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THOMAS MOORE (Dublin, May 28, 1779- Bermuda, W. I. I., Feb. 26, 1853), the celebrated Irish poet and singer of love songs, was also the writer of about thirty hymns. These were published in 1816, and among them, under the title of " Relief in Prayer," is found the beautiful hymn which is to-day so often sung on occasions of mourning. While few, if any, of Moore's poems retain the place they once held in popular appreciation, and almost all his other hymns are forgotten, the comforting thought in this poem has given it a place of permanency along with the other great English hymns.
COME, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish ;
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel; Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure; Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.
Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE TOPLADY (Farnham, Surrey, England, Nov. 4, 1740 -London, Aug. 4, 1778) graduated from Trinity, Dublin. After fourteen years in the English Episcopal ministry, he left that church to become pastor of the French Calvinists. This universal hymn is found in almost as many tongues as the Bible itself, probably over 300. Mr. Gladstone translated it into Latin, Greek, and Italian. It is said that the brave General Stuart, wounded before Richmond, died with this hymn on his lips, and the same is related of the prince consort of England. When the London went down in the bay of Biscay in 1866 the last thing heard was the passengers singing Rock of Ages." Many changes have crept into this hymn, but the following is probably exactly as Toplady wrote it in 1776:
ROCK OF AGES
LOCK of Ages, cleft for me! Let me hide myself in thee; Let the water and the blood, From thy wounded side that flowed, Be of sin the double cure; Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Not the labor of my hands
Nothing in my hand I bring,
While I draw this fleeting breath,
AUGUSTUS M. TOPLADY
FRANCIS XAVIER (Navarre, Spain, April 7, 1506-Island of Sancian, Dec. 2, 1552), the famous Spanish missionary, the apostle to the Indians, and one of the founders of the Society of Jesus. He labored incessantly in carrying the Gospel to many lands and died on his way to China. It is thought that he translated this hymn from the Spanish into the Latin. From the latter it was translated into English by Edward Caswall.