Posted by: rcottrill | December 17, 2010

Today in 1807 – John Whittier Born

Known as the Quaker Poet, John Greenleaf Whittier was an editor, and member of his government as well. He was elected to the Massachusetts legislature (1847-1859), and served as secretary of the American Anti-slavery Society. Though he did not consider himself a hymn writer, almost a hundred hymns have been drawn from his poetry. (For a couple more of them, see Today in 1872, and Today in 1892.) From a poem of 22 stanzas Whittier called The Eternal Goodness, comes a hymn of trust in the Lord called I Know Not What the Future Hath.

I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
God’s mercy underlies.

And if my heart and flesh are weak
To bear an untried pain,
The bruised reed He will not break,
But strengthen and sustain.

(2) Today in 1834 – Marianne Hearn Born
Marianne Hearn was an English author, editor of the Sunday School Times, and on the staff of the Christian World newspaper. In addition, she wrote extensively, publishing 20 volumes of her collected works, often writing under the pen name Mary Anne Farningham. It is said that Hearn was greatly beloved within her Baptist denomination. She wrote a hymn of dedication for the young called Just As I Am Thine Own to Be (not to be confused with Charlotte Elliott’s invitation hymn, Just As I Am).

Just as I am, Thine own to be,
Friend of the young, who lovest me,
To consecrate myself to Thee,
O Jesus Christ, I come.

In the glad morning of my day,
My life to give, my vows to pay,
With no reserve and no delay,
With all my heart I come.

Just as I am, young, strong, and free,
To be the best that I can be
For truth, and righteousness, and Thee,
Lord of my life, I come.


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