1720 - 1769 Person Name: James Merrick, 1720-1769 Author of "'Tis God, Whose All Disposing Sway" in The Cyber Hymnal Merrick, James , M.A., was born in 1720, and educated at Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Trinity College. He entered Holy Orders, but his health would not admit of parish work. He died at Reading, 1769. His publications include:—
(1) Messiah, a Divine Essay. Humbly dedicated to the Reverend the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and the Visitors of the Free School in Reading. By James Merrick, Ætat. 14, Senior Scholar of the School at their last Terminal Visitation, the 7th of October, 1734. Reading. (2) The Destruction of Troy. Translated from the Greek of Tryphiodorus into English Verse, with Notes, &c. 1742. (3) Poems on Sacred Subjects. Oxford . 1763. (4) The Psalms of David Translated or Paraphrased in English Verse. By James Merrick, M.A., late Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. Reading. J. Carnan and Co. 1765. 2nd ed. 1766. A few only of these paraphrases were divided into stanzas. In 1797 the Rev. W. D. Tattersall pulished the work "Divided into stanzas for Parochial Use, and paraphrased in such language as will be intelligible to every capacity . . . with a suitable Collect to each Psalm from the Works of Archbishop Parker."
Merrick's paraphrases, although weak and verbose, were in extensive use in the early part of the present century, both in the Church of England and with Nonconformists. They have, however, fallen very much into disuse. Those in modern hymn-books, mainly in the form of centos, include:—
1. Blest Instructor, from Thy ways. Ps. xix.
2. Descend, O Lord! from heaven descend. Ps. cxliv. (In time of National Peril.)
3. Far as creation's bounds extend. Ps. cxlv.
4. God of my strength, the wise, the just. Ps. xxxi.
5. He who with generous pity glows. Ps. xli.
6. How pleasant, Lord.Thy dwellings are. Ps. lxxxiv.
7. Lift up your voice and thankful sing. Ps. cxxxvi.
8. Lo, my Shepherd's hand divine. Ps. xxiii.
9. Lord, my Strength, to Thee I pray. Ps. xxviii.
10. My heart its noblest theme has found. Ps.xlv.
11. O let me, [gracious] heavenly Lord extend. Ps. xxxix.
12. O turn, great Ruler of the skies. Ps. li.
13. Praise, O praise the Name divine. Ps. cl.
14. Sing, ye sons of [men] might, O sing. Ps. xxix.
15. Teach me, O teach me, Lord, Thy way. Ps. cxix.
16. The festal morn, my [O] God, is come. Ps. cxxii, (Sunday Morning.)
17. The morn and eve Thy praise resound. Ps. lxv. (Harvest.)
18. To Thy pastures, fair and large. Ps. xxiii.
From his Poems on Sacred Subjects, 1763, the following centos have also come into common use: --
19. Author of good, to Thee we turn. Resignation.
20. Eternal God, we look to Thee. Resignation.
21. 'Tis enough, the hour is come. Nunc Dimittis.
John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)