Posted by: rcottrill | October 2, 2010

Today in 1808 – Allen Chatfield Born

Allen William Chatfield was an Anglican clergyman, and a scholar who graduated from Cambridge winning first class in classical honours. He wrote Songs and Hymns of Earliest Greek Christian Poets in 1876, and several of the ancient hymns he translated were published and used. Among them is Lord Jesus, Think on Me, written in Greek by Synesius of Cyrene, around 430 AD. It says in part:

Lord Jesus, think on me
And purge away my sin;
From earthborn passions set me free
And make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
With many a care oppressed;
Let me Thy loving servant be
And taste Thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me
Nor let me go astray;
Through darkness and perplexity
Point Thou the heavenly way.

(2) Today in 1918 – Donald Hustad Born
Donald Paul Hustad has had a long and varied career in Christian music, extending over more than six decades. An outstanding organist and choral director, a music historian, an editor with Hope Publishing Company, and a composer of sacred music, Hustad has received many honours over his time of ministry. He was associated with the Billy Graham Evangelist Association for years as a crusade organist, and with Moody Bible Institute. In later years, he served as Professor of Church Music at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

During Mr. Hustad’s time at Moody, he was a guest organist in my home church in Hamilton, Ontario. My father, our regular organist was a little intimidated by this, being self-taught, but he asked Hustad’s advice about various things, and played a bit for him. Graciously, Don Hustad said, “Don’t change a thing. You’re doing very well.” High praise from a man who has since become an associate of the American Guild of Organists, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in London!

Don Hustad arranged an old Irish folk tune and it became the hymn tune Slane, to which we sing Be Thou My Vision. The name comes from the fact that it was on Slane Hill, around 433 AD, that Patrick defied a royal edict of pagan King Logaire. He earned the king’s respect by his courage, and was allowed to continue his missionary work in Ireland.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Mr. Hustad wrote a number of  books on church music, including the useful Dictionary-Hand­book to Hymns for the Liv­ing Church, and composed several hymn tunes himself, such as Highlands, to fit Grant Colfax Tullar’s I’ve Heard the King. Tullar’s original poem was created during the Second World War. He had just listened to a broadcast of Britain’s King George VI over the radio, and compared the Christians supreme privilege of communicating with the King of Kings.

 I’ve heard the King! The King of heaven!
Nor can I e’er forget the music of His voice.
I’ve heard the King! His call I’ve answered.
I’ve made the King of heav’n my everlasting choice.

He came to me, and with Him came a blessing.
He spoke to me, and glory filled my soul;
His voice I heard, so charming and so wondrous.
I’ve heard the King, and hearing am made whole.


Responses

  1. […] For a bit more about the origin of this hymn, see Today in 1880. Concerning the tune, Slane, see Item #2 under Today in 1808. […]


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