The Young Person's Guide to the Hymnbook

Pre-Civil War American Hymns

by Wayne S. Walker

After supper, Dad had to go out for a little bit and Mom was down in the basement doing the laundry. When Dad returned, the two boys were in the family room. Seth was reading a G. A. Henty book, but Andrew had a little bit of "homework" to finish that he had put off doing earlier. Dad asked him, "And what are you so busy at?"

Andrew replied, "I have to get this essay on George Washington done to complete my writing assignment for this week." Sensing the opportunity to have a little break, he asked, "Do you have any idea what kind of hymns George Washington would have sung in church services? Would they have been primarily English hymns brought over to the new world, or were there hymns written by Americans?"

Dad, who never missed an opportunity to talk about hymns, answered, "I suspect that the majority of hymns which Washington and those of his day sang in church services would have been of English origin. There were a few Americans in colonial days who wrote hymns, but most of those have not survived and are practically unknown today. However, there was one colonial hymn-writer who produced a hymn which has made somewhat of a comeback in recent years. Samuel Davies, born in the colony of Delaware, lived from 1723 to 1761 and thus died before the thirteen colonies became the United States. A Presbyterian preacher, he succeeded the great Jonathan Edwards as President of the New Jersey Presbyterian College, now known as Princeton University, but served only a few years before his death at the young age of 37. His sixteen hymns were not published until 1769, after his death. Unfortunately, none of the books that we have used include this song, but I think that I can find it here in one of these hymnbooks on the bookshelf."

  1. Great God of wonders! All Thy ways Are matchless, Godlike and divine;
    But the fair glories of Thy grace More Godlike and unrivaled shine,
  2. Crimes of such horror to forgive, Such guilty, daring worms to spare;
    This is Thy grand prerogative, And none shall in the honor share,
  3. Angels and men, resign your claim To pity, mercy, love and grace:
    These glories crown Jehovah’s Name With an incomparable glaze
  4. In wonder lost, with trembling joy, We take the pardon of our God:
    Pardon for crimes of deepest dye, A pardon bought with Jesus’ blood,
  5. O may this strange, this matchless grace, This Godlike miracle of love,
    Fill the whole earth with grateful praise, And all th’angelic choirs above,

"Each of the stanzas ends with a refrain-like statement of God's grace and pardon for sinful mankind."

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

"The tune was composed by a man named John Newton, but not the same John Newton that is famous for writing the hymn 'Amazing Grace.' The oldest generally surviving hymn from the early days of our nation comes from just after the Revolutionary War. Timothy Dwight, who lived from 1752 to 1817, was one of the outstanding men of colonial America in spite of some physical handicaps. As a result of smallpox and overwork, his eyesight was so bad that he couldn't read consecutively for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Yet, he entered Yale College at age thirteen, graduated at seventeen, taught school, became a chaplain in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, served as a state representative in the Connecticut legislature, and finally was appointed President of Yale, all the while preaching in Congregational Churches as well. In 1800, he published an edition of Isaac Watts's Psalms and Hymns, to which he added 33 of his own, and one of them is the only American hymn to survive of all those written between 1620 and 1824."

  1. I love Thy kingdom, Lord, The house of Thine abode,
    The church our blessed Redeemer saved With His own precious blood.
    I love Thy church, O God. Her walls before Thee stand,
    Dear as the apple of Thine eye, And graven on Thy hand.
  2. If e’er to bless Thy sons My voice or hands deny,
    These hands let useful skills forsake, This voice in silence die.
    Should I with scoffers join Her altars to abuse?
    No! Better far my tongue were dumb, My hand its skill should lose.
  3. For her my tears shall fall For her my prayers ascend,
    To her my cares and toils be given Till toils and cares shall end.
    Beyond my highest joy I prize her heavenly ways,
    Her sweet communion, solemn vows, Her hymns of love and praise.
  4. Jesus, Thou Friend divine, Our Savior and our King,
    Thy hand from every snare and foe Shall great deliverance bring.
    Sure as Thy truth shall last, To Zion shall be given
    The brightest glories earth can yield And brighter bliss of Heaven.

"Many tunes have been used with this hymn, but most of our books use one that is variously attributed to Asa B. Everett, his brother L. B. Everett, and Lowell Mason, in one of whose songbooks it was originally published. One of the earliest hymn-writers who was actually born a citizen of the United States of America was George Washington Doane, an Episcopal bishop who lived from 1799 to 1859. Three of his nearly twenty hymns are still used, the best known of which is this one, written in 1824 for his Songs by the Way and based on John 14:6."

  1. Thou art the Way: to Thee alone From sin and death we flee;
    And he who would the Father seek Must seek Him, Lord, by Thee.
  2. Thou art the Truth: Thy Word alone True wisdom can impart;
    Thou only canst inform the mind, And purify the heart.
  3. Thou art the Life: the rending tomb Proclaims Thy conquering arm,
    And those who put their trust in Thee Nor death nor hell shall harm.
  4. Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life; Grant us that Way to know,
    That Truth to keep, that Life to win, Whose joys eternal flow.

"Most books use a quiet little tune that was composed in 1860 by James Walch. Doane's other hymns that have appeared in our books include 'Softly Now the Light of Day' and 'Fling Out the Banner.' His son was also a hymn-writer. Perhaps the most famous hymn to come from the first half of nineteenth-century America was written by Ray Palmer, who lived from 1808 to 1887. A native of Rhode Island, young Ray was forced by financial difficulties to quit school at age thirteen to take a job as a shoe store clerk in Boston, MA, dry goods store. After graduating from college, he took a job teaching at a private girls' school in New York City. In 1830, discouraged from illness and loneliness, he was translating some German poetry and stopped to record some verses of his own in a small notebook that he always carried with him. A couple of years later, he was visiting back in Boston and chanced to meet his good friend, Lowell Mason, on a busy street. Mason was preparing a hymnbook and asked Palmer if he had anything for it. Palmer showed him the poem in the notebook, and the two stepped into a nearby drugstore so that Mason could copy it down."

  1. My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
    Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away, O let me from this day be wholly Thine!
  2. May Thy rich grace impart Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
    As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee, Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!
  3. While life’s dark maze I tread, And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
    Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away, Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.
  4. When ends life’s transient dream, When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
    Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove; O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

"A few days later, Mason saw Palmer again and said, 'Mr. Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best-known to posterity as the author of "My Faith Looks Up To Thee."' Mason composed the tune and published it in his 1832 Spiritual Songs for Social Worship. Fourteen years later, a Unitarian minister named Edmund Hamilton Sears, who lived from 1810 to 1876, sought to apply the message of Christ's birth to the problems that he saw coming on the horizon of the developing nation and in 1846 wrote some very familiar words."

  1. It came upon the midnight clear, That glorious song of old,
    From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold;
    “Peace on the earth, good will to men, From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
    The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing.
  2. Still through the cloven skies they come With peaceful wings unfurled,
    And still their heavenly music floats O’er all the weary world;
    Above its sad and lowly plains, They bend on hovering wing,
    And ever over its Babel sounds The blessèd angels sing.
  3. Yet with the woes of sin and strife The world has suffered long;
    Beneath the angel strain have rolled Two thousand years of wrong;
    And man, at war with man, hears not The love-song which they bring;
    O hush the noise, ye men of strife And hear the angels sing.
  4. And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, Whose forms are bending low,
    Who toil along the climbing way With painful steps and slow,
    Look now! for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing.
    O rest beside the weary road, And hear the angels sing!
  5. For lo! the days are hastening on, By prophet-bards foretold,
    When with the ever circling years Comes round the age of gold;
    When peace shall over all the earth Its ancient splendors fling,
    And the whole world send back the song Which now the angels sing.

"It was first published in 1849 and is usually sung to a tune composed in 1850 by American musician Richard Storrs Willis. Not all familiar hymns from the New World come from the United States. There are a couple that were written in Canada. Annie Louise Walker, who lived from 1836 to 1907, was born in England, but around 1850 moved to Canada where her father and brothers worked on the Canadian Grand Trunk Railway. While in Canada, the short days and early nights of the northern climate moved her to write a fairly well-known hymn."

  1. Work, for the night is coming, Work through the morning hours;
    Work while the dew is sparkling, Work ’mid springing flowers;
    Work when the day grows brighter, Work in the glowing sun;
    Work, for the night is coming, When man’s work is done.
  2. Work, for the night is coming, Work through the sunny noon;
    Fill brightest hours with labor, Rest comes sure and soon.
    Give every flying minute, Something to keep in store;
    Work, for the night is coming, When man works no more.
  3. Work, for the night is coming, Under the sunset skies;
    While their bright tints are glowing, Work, for daylight flies.
    Work till the last beam fadeth, Fadeth to shine no more;
    Work, while the night is darkening, When man’s work is o’er.

"The poem was first published in a Canadian newspaper around 1854, and then in a collection of the author's poems, Leaves from the Backwoods, in 1861. In 1864, it was seen by Lowell Mason, who made some alterations, provided a tune for it, and published the song in his book The Song Garden, Second Book. In 1863, Annie returned to England and married Henry Coghill. As a result, her name is often listed with the song as Annie Louise Coghill, but when she penned the words, she was eighteen-year-old Annie Louise Walker. Another immigrant Canadian hymn-writer was Joseph Medlicott Scriven, who lived from 1820 to 1886. Born in Ireland, he was plagued by poor health which prohibited him from following his father in a military career. After his fiance was accidentally drowned the evening before their wedding, he moved to Rice Lake, Canada, where he became engaged again only to lose his bride-to-be from a brief illness shortly before they were to be married. Scriven settled at Port Hope, Ontario, where he joined the Plymouth Brethren and spent his time doing menial work, especially for the handicapped and destitute. Around 1855, when he learned that his mother in Ireland was dying, he produced a poem that he sent to comfort her."

  1. What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
    O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
  2. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee; thou will find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
    Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

"Almost all books omit the final stanza, but it does show that the promises of Christ extend beyond the comfort that He offers in this life. Scriven never showed the poem to anyone. A few years later, when he was ill, a friend who was caring for him found the poem and apparently sent it away to be published. Its first appearance seems to have been in 1865, and three years later, a tune was composed for it in 1868 by Charles C. Converse. In 1886, Scriven returned to Rice Lake for a visit with friends, became very ill again, and seems to have drowned while wandering in the nearby woods.

"As we approach the Antebellum period in America, one of the most famous writers was Harriet Beecher Stowe, who lived from 1811 to 1896. She was the daughter and sister of famous preachers and the wife of a seminary professor. Her book Uncle Tom's Cabin was credited with hardening the anti-slavery position in the North that ultimately led to the Civil War. But she also wrote poems, many of which have been turned into hymns, such as this one, published in 1855, which reflected her meditations as she would rise early in the morning and take walks in the country."

  1. Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
    When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
    Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
    Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.
  2. Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
    The solemn hush of nature newly born;
    Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
    In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
  3. As in the dawning o’er the waveless ocean
    The image of the morning star doth rest,
    So in the stillness Thou beholdest only
    Thine image in the waters of my breast.
  4. Still, still with Thee, as to each newborn morning,
    A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
    So does this blessèd consciousness, awaking,
    Breathe each day nearness unto Thee and Heaven.
  5. When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
    Its closing eye looks up to Thee in prayer;
    Sweet the repose beneath the wings o’ershading,
    But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.
  6. So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
    When the soul waketh and life’s shadows flee;
    O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
    Shall rise the glorious thought, I am with Thee.

"Many books use the same tune by Mendelssohn that is often associated with Anna B. Warner's 'We Would See Jesus,' but most of our books use a tune composed for Mrs. Stowe's words in 1873 by Ira D. Sankey. About a year after Mrs. Stowe's hymn was published, another hymn was written by a woman, Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, who lived from 1818 to 1878. A lifelong invalid, she was also the daughter and wife of preachers and known as an author as well. In 1856, she and her husband lost two children in an epidemic in New York City, NY, where Mr. Prentiss was a minister. Of course, he had to spend much time visiting the sick and burying the dead of others, so Elizabeth spent a lot of time alone and became inconsolable about her losses. One day when he came home she asked her husband why they were being called on to suffer so much, and he kindly responded by saying that with others suffering even more greatly they should not think themselves exempt. That evening while her husband was out again, Elizabeth went to her room, deciding to meditate upon the story of Jacob in the Old Testament and how God met him in a very special way during his time of sorrow and deepest need. Using Sarah F. Adam's hymn about Jacob's experience, "Nearer, My God, to Thee," as a model, she penned four stanzas."

  1. More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
    Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
    This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
    More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
  2. Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
    Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.
    This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
    More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
  3. Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
    Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
    When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
    More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
  4. Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
    This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
    This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;
    More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

"It was written so hastily that she did not even complete the last stanza, and she must have thought so little of it that she never showed it to anyone, even her husband, for thirteen years. Finally, in 1869, he found it, had her pencil in the last line, and printed it on leaflets. The following year, 1870, a tune was provided by William Howard Doane. A couple of years after Mrs. Prentiss wrote her famous hymn, a terrible and tragic accident led to the writing of another well-known hymn. In 1858, a great religious revival was taking place in Philadelphia, PA, in which thousands attended services to hear Dudley Tyng, a young Episcopal minister, speak. One day, he spoke on the subject "Go now ye that are men and serve the Lord" (Exodus 10:11) and said that he would rather give up his right arm than fall short of his duty in preaching the word. The following week, Tyng was visiting his family's farm and took some time out from his studies to see the corn threshing. One of his sleeves caught in the thresher and his arm was severely lacerated. Four days later an infection developed and he died shortly afterward. While on his deathbed, his father asked if he had any last words to tell the people standing there, and he said, "Tell them to stand up for Jesus." One of those present, who had worked with Tyng during the revival, was George Duffield, a Presbyterian preacher who lived from 1818 to 1888. He wrote some words to be used in his sermon the following Sunday as a tribute to his fallen friend."

  1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
    From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
    Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
  2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;
    If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;
    Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without,
    Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.
  3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
    Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
    Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
    Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.
  4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
    The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
    Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
    Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.
  5. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,
    Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:
    Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,
    And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.
  6. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
    This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.
    To him who overcometh a crown of life shall be;
    He with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

"The most familiar tune was borrowed for these words by William B. Bradbury to be used in an 1861 hymnbook. It came from a secular song, "'Tis Dawn, the Lark Is Singing," which had been composed around 1830 by George J. Webb. The year after Duffield produced his well-known song, a very famous writer gave us a different kind of hymn. Oliver Wendell Holmes, who lived from 1809 to 1894, was the son of a minister and the father of a famous United States Supreme Court Justice. He studied medicine but spent his life writing rather than being a doctor, although he did teach anatomy at the Boston Medical School, and is perhaps best remembered for "Old Ironsides" which saved the ship Constitution from being scrapped. In the mid to late 1850s, he wrote a couple of series of essays called "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" and "The Professor at the Breakfast Table" with poems for the Atlantic Monthly. One of the poems, published in 1859, became a hymn."

  1. Lord of all being, throned afar, Thy glory flames from sun and star;
    Center and soul of every sphere, Yet to each loving heart how near!
  2. Sun of our life, Thy quickening ray, Sheds on our path the glow of day;
    Star of our hope, Thy softened light Cheers the long watches of the night.
  3. Our midnight is Thy smile withdrawn; Our noontide is Thy gracious dawn;
    Our rainbow arch, Thy mercy’s sign; All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine.
  4. Lord of all life, below, above, Whose light is truth, Whose warmth is love,
    Before Thy ever blazing throne We ask no luster of our own.
  5. Grant us Thy truth to make us free, And kindling hearts that burn for Thee,
    Till all Thy living altars claim One holy light, one heavenly flame.

"Several tunes have been used with it, but most of our books have a 1905 melody composed by Robert H. Earnshaw. Probably the best-known Civil War-era hymn was written by Julia Ward Howe of Boston, MA, who lived from 1819 to 1910. In 1861, she, her husband, their minister, and the Governor of Massachusetts were visiting Washington, DC, and were invited to watch a military review of federal troops. The soldiers were singing,"John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave," and the minister suggested that Mrs. Howe could provide a better text. That night, she completed a poem, which has gone down in history."

  1. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
  2. I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
    They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
    I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps; His day is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.
  3. I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
    “As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel, Since God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.
  4. He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
    Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet; Our God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.
  5. In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free; While God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.
  6. He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
    He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
    So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave, Our God is marching on.
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
    Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

"On her return to Boston, Mrs. Howe showed the poem to James T. Fields who called it 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' and published it in the February 1862 issue of the Atlantic Monthly. The tune is of obscure origin. It is sometimes attributed to William Steffe, who may have arranged it for use by Philadelphia, PA, mummers, but it is now believed to have been an old camp meeting tune that apparently originated in South Carolina and was well known many years prior to the Civil War. The song quickly came into use throughout the North as an expression of the patriotic emotion of the period. Some people object to using it as a hymn because of its associations with the Civil War and think of it only in terms of politics, but others simply look at the words as pointing forward to the final coming of Christ and judgment of God. Another familiar hymn that dates from the Civil War and relates to it, though not as directly as 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic," was written by Joseph H. Gilmore, who lived from 1834-1918. A young Baptist minister just out of the seminary, he was doing some fill-in preaching for a couple of weeks at the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA, in 1862, and presented a lesson one Wednesday night on how Psalm 23 related to the present distress of the nation. After the service, Gilmore and his wife went next door to the home of a deacon, Thomas Wattson, with whom they were staying. Several others went also and continued to discuss the lesson and its application. During the conversation, Gilmore took out his sermon notes and wrote a poem on the back of them."

  1. He leadeth me, O blessed thought! O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
    Whate’er I do, where’er I be Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
  2. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom, Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
    By waters still, over troubled sea, Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
  3. Lord, I would place my hand in Thine, Nor ever murmur nor repine;
    Content, whatever lot I see, Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
  4. And when my task on earth is done, When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
    E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee, Since God through Jordan leadeth me.

"When they went to bed that night, Gilmore handed it to his wife and forgot about it. However, she sent it off to a paper, The Watchman and Reflector, where it was published the following year. William Bradbury saw it and composed the tune, publishing the song in 1864. In 1865, Gilmore was in Rochester, NY, as a candidate for a minister with the Second Baptist Church. Leafing through the hymnbook to see what songs they sang, and perhaps to look for one to go with his sermon, it opened up to his own hymn, and he saw it for the first time. At one time, it was thought that the refrain was added by Bradbury, but Gilmore later confirmed that he provided a two-line refrain and Bradbury simply added the other two."

He leadeth me, He leadeth me, By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand He leadeth me.

"One other relatively well-known hymn which comes from the days of the Civil War, but apparently has nothing to do with the War itself, was written by Sylvanus Dryden Phelps, another Baptist preacher who lived from 1816 to 1895. The original version also first appeared in The Watchman and Reflector in 1862. However, several years later, around 1871, Robert Lowry asked Phelps to rewrite it for submission to a hymnbook that Lowry was compiling, and that is the version that is known today.

  1. Savior, Thy dying love Thou gavest me. Nor should I aught withhold, dear Lord, from Thee.
    In love my soul would bow, my heart fulfill its vow, Some offering bring Thee now, something for Thee.
  2. O’er the blest mercy seat, pleading for me, My feeble faith looks up, Jesus, to Thee.
    Help me the cross to bear, Thy wondrous love declare, Some song to raise, or prayer, something for Thee.
  3. Give me a faithful heart, likeness to Thee, That each departing day henceforth may see
    Some work of love begun, some deed of kindness done, Some wanderer sought and won, something for Thee.
  4. All that I am and have, Thy gifts so free, In joy, in grief, through life, O Lord, for Thee!
    And when Thy face I see, my ransomed soul shall be Through all eternity, something for Thee.

"Lowry composed the tune. One other interesting hymn-writer from this time was Samuel Longfellow, who lived from 1819 to 1892. The younger brother of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, he was a Unitarian Minister who wrote a lot of hymns. One that is based on the story of the prodigal son and has appeared in many of our books dates from his 1864 book Hymns of the Spirit."

  1. Love for all--and can it be? Can I hope it is for me--
    I, who strayed so long ago, Strayed so far, and fell so low?
  2. I, the disobedient child, Wayward, passionate, and wild--
    I, who left my Father's home, In forbidden ways to roam.
  3. I, who spurned His loving hold; I, who would not be controlled--
    I, who would not hear His call; I, the willful prodigal.
  4. To my Father can I go? At His feet myself I'll throw;
    In His house there yet may be Place -- a servant's place for me.
  5. See! My Father, waiting, stands. See! He reaches out His hands.
    God is love, I know, I see, Love for me -- yes, even me.

The usual tune used with it is said to have been arranged by Lowell Mason from a melody by a German composer named Xavier Schnyder von Wartensee. Of course, there were many other hymn-writers of early America, such as Samuel Francis Smith, who is most famous for 'My Country, 'Tis of Thee,' Leonard Bacon, Arthur C. Coxe, the well-known poet James Russell Lowell, William Henry Burleigh, John White Chadwick, Samuel Johnson, and others, but their hymns are not as popular now."

After looking at the clock, Dad said to Andrew, "Don't you need to get that essay on George Washington finished? You'd better get to work."

"Yes, Dad," Andrew replied.

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