Francois Hippolyte Barthelemon was a violinist, orchestra conductor, and composer. Though born in France, his mother was from a wealthy Irish family. Barthelemon served briefly in the Irish army, but left to study music. He lived in London from 1764 onward and was an associate of composer Franz Joseph Haydn. He wrote operas, symphonies, violin sonatas and one oratorio, as well as some hymn tunes.
Barthelemon was asked to write a tune for the hymn Awake, My Soul, and With the Sun and produced a tune called Morning Hymn for the purpose. It is worth a listen, though I like the tune Mainzer as well. (You can hear both on the Cyber Hymnal.)
The composer wrote the tune Autumn in 1785, used with Robert Robinson’s wonderful hymn Mighty God While Angels Bless Thee. Though many congregations know only Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing from Robinson’s pen, the latter is a marvelous hymn of worship, especially focusing on Christ in the latter stanzas.
Mighty God, while angels bless Thee,
May a mortal sing Thy name?
Lord of men as well as angels,
Thou art every creature’s theme.
Lord of every land and nation,
Ancient of eternal days.
Sounded through the wide creation
Be Thy just and endless praise.
For the grandeur of Thy nature,
Grand beyond a seraph’s thought;
For the wonders of creation,
Works with skill and kindness wrought.
For Thy providence, that governs,
Through Thine empire’s wide domain,
Wings an angel, guides a sparrow,
Blessèd be Thy gentle reign.
For Thy rich, Thy free redemption,
Bright, though veiled in darkness long,
Thought is poor, and poor expression;
Who can sing that wondrous song?
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
Shall Thy praise unuttered lie?
Break, my tongue, such guilty silence!
Sing the Lord Who came to die.
(2) Today in 1861 – Cyrus Nusbaum Born
Cyrus Sylvester Nusbaum was a pastor who also served the Lord with his Methodist denomination as an evangelist, and for a time he worked in an administrative role at Southwestern College in Kansas. An American army captain during the First World War, he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to inspect the work of the Red Cross in France.
Only a single hymn is credited to Cyrus Nusbaum, His Way with Thee, for which he wrote both words and music. It was written during his early struggles in pastoral ministry. He was assigned to an extremely poor district, and he and his wife had difficulty making ends meet. He hoped and prayed that he might be appointed to a better situation, but the denominational leaders left him where he was. Pastor Nusbaum confesses:
I was very unhappy and a spirit of rebellion seemed to possess me. About midnight, I finally knelt in prayer beside my chair. After some struggle, a deep peace came stealing into my heart. I told the Lord I would be willing to let Him have His way with me, regardless of the cost. With that feeling of surrender to the will of God came the inspiration for the song.
It is a hymn encouraging surrender to the will and power of the Lord. As well as saying, “Your will be done on earth” (Matt. 6:10), we need to say, “Your will be done in me.” Romans puts it this way: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God [because of all the Lord has done for you], that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). (You can see the complete hymn on the Cyber Hymnal.)
Would you live for Jesus, and be always pure and good?
Would you walk with Him within the narrow road?
Would you have Him bear your burden, carry all your load?
Let Him have His way with thee.
His power can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
’Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.