Posted by: rcottrill | May 14, 2010

Today in 1752 – Timothy Dwight Born

Timothy Dwight began reading the Scriptures at the age of four. In adulthood, he was an ordained Congregational clergyman and became an educator and academic. He was the grandson of pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards, and a friend of George Washington’s. He served as a chaplain in the Connecticut Continental Brigade. When he was 22, Dwight published an epic poem (10,000 lines!) called The Conquest of Canaan, which was a strange mixture of biblical history and that of the contemporary New England of his day.

In 1795, Timothy Dwight became president of Yale University (from which he had graduated at the age of 13!). He also helped found Andover Theological Seminary. We know him in hymnody chiefly for one hymn, I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord.

I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode,
The church our blessed Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.

Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.

(2) Today in 1855 – Thomas Kelly Died
Irishman Thomas Kelly was the son of a judge. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and was ordained as an Anglican clergyman in 1792.  He was a strong evangelical preacher, a brilliant man of exceptional learning, but humble and gracious in spirit. He was greatly beloved by the poor in the community because of his kindness and generosity toward them.

Thomas Kelly wrote many hymns. (The Cyber Hymnal lists 124.) For a bit more about the man and his hymns, see Today in 1769. Included in these songs, and still in common use are:

Hark, Ten Thousand Harps and Voices
Look, Ye Saints, the Sight Is Glorious
Praise the Saviour, Ye Who Know Him
The Head that Once Was Crowned with Thorns

From 1809 comes the triumphant second coming hymn, Look, Ye Saints, the Sight Is Glorious. It was originally called The Second Advent, and is based on Rev. 11:15,

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

A number of tunes have been used with Kelly’s song. Coronae, by William Monk, is most familiar to me. Other books use Regent Square or Cwm Rhondda (the latter is used in the video link below).

Look, ye saints! the sight is glorious:
See the Man of Sorrows now;
From the fight returned victorious,
Every knee to Him shall bow;
Crown Him, crown Him,
Crown Him, crown Him,
Crowns become the Victor’s brow,
Crowns become the Victor’s brow.

Sinners in derision scorned Him,
Mocking thus the Saviour’s claim;
Saints and angels crowd around Him,
Own His title, praise His name;
Crown Him, crown Him,
Crown Him, crown Him,
Spread abroad the Victor’s fame,
Spread abroad the Victor’s fame.


  1. Liturgical traditions celebrate Ascension in real time, on the 40th day after the resurrection (Happy Ascension! Yesterday was the 40th day). One of the suggested hymns is Look Ye Saints. Perhaps it has to do with Ascension’s other title, “Coronation Day” where Christ assumes His place and rules at the Father’s right hand.

    It is also sung to Bryn Calfaria. You have to add in an extra set of “Crown Him’s to make it work.

    • I have often felt that we in non-liturgical churches are missing something by not making more of the ascension. It relates to the ongoing ministry of Christ at the Father’s right hand as our great High Priest, and that is of daily significance to believers.

  2. It has a waning presence in liturgical churches. Some transfer it to the next Sunday, many just ignore it. I personally think we need to make a big deal of it again!

  3. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

  4. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

  5. […] Wordwise Hymns (Thomas Kelly died) The Cyber […]


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