor at Lewisburg, he was also professor of belles lettres in the University, and received the honorary degree of D. D. in 1875. He then went to Plainfield, N. J., where he became pastor of Park Avenue Church. In each of these fields his work was crowned with marked success. Dr. Lowry was a man of rare administrative ability, a most excellent preacher, a thorough Bible student, and whether in the pulpit or upon the platform, always a brilliant and interesting speaker. He was of a genial and pleasing disposition, and a high sense of humor was one of his most striking characteristics. Very few men had greater ability in painting pictures from the imagination. He could thrill an audience with his vivid descriptions, inspiring others with the same thoughts that inspired him. His melodies are sung in every civilized land, and many of his hymns have been translated into foreign tongues. While preaching the Gospel, in which he found great joy, was his life-work, music and hymnology were favorite studies, but were always a side issue, a recreation. In the year 1880, he took a rest of four years, visiting Europe. In 1885 he felt that he needed more rest, and resigned his pastorate at Plainfield, and visited in the South and West, also spending some time in Mexico. He returned, much improved in health, and again took up his work in Plainfield. On the death of Wm. B. Bradbury, Messrs. Biglow & Main, successors to Mr. Bradbury in the publishing business, selected Dr. Lowry for editor of their Sunday-school book, Bright Jewels, which was a great success. Subsequently Dr. W. Doane was associated with him in the issue of the Sunday-school song book, Pure Gold, the sales of which exceeded a million copies. Then came Royal Diadem, Welcome Tidings, Brightest and Best, Glad Refrain, Good as Gold, Joyful Lays, Fountain of Song, Bright Array, Temple Anthems, and numerous other volumes. The good quality of their books did much to stimulate the cause of sacred song in this country. When he saw that the obligations of musical editorship were laid upon him, he began the study of music in earnest, and sought the best musical text-books and works on the highest forms of musical composition. He possessed one of the finest musical libraries in the country. It abounded in works on the philosophy and science of musical sounds. He also had some musical works in his possession that were over one hundred and fifty years old. One of his labors of love some years ago was an attempt to reduce music to a mathematical basis. On the established fact that Middle C has two hundred and fifty-six vibrations per second, he prepared a scale and went to work on the rule of three. After infinite calculation and repeated experiments, he carried it far enough to discover that it would not work. A reporter once asked him what was his method of composition — "Do you write the words to fit the music, or the music to fit the words?" His reply was, "I have no method. Sometimes the music comes and the words follow, fitted insensibly to the melody. I watch my moods, and when anything good strikes me, whether words or music, and no matter where I am, at home or on the street, I jot it down. Often the margin of a newspaper or the back of an envelope serves as a notebook. My brain is a sort of spinning machine, I think, for there is music running through it all the time. I do not pick out my music on the keys of an instrument. The tunes of nearly all the hymns I have written have been completed on paper before I tried them on the organ. Frequently the words of the hymn and the music have been written at the same time." The Doctor frequently said that he regarded "Weeping Will Not Save Me" as the best and most evangelistic hymn he ever wrote. The following are some of his most popular and sweetest gospel melodies: "Shall We Gather at the River?," "One More Day's Work for Jesus," "Where is My Wandering Boy To-night?," "I Need Thee Every Hour," "The Mistakes of My Life," "How Can I Keep from Singing?," "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me," "Saviour, Thy Dying Love," "We're Marching to Zion," etc. "Shall We Gather at the River?" is perhaps, without question, the most widely popular of all his songs. Of this Mr. Lowry said: "It is brass band music, has a march movement, and for that reason has become popular, though for myself I do not think much of it." Yet he tells us how, on several occasions, he had been deeply moved by the singing of that hymn, "Going from Harrisburg to Lewisburg once I got into a car filled with half-drunken lumbermen. Suddenly one of them struck up, "Shall We Gather at the River?" and they sang it over and over again, repeating the chorus in a wild, boisterous way. I did not think so much of the music then as I listened to those singers, but I did think that perhaps the spirit of the hymn, the words so flippantly uttered, might somehow survive and be carried forward into the lives of those careless men, and ultimately lift them upward to the realization of the hope expressed in my hymn." "A different appreciation of it was evinced during the Robert Raikes' Centennial. I was in London, and had gone to meeting in the Old Bailey to see some of the most famous Sunday-school workers in the world. They were present from Europe, Asia, and America. I sat in a rear seat alone. After there had been a number of addresses delivered in various languages, I was preparing to leave, when the chairman of the meeting announced that the author of "Shall We Gather at the River?" was present, and I was requested by name to come forward. Men applauded and women waved their handkerchiefs as I went to the platform. It was a tribute to the hymn; but I felt, when it was over, that, after all, I had perhaps done some little good in the world, and I felt more than ever content to die when God called." On Children's Day in Brooklyn, in 1865, this song was sung by over forty thousand voices. While Dr. Lowry said, "I would rather preach a gospel sermon to an appreciative, receptive congregation than write a hymn," yet in spite of his preferences, his hymns have gone on and on, translated into many languages, preaching and comforting thousands upon thousands of souls, furnishing them expression for their deepest feelings of praise and gratitude to God for His goodness to the children of men. What he had thought in his inmost soul has become a part of the emotions of the whole Christian world. We are all his debtors. Rev. Robert Lowry, D. D., died at his residence in Plainfield, K J., November 25, 1899. Dead, yet he lives and his sermons in gospel song are still heard and are doing good. Dr. Lowry was a great and good man, and his life, well spent, is highly worthy of a place among the world's greatest gospel song and hymn writers. -- Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers ------- Lowry, Robert, D.D., son of Crozier Lowry, was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 12, 1826, and educated at Lewisburg University. Having received ordination as a Baptist Minister, his first charge was at West Chester, Pennsylvania. From thence he passed to New York City, and then to Brooklyn, N. Y. In 1876 he was appointed Professor of Rhetoric in his University. On resigning his Professorship he undertook the charge of the 2nd Baptist Church, New Jersey. Dr. Lowry has been associated with some of the most popular Sunday School hymn-books published in the States, including Happy Voices, 1865; Chapel Melodies, 1868; Bright Jewels, 1869; Pure Gold, 1871; Royal Diadem, 1873; Tidal Wave, 1874; Fountain of Song1877; Welcome Tidings, 1877, &c. Of Dr. Lowry's hymns those which have attained the widest circulation are:— 1. Jerusalem, for ever bright. Heaven. Appeared in the American Tract Society's Happy Voices, 1865, with music by the author. 2. Low in the grave He lay. Resurrection of Christ. Written in 1874 and published in Brightest and Best, 1875. 3. Marching on, marching on. Sunday School Battle Song. Appeared, with music by the author, in Happy Voices, 1865. 4. My home is in heaven, my rest is not here. In Happy Voices, 1865, with music by the author. 5. My life flows on in endless song. Joy in God. In Bright Jewels, 1869; the Royal Diadem, 1873, and others in America and Great Britain, with music by the author. 6. One more day's work for Jesus. Work for Christ. Published, with music by the author, in Bright Jewels, 1869. 7. Shall we gather at the river? Mutual recognition in the Hereafter. The origin of this hymn is thus set forth in E. W. Long's Illustrated History of Hymns and their Authors, Philadelphia, 1876, p. 64:— ”On a very hot summer day, in 1864, a pastor was seated in his parlour in Brooklyn, N. Y. It was a time when an epidemic was sweeping through the city, and draping many persons and dwellings in mourning. All around friends and acquaintances were passing away to the spirit land in large numbers. The question began to arise in the heart, with unusual emphasis, ‘Shall we meet again? We are parting at the river of death, shall we meet at the river of life?' ‘Seating myself at the organ,’ says he, ‘simply to give vent to the pent up emotions of the heart, the words and music of the hymn began to flow out, as if by inspiration:— ‘Shall we gather at the river, Where bright angel feet have trod?’" In 1865 the hymn and music were given in Happy Voices, No. 220, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines and a chorus. The hymn has since passed into a great number of hymnals in Great Britain and America. 8. Take the wings of the morning; speed quickly thy flight. Exhortation to Repentance. Written for, and published with music by the author in, the Royal Diadem, 1873. 9. Weeping will not save me. Salvation through Faith. Published in the Chapel Melodies, 1868. 10. What can wash away my stain? Precious Blood of Jesus. Given in the Welcome Tidings, 1877, with music by the author. 11. Where is my wandering boy tonight! The absent Child. In the Fountain of Song, 1877, together with music by the author. Most of these hymns are given in Mr. I. D. Sankey's Sacred Songs & Solos, Pts. i., ii. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Henry Thomas Smart

1813 - 1879 Person Name: Henry Smart Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Composer of "LANCASHIRE" in Moravian Book of Worship Henry Smart (b. Marylebone, London, England, 1813; d. Hampstead, London, 1879), a capable composer of church music who wrote some very fine hymn tunes (REGENT SQUARE, 354, is the best-known). Smart gave up a career in the legal profession for one in music. Although largely self taught, he became proficient in organ playing and composition, and he was a music teacher and critic. Organist in a number of London churches, including St. Luke's, Old Street (1844-1864), and St. Pancras (1864-1869), Smart was famous for his extemporiza­tions and for his accompaniment of congregational singing. He became completely blind at the age of fifty-two, but his remarkable memory enabled him to continue playing the organ. Fascinated by organs as a youth, Smart designed organs for impor­tant places such as St. Andrew Hall in Glasgow and the Town Hall in Leeds. He composed an opera, oratorios, part-songs, some instrumental music, and many hymn tunes, as well as a large number of works for organ and choir. He edited the Choralebook (1858), the English Presbyterian Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (1867), and the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal (1875). Some of his hymn tunes were first published in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861). Bert Polman

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