Posted by: rcottrill | February 10, 2010

Today in 1791 – Henry Milman Born

Henry Hart Milman was a recognized scholar and historian. At Oxford University he won a series of awards, later writing a play that was presented at London’s Covent Garden. He became Poetry Professor at Oxford in 1821. Then, turning his attention to a study of theology, he eventually became canon at Westminster, and rector at St. Margarets’s, and dean of St. Paul’s.

Henry Milman published 13 hymns, but only one remains in common use, Ride On, Ride On in Majesty, a hymn about the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, just before His crucifixion.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;
O Saviour meek, pursue Thy road
With palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ! Thy triumph now begin
Over captive death and conquered sin.

(2) Today in 1851 – Edwin Ufford Born
EGraphic Life Preserverdwin Smith Ufford attended schools in Connecticut and Maine. He was licensed to preach by the Baptists, and served congregations in Maine and Massachusetts. Saved as a young man, Edwin Ufford was inspired by a biography of Dwight Moody to devote his life to preaching the gospel. He came from a musical family, both his father and grandfather being choir directors. Ufford wrote a number of hymns, but only one remains in use today. (For a bit more on Pastor Ufford and his hymn, see Throw Out the Lifeline.)

Pastor Ufford witnessed a lifesaving drill one day, at a spot where there had been an earlier shipwreck. At low tide, the remains of the wreck could be seen some distance out to sea. As he watched the routines practiced, the order to “throw out the lifeline” caught his fancy and echoed in his mind. Back home, he quickly produced both words and music for a song that made a spiritual application of what he had seen.

Throw out the life line across the dark wave;
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother! O who then will dare
To throw out the life line, his peril to share?

Throw out the life line! Throw out the life line!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the life line! Throw out the life line!
Someone is sinking today.

Throw out the life line to danger fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow.

(3) Today in 1857 – John Driver Born
John Merritte Driver served as a Methodist Episcopal pastor in Illinois. He has give us one hymn only, Wonderful Story of Love.

Wonderful story of love;
Tell it to me again;
Wonderful story of love;
Wake the immortal strain!
Angels with rapture announce it,
Shepherds with wonder receive it;
Sinner, O won’t you believe it?

Wonderful story of love,
Wonderful! Wonderful!
Wonderful, wonderful story of love.

Wonderful story of love;
Jesus provides a rest;
Wonderful story of love;
For all the pure and blest,
Rest in those mansions above us,
With those who’ve gone on before us,
Singing the rapturous chorus,


  1. Wow…you responded to my note!!! Thank you, Mr. Cottrill! I humbly respect your evaluation of the second version of the hymn. Perhaps I was a wee bit over the line to suggest you should or would change your suggestion. Please excuse. 🙂 After thinking further on what I shared, I believe I was thinking as much about the rest of the video as I was about the hymn. Definitely the repitious guitar strumming was not inspirational, but the entire package, together, blessed me. Again, thank you for responding! Nice to feel a connection to another who appreciates the wonderful old hymns.

    One hymn that particularly blesses me is “It Is Well With My Soul”. The words brought much needed comfort when my daughter passed away several years ago. But it wasn’t until I read the history behind the writing of the song that I truly understood those words. So, it will be a great learning experience to enjoy your research.


  2. […] usually found in our hymn books. (For more about Mr. Ufford and his hymn, see the second item under Today in 1791.) Here are a couple of the unused […]

  3. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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