Posted by: rcottrill | December 23, 2010

Today in 1873 – From Glory to Glory written

Frances Ridley Havergal did not spend many years on this earth, dying at the age of 43. But God gifted her in unusual ways, and her many hymns continue to bless. Having a brilliant mind, Frances was reading by the age of 4, and began writing poetry when she was 7. She mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and memorized the Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and most of the New Testament.

From Glory Unto Glory is one of her lesser known creations, another of her several New Year’s hymns. It is based on II Cor. 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The original poem has 20 stanzas. Here are a few of them.

“From glory unto glory!” Be this our joyous song,
As on the King’s own highway we bravely march along!
“From glory unto glory!” O word of stirring cheer,
As dawns the solemn brightness of one more glad new year.

“From glory unto glory!” What mighty blessings crown
The lives for which our Lord hath laid His own so freely down!
Omnipotence to keep us, omniscience, too, to guide,
Jehovah’s blessèd presence within us to abide!

The fullness of His blessing encompasseth our way;
The fullness of His promise crowns every brightening day;
The fullness of His glory is beaming from above,
While more and more we realize the fullness of His love.

“In full and glad surrender we give ourselves to Thee,
Thine utterly, and only, and evermore to be!
O Son of God, who lov’st us, we will be Thine alone,
Our being and possessions, shall henceforth be Thine own!”

Now onward, ever onward, “from strength to strength” we go,
While “grace for grace” abundant shall from His fullness flow,
To glory’s full fruition, from glory’s foretaste here,
Until His very presence crown happiest new year.

(2) Today in 1915 – William Doane Died
William Howard Doane was president of the J. A. Fay Woodworking Machinery Company. A successful businessman, he bequeathed large sums of money to various causes. As a Christian layman, he served as a Sunday School superintendent, and a church choir director, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He called music his “avocation,” but he certainly worked hard at it, producing over 2,000 hymn tunes.

Mr. Doane was a friend of Fanny Crosby’s, and frequently collaborated with her. A few examples of the many songs they created together are:

Draw Me Nearer
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
Moments of Prayer
Rescue the Perishing
To the Work
Safe in the Arms of Jesus

To the Work is a challenge to Christian service.

To the work! To the work! We are servants of God;
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.

Toiling on, toiling on, toiling on, toiling on,
Let us hope and trust, let us watch and pray,
And labour till the Master comes.

The circumstances of the writing of the last last hymn listed above are unusual. One day in April of 1868 William Doane paid Fanny a call. With hardly a “How’d you do?” Doane said, “I have exactly forty minutes before my train leaves for Cincinnati. Here’s a melody. Can you write words for it?” The hymn became Safe in the Arms of Jesus. For the full story of what happened, see the second item under Today in 1854.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me.
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.

(3) More from Fanny Crosby
If you’re looking for a good gospel song that fits the theme of New Years, Fanny has provided us with one. The tune used is that of the familiar Scottish Auld Lang Syne, but the words a biblical and inspiring. You can see the whole hymn on the Cyber Hymnal.

 How sweet the hour of praise and prayer,
When our devotions blend,
And on the wings of faith divine
Our songs of joy ascend!
’Tis then we hear in tones more clear
The gracious promise giv’n,
That, though we part from friends on earth,
We all shall meet in heav’n.

We all shall meet in heav’n at last,
We all shall meet in heav’n;
Through faith in Jesus’ precious blood,
We all shall meet in heav’n.


  1. […] For an interesting story about another Doane-Crosby collaboration, see the second item under Today in 1873. […]

  2. […] if you’re looking for hymns for that occasion, consider also Fanny Crosby’s How Sweet the Hour, here. Samuel Wesley, the composer of this excellent tune, was the grandson of prominent hymn writer […]

  3. […] Wordwise Hymns (W. H. Doane) The Cyber […]


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