Posted by: rcottrill | June 20, 2010

Today in 1779 – Dorothy Thrupp Born

Little is known today of this prolific author of hymns for children. Her work appeared in publications such as Hymns for the Young (published in 1830).

There has been some doubt expressed as to whether Dorothy Ann Thrupp truly is the source of the only one of her songs in common use today, Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us–though I believe we are safe in assuming her authorship. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is her own reluctance to use her name with her work. Some of her hymns appeared under the pen name Iota. Others were attributed to D.A.T. And many were left unsigned altogether.

In the excerpt below, notice the line describing the blessings God has made available to all who will turn to Him in faith–mercy to relieve, grace to cleanse, and power to free. Amen!

Saviour, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Early let us turn to Thee.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Early let us turn to Thee.

(2) Today in 1859 – William Sparrow-Simpson Born
Mr. Sparrow-Simpson was an Anglican clergyman, chiefly known today for the creation of the text for John Stainer’s oratorio The Crucifixion. It is for that work that the hymn Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow was written. It faces the mystery of Christ, the God-Man, suffering death. And it movingly portrays how He laid aside His eternal glory to save us. “Christ died for our sins” the Bible says (I Cor. 15:3). This hymn pictures something of the infinite cost of that. It says, in part:

Cross of Jesus, cross of sorrow,
Where the blood of Christ was shed,
Perfect Man on thee did suffer,
Perfect God on thee has bled!

Here the King of all the ages,
Throned in light ere worlds could be,
Robed in mortal flesh is dying,
Crucified by sin for me.

From the “Holy, Holy, Holy,
We adore Thee, O most High,”
Down to earth’s blaspheming voices
And the shout of “Crucify.”

 (3) Today in 1904 – Joseph August Seiss Died
American clergyman Joseph Seiss (or Seuss) studied at Gettysburg College and Seminary and was ordained to the ministry in 1848. He served Lutheran churches in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Pastor Seiss translated the hymn Fairest Lord Jesus from German.

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honour,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.


  1. […] (3) Today in 1952 – William Sparrow-Simpson Died William John Sparrow-Simpson was an Anglican cleric who supplied the libretto for John Stainer’s oratorio, The Crucifixion. Included in that 1887 work were the words of a congregational hymn called Cross of Jesus–which has since been printed by itself in a number of hymnals. (For more on this hymn, see Item 2 under Today in 1859.) […]

  2. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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