Posted by: rcottrill | October 20, 2010

Today in 1892 – Harold Loes Born

Mr. Loes adopted the middle name Dixon in honour of A. C. Dixon, the pastor of Moody Church, becoming Harry Dixon Loes. He studied music at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, the American Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan School of Music, and the Chicago Musical College. After serving as a musician in various churches, he joined the music faculty of Moody.

Harry Dixon Loes sometimes wrote both words and music for songs, as he did for All things in Jesus. But he also supplied tunes for the lyrics of others (e.g. for Avis Christiansen’s Blessed Redeemer, and Love Found a Way).  And Loes wrote the tune for a simple 1924 gospel song by Alfred Barrett, Jesus Won My Heart. As the Bible says, “The love of Christ compels us” (II Cor. 5:14). It becomes a great motivating factor in our lives, prompting things such as a holy walk and faithful service.

I am walking in the narrow way,
I am living for Jesus every day;
I have peace that never will depart,
Since Jesus won my heart.

(2) Today in 1908 – Stuart Hamblen Born
Wonderfully saved from a life of drunkenness and profanity, Carl Stuart Hamblen made an impact with his many gospel songs. He was in­duct­ed in­to the Coun­try/West­ern Song­writers Hall of Fame in 1970, and the Tex­as Coun­try Mu­sic Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Hamblen died in 1989. It Is No Secret is his best known song. (To hear Hamblen himself sing this song, see the third item under Today in 1857.) Another of his songs, Until Then expresses the Christian’s hope of heaven with colourful imagery. Many years ago, I sang it with a staff choir in a concert given at our church camp in Ontario.

My heart can sing when I pause to remember,
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upwards;
This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing;
Until then, with joy I’ll carry one–
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

This weary world, with all its toil and trouble,
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon:
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.

(3) Today in 1913 – Mary Lathbury Died
Mary Artemisia Lathbury was the daughter of a Methodist clergyman, and her two brothers were pastors also.  Mary herself is described as a glowing Christian with a gentle, loving manner.

She was both a professional artist and a poet of note. She was also involved in the Chautauqua Movement, a religious and cultural institution that had a great impact on nineteenth century America. Its main conference grounds were in New York State, on beautiful Lake Chautauqua [Shuh-TAWK-wuh]. Graphic Loaf of BreadThousands gathered in the summer months to listen to gifted musicians and hear stirring speeches. Bible study was a part of the program as well. Mary Lathbury became known as the Poet Laureate of Chautauqua. In that capacity Miss Lathbury has given us two beautiful songs.

During His years on earth, the Lord Jesus called Himself “the bread from heaven,” “the bread of God” and “the bread of life” (Jn. 6:32, 33, 35). That image of divine accessibility and abundance was on the mind of Mary Lathbury when she penned the words of her hymn, Break Thou the Bread of Life. At the request of Dr. John Vincent, the founder of Chautauqua, she wrote this hymn, simply calling it A Study Song. It now takes its title from the opening line.

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word!

Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me;
Give me to eat and live with Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love.

Mary Lathbury also produced a majestic hymn celebrating the glories of setting sun, and the anticipation of an eternal dawn, in 1877, when she was asked to write a hymn that would provide a suitable closing for the day’s activities. She wrote the words, and the music director, William Fisk Sherwin, supplied the tune–which he called Evening Praise. The poetess drew her inspiration from the beauties of the setting sun across the lake. In fact the hymn was first sung by campers gathered in a cluster of boats out on water at sunset.

Day is dying in the west;
Heav’n is touching earth with rest;
Wait and worship while the night
Sets the evening lamps alight
Through all the sky.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heav’n and earth are full of Thee!
Heav’n and earth are praising Thee,
O Lord most high!


  1. Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I looked through your blog and really enjoy it. My kids and I will be coming back to learn more, thanks!

    • Great to hear from you, Crystal. We were able to send our son to a Christian school. (I served on the board for a number of years.) And Jim and his wife Shari are now missionaries in Mexico. The option of home schooling was not open to us, mainly for health reasons, but as indicated in my earlier comment, I greatly admire those who do this. The more I see the direction our education system is taking here in Canada–as in the States, I’m sure–the more I believe other families will be home schooling. We need to get our children grounded in the faith before they face a hostile world. God bless.

  2. I love the words of Mary Lathbury’s hymn “Day is dying in the west!” It makes me think of Romans 1:19-20. I wish we had more occasions to sing this one.

    • Agreed. And our little church is one that has unfortunately abandoned the Sunday evening service. Perhaps it would seem rather odd to sing the hymn in the morning service! But maybe we should try, just so folks stay familiar with it.

  3. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

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  5. […] Oct. 20, 1908; d. Mar. 8, 1989) Music: Carl Stuart Hamblen Links: Wordwise Hymns Stuart Hamblen born, died) The Cyber Hymnal (Stuart […]


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