Posted by: rcottrill | August 4, 2010

Today in 1893 – William Booth-Clibborn Born

William Emmanuel Booth-Clibborn was the grandson of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. He served the Lord as an evangelist, but also produced several gospel songs. Down from His Glory is likely more of a solo selection than a congregational number, but it speaks effectively of the Saviour’s willing condescension.

The Bible tells us “Christ Jesus…being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men….[He] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).

Because He is Himself God (Jn. 1:1), the second Person of the Trinity, it was not “robbery” for Him to claim the prerogatives of deity, not an invasion into something that did not belong to Him, not a thing to be clutched and held onto illegally, the way a thief might snatch a purse. He had a full right to the glory and honour that had been His from all eternity. But He willingly set these things aside to come to save us.

In 1921, Booth-Clibborn created his hymn. The tune was adapted from that of the Italian song, O Sole Mio, recorded in 1916 by famous by opera star Enrico Caruso. (It is surely put to more wonderful and lasting use by Mr. Booth-Clibborn’s lyrics.)

Down from His glory, ever living story,
My God and Saviour came, and Jesus was His Name.
Born in a manger, to His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.

O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all.
The great Creator became my Saviour,
And all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him.

What condescension, bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night, not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender, laid aside His splendour,
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul.

 (2) O for a Heart of Calm Repose (Data Missing)
Here is a lovely little hymn the authorship of which is unknown. There is a settling sense of peace in this hymn that mirrors its theme. You can hear the tune played on the Cyber Hymnal.

Some might question the practice of praying to the Holy Spirit, as we do with the text of O for a Heart of Calm Repose. It is true that the basic pattern for prayer is that we are to pray to God the Father, on the authority (in the name of) the Lord Jesus, by the enabling of the Spirit (Eph. 2:18; cf. Matt. 6:9; Rom. 8:26-27).

That should surely be our customary practice. However, nothing is said against praying to the Spirit of God at times, and we know He is fully God, just as the other Persons of the Trinity are.

O for a heart of calm repose
Amid the world’s loud roar,
A life that like a river flows
Along a peaceful shore!

Come, Holy Spirit! still my heart
With gentleness divine;
Indwelling peace Thou canst impart;
O make the blessing mine.

Above these scenes of storm and strife
There spreads a region fair;
Give me to live that higher life,
And breathe that heavenly air.

Come, Holy Spirit! breathe that peace
That victory make me win;
Then shall my soul her conflict cease,
And find a heaven within.


  1. […] Certainly the most esteemed singer of his day, and one of the greatest ever, that very year Caruso had made the first million-selling recording in history. Thus he is significant in establishing the whole recording industry–which has meant much to the ministry of the gospel over the years. Caruso was never completely at home working in English. The recordings he made in our language had to be learned phonetically, and his heavy accent often gets in the way of enjoying the songs. But here he is on more familiar territory, with the Italian song O Sole Mio, recorded in 1916. The tune was later used for an excellent gospel song, Down from His Glory. […]

  2. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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