Posted by: rcottrill | September 5, 2010

Today in 1802 – Frederick Oakeley Born

Frederick Oakeley was an English pastor who worked among the poor. He is known in hymnody for translating the carol O Come, All Ye Faithful from Latin into English in 1841. However, his original began with the cumbersome, “Ye faithful, approach ye.” Thankfully, when the hymn was published in 1852, this was changed, becoming the familiar hymn found in hymnals today. (To read a bit more about the orgin of this hymn, see Today in 1786.)

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem!
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

ABOUT THAT METRICAL INDEX. Perhaps your hymn book has at the back something called a Metrical Index, with lists names followed by funny looking numbers. What’s it for? How can we make practical use of it? My article will explain.

(2) Today in 1851 – Howard Grose Born
Howard Benjamin Grose was educated at the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. He was ordained as a Baptist minister, and served both as a university president (at the University of South Dakota), and as a professor of history at the University of Chicago. He also served as an editor of some Baptist publications, and wrote a number of books. In 1902 he wrote the dedication hymn, Give of Your Best to the Master.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardour
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart.
Give Him first place in your service;
Consecrate every part.
Give, and to you will be given;
God His beloved Son gave.
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have.


  1. Hello – and thank you for the encouragement of this beautiful hymn today – I needed those words just now! I have a special affinity with the old hymns, many of which I have referred to in my book: “Singing on the Journey Home.”

    • Love the title of your book. It beautifully describes the Christian pilgrimage–Singing on the Journey Home. Always interested in books about hymns. I went to and it says “currently unavailable.” Does that mean it’s too new to be there, or out of print?

      My book Discovering the Songs of Christmas has been selling reasonably well. I expect it will do even better as the Christmas season approaches. Discovering the Songs of Comfort is expected to be on the market by Easter, and Discovering the Songs of Calvary is better than three-quarters done. (End of commercial!) 🙂

      Great to hear from you. Drop by any time.

  2. Hello Robert, Amazon have my 3 books advertised on their site, although I haven’t made them available through them so far. I live in Ireland and distribute my own books through both Christian and secular bookshops – also other more unusual outlets! I also use them to raise money for various charities like CEF and Disabled Christian Fellowhip.
    “Singing on the Journey Home” (2nd book) was written to commemorate the 30th anniversary of when I trusted the Lord as my Saviour. An autbiography, it consists of 30 short true stories for each of these 30 years. Relevant to each story is a favourite old hymn which is discussed. (I also write tracts and make bookmarks with John 3v16 in different languages – given freely in outreach)
    I love the old hymns and fail to understand why they have been abandoned by many churches and Christian fellowships here in Ireland.
    “Discovering the Songs of Christmas” sounds like a lovely Christmas present – I will look out for it.
    God bless you, as you continue to write.

    • Thanks for the information. My publisher (down in the United States, in Georgia) decided to focus particularly on distribution through the Web. Though my book is on display in a local Christian book store, most sales have come directly from the publisher, or from Amazon. And yes, I’m hoping others will see the Christmas book as a great present. It contains essays on over 60 carols and Christmas hymns, with historical background and devotional thoughts on each. God bless.

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