Posted by: rcottrill | November 16, 2010

Today in 1871 – Edward Joy Born

The Bible offers an answer to the question of what we should do with our worries. David writes, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). Adds Peter, “Cast…all your cares [distracting anxieties] upon Him, for He cares for [a different Greek word, meaning the Lord is concerned about] you” (I Pet. 5:7).

And it is the Apostle Paul who explains that this “casting” of cares upon God is done through prayer. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hears and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Graphic Edward JoyIn 1920, Edward Henry Joy (seen here) wrote a beautiful hymn on this theme. Colonel Joy (1871-1949) was an officer and musician in the Salvation Army in England, later serving in Winnipeg, Canada. He also wrote a book called The Old Corps, which describes the early days of the organization (founded in 1865). It tells how the established church of the day was scandalized at some of the aggressive and novel methods used by William Booth to reach the lost and downtrodden of society. Joy’s book was later turned into a musical drama called simply Glory.

His hymn uses the symbol of the mercy seat, above the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament, to represent where God meets with His people through prayer today. (For an explanation of the significance of the mercy seat, see Today in 1865.) Col. Joy’s hymn says:

Is there a heart o’er-bound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross–each burden bearing,
All your anxiety, leave it there.

All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat–leave it there;
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

Come then at once–delay no longer!
Heed His entreaty kind and sweet;
You need not fear a disappointment–
You shall find peace at the mercy seat.

(2) Today in 1895 – Samuel Smith Died
American Samuel Francis Smith was a Baptist clergyman who also wrote a number of hymns. But he is remembered today chiefly as the author of the national song, My Country ‘Tis of Thee. (For more, see Today in 1831.)

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.


  1. The name of Edward Henry Joy is new to me and I’ve never seen those words he penned either. I think that’s a shame because those words are so true and comforting.

    • I agree. And if you’d like to see the full song, and hear the tune, you can do so on the Cyber Hymnal.

  2. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]

  3. Although I never met Henry Joy I feel that I did know him.
    I was walking my daughters poodles just the other day and walking up hill I needed a spell and sat on a rock wall to take in the view. His words popped into my mind and I wrote them down on the back of my plane ticket, with the thought that I would google them when I returned home.

    Over may years I was challenged by the words of his songs as a youngster growing up in the Salvation Army. We don’t sing such challenging songs these days and that is a shame. I can recall shedding many a tear as I sang his songs as a young man. In fact as I write I am still wiping away a tear. He must have had a deep faith to pen so many thought-provoking songs.

    Ones that come to mind are: All your anxiety all your cares; Jesus tender lover of my soul; There was a savior came seeking; Oh that in the mind of Christ. His quiet dedication encouraged Godly living.

    Henry was posted to various parts of England and then Canada and rose to the rank Colonel. Many years later in Australia, my children, as many others all over the world, had pleasure and witness acting the musical “Glory.”

    • Thanks for you comments. It’s always interesting to learn of the contact others had with the songs, and sometimes even the song writers. God bless.


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