Posted by: rcottrill | October 24, 2010

Today in 1794 – William Tappan Born

Hymn writer William Bingham Tappan was trained first as a clockmaker, in his youth. Later, he was licensed to preach by the Congregational denomination. He had a fruitful evangelistic ministry in America. Tappan also took special interest in the work of the Sunday School, and had a lifelong association with the American Sunday School Union. He published ten books of poetry, and a number of his poems were turned into hymns. William Tappen died of cholera in 1849, at the age of 55.

The hymn of his in widest use today is ‘Tis Midnight and on Olives Brow, a stirring picture of Christ in Gethsemane.

’Tis midnight, and on Olive’s brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
’Tis midnight, in the garden now
The suffering Saviour prays alone.

’Tis midnight, and from all removed
Emmanuel wrestles lone with fears
E’en the disciple whom He loved
Heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.

(2) Today in 1932 – Palmer Hartsough Died
Palmer Hartsough’s parents were Wells and Thankful Palmer. The son had a full life of employment and ministry for the Lord. He traveled widely for a time as a singing teacher, in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Then he opened a music studio in Rock Island, Illinois around 1877, taught vocal and instrumental music, and also directed music at a Baptist church.

In 1893 he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and was employed by the Fillmore Music Company. He was later ordained as a pastor. After several brief church ministries, he became the pastor of the Baptist church in Ontario, Michigan, at the age of seventy, and had a fruitful ministry for fourteen years, until his retirement. Palmer Harsough wrote more than a thousand gospel song texts, often using the pen name Uncle Frank. Only one or two of his songs are remembered today.

Gospel musician James Fillmore wrote words and music for a song to be used at a Christian Endeavour convention. Afterward, he asked Hartsough, then a writer on the staff of Fillmore’s music company, if he could write words for the tune that would be more widely useful. Hartsough responded with the challenging gospel song I Am Resolved.

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.

I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay,
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We’ll walk the heav’nly way.


  1. This is truly a spiritual hymn. Where can I purchase this DVD. I’d love to have it for my house-church prayer meetings. The solemnity of this hymn produces the spirit of worship.

    Please respond ASP. Thanks, and God bless you!

    • If you’re referring to the choral version of ‘Tis Midnight, and on Olive’s Brow, the recording was made at the Good Friday service of Faith Presbyterian Church, in April of 2009. I doubt that there’s a DVD available. It’s simply one of many thousands of video clips put on YouTube by amateur groups and individuals.

  2. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

  3. I have a book from 1849, called The Momento, by William B. Tappan, of his “late and early” poems. It is amazing that it still exists.

    • Not only does it still exist, but it’s for sale on Amazon. If your copy is in good condition, it might be worth something. I see that the copy for sale here is going for nearly $400.


%d bloggers like this: