Monday, March 10, 2008

Savior, Thy Dying Love

Sylvanus Dryden Phelps
Born: May 15, 1816, Suf­field, Con­nec­ti­cut.
Died: No­vem­ber 23, 1895, New Ha­ven, Con­nec­ti­cut.
Phelps at­tend­ed the Con­nec­ti­cut Lit­er­ary In­sti­tute, Brown Un­i­ver­si­ty (grad­u­at­ed 1844), and Yale Di­vin­i­ty School. Af­ter or­din­a­tion, he pas­tored at the First Bap­tist Church in New Ha­ven, Con­nec­ti­cut (1854-1882), and the Jef­fer­son Street Bap­tist Church, Prov­i­dence, Rhode Is­land (1876). Lat­er, he be­came ed­i­tor of The Christ­ian Sec­re­ta­ry. His son was preach­er, au­thor and pro­fess­or Will­iam Ly­ons Phelps.

Music: Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
On Phelps’ 70th birth­day, Low­ry wrote him: It is worth liv­ing 70 years even if no­thing comes of it but one such hymn as:
"Savior! Thy dying love
Thou gavest me;
Nor should I aught withhold,
Dear Lord, from Thee".

Happy is the man who can produce one song which the world will keep on singing after the au­thor shall have passed away. May the tune­ful harp pre­serve its strings for ma­ny a long year yet, and the last note reach us on­ly when it is time for the sing­er to take his place in the hea­ven­ly choir.

Amen, Amen! This is a great hymn of the Faith that our Temple Choir Director, Gordon Leavitt selected for yesterday's worship service.

1 comment:

robert said...

Well! I wasn't born in Saskatchewan, but my wife and I have lived here for the past 22 years--and are great Riders fans.

It was your title, quoting the lovely hymn by Sylvanus Phelps, that caught my attention today. (This is the 115th anniversary of his death.)

Glad to hear of your concern over the deterioration of church music, and I sadly concur. My daily hymn blog, Wordwise Hymns, is an attempt to affirm hymn lovers, and help those unfamiliar with them to make some new discoveries. (Over 70,000 visitors from about 175 countries show that there is a need!) If you enjoy the subject, I encourage you to drop by regularly.

And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” If you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at my own, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)