Posted by: rcottrill | February 28, 2010

Today in 1778 – Friedrich Flemming Born

Friedrich Ferdinand Flemming studied medicine and served as a physician in Berlin until his death. In music, he is chiefly remembered for an 1811 male chorus setting of Horace’s ode Integer Vitae. His one hymn tune, an excellent one now known as Flemming, is adapted from that work. It is used for Elizabeth Charles’s Trinitarian hymn, Praise Ye the Triune God.

Praise ye the Father for His lovingkindness;
Tenderly cares He for His erring children;
Praise Him, ye angels, praise Him in the heavens,
Praise ye Jehovah!

Praise ye the Saviour—great is His compassion;
Graciously cares He for His chosen people;
Young men and maidens, older folks and children,
Praise ye the Saviour!

Praise ye the Spirit, Comforter of Israel,
Sent of the Father and the Son to bless us;
Praise ye the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Praise ye the Triune God!

(2) Today in 1929 – William Edwards Died
Welshman William Edwards is known in hymnody for one contribution only: he has given us an English translation of the insightful Welsh hymn Here Is Love. Edwards was an influential scholar and Baptist layman, and a tutor teaching the Greek language. He translated the New Testament into the Welsh tongue from the original Greek. In politics, he was known as a passionate orator. His voice is stilled on earth now, but consider the powerful ministry he may yet have to those who sing the hymn he has given us.

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

(3) (Data Missing) – The Old Book and the Old Faith
This rousing gospel song was written by George H. Carr and published in 1914. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any more data available on either Mr. Carr or his hymn. But it has a message for our time. In a day when various ones are questioning the truths expressed in the Word of God, it is encouraging to know there are still many who stand upon God’s Word and preach “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).

’Mid the storms of doubt and unbelief, we fear,
Stands a Book eternal that the saints hold dear;
Through the restless ages it remains the same—
’Tis the Book of God, and the Bible is its name!

The old Book and the old faith
Are the Rock on which I stand!
The old Book and the old faith
Are the bulwark of the land!
Through storm and stress they stand the test
In every clime and nation blessed;
The old Book and the old faith
Are the hope of every land!

’Tis the Book that tells us of the Father’s love,
When He sent His Son to us from heav’n above,
Who by richest promise creates hope within,
For ’tis through His blood we are saved from every sin!

Oh, the grand old Book and the dear old faith
Are the Rock on which I stand!
Oh, the grand old Book and the dear old faith
Are the hope of every land!


Though the year 2010 is not a Leap Year, to be complete, the almanac needed to include February 29th for the times when the day is added. Here are a couple of items from hymn history that relate to that date.

February 29 in 1691 – John Byrom Born
John Byrom’s father worked as a linen draper in Manchester, England. But Byrom followed a more academic pursuit. He graduated with a Masters degree from Cambridge, and earned a living by teaching shorthand, using a system of his own invention. A Christian layman, he was a friend of John and Charles Wesley, and both men made use of his shorthand technique, John for writing his famous Journals, and Charles for writing his hymns. Byrom also wrote a number of hymns himself.

Graphic Christians Awake (original)Late in 1749, Mr. Byrom asked his young daughter Dolly, his favourite of the children,  what she would like for Christmas that year. In reply, she said, “Please write me a poem.” Coming down on Christmas morning Dolly found a neatly folded paper on the breakfast table. On it, under the heading, “Christmas Day, For Dolly,” were found the stirring lines of a carol now known as Christians Awake. (The original is pictured here.)

John Wainwright, the church organist and choir leader of the church the family attended, set the poem to music. A year later came a wonderful surprise. The family was awakened to hear Wainwright’s choir of men and boys at their front door singing, for the first time:

Christians, awake, salute the happy morn
Whereon the Saviour of the world was born.
Rise to adore the mystery of love
Which hosts of angels chanted from above,
With them the joyful tidings first begun
Of God incarnate and the virgin’s Son.

Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
Who heard th’angelic herald’s voice, “Behold,
I bring good tidings of a Saviour’s birth
To you and all the nations of the earth;
This day hath God fulfilled His promised Word;
This day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”

(2) February 29 in 1960 – Thomas Chisholm Died
Thomas Obediah Chisholm was educated in a small country school–where he became the teacher at the age of 16! For a time he edited a publication called the Pentecostal Herald. Later, he was ordained as a Methodist pastor, but he only served a church in Kentucky for a short time before poor health required him to resign. He became an insurance salesman, but he had a wider ministry than he could have imagined through the poetry he wrote.

Of his 1200 poems, quite a number were set to music. He has given us fine songs such as: Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Living for Jesus, O to Be Like Thee, He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions, and Trust in the Lord. (For a bit more about Mr. Chisholm and his songs, see Today in 1886.) Based on the familiar words of Isaiah 53, He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions says:

He was wounded for our transgressions,
He bore our sins in His body on the tree;
For our guilt He gave us peace,
From our bondage gave release,
And with His stripes, and with His stripes,
And with His stripes our souls are healed.

Living for Jesus, a song about the Christian life, has been translated into many languages.

Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.

O Jesus, Lord and Saviour, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me.
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne.
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus who died in my place,
Bearing on Calvary my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.


  1. Thank you for today’s encouraging hymns – at a moment in my life when I greatly need encouragement.

  2. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

  3. […] 1866; d. Feb. 29, 1960) Music: Jesse B. Thomas (no information available) Links: Wordwise Hymns (Thomas Chisholm) The Cyber Hymnal (Thomas […]

  4. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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