Spirit of Prophecy Day Hymns
Robert Grant was impressed to write this hymn based on Psalm 104 after reading William Keth’s (see SDAH 16) quaint rendering of this psalm. It is not strictly a paraphrase, but several verses are followed quite closely. The hymn first appeared in 1833 in Edward Bickerseth’s Christian Psalmody and posthumously in Grant's Sacred Poems, 1839. It was originally entitled "Glory and Goodness of God" and had three stanzas, each of eight lines.
Robert Grant was born in Bengal, India, in 1779 and went to England for his education. He graduated from Magdalen College, Cambridge, with a B.A. in 1801 and an M.A. in 1804. He studied law and was called to the bar in 1807. Becoming a member of Parliament in 1818, he was made a privy counselor in 1831 and judge advocate-general in 1832. In 1834 he was knighted and appointed governor of Bombay. He died at Dalpoorie in western India on July 9, 1838.
LYONS was probably composed in 1770 by Johann Michael Haydn younger brother of the more famous Franz Joseph (see SDAH 96). He was born in Rohrau, Austria, near Vienna, on September 14, 1737. Hechorister and deputy organist at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna from 1745 to 1755. In 1757 he was appointed kapellmeister to Count Firmian, the bishop at Grosswardein; five years later the archbishop of Salzburg appointed him musical director and concertmaster. He served as organist at the churches of Holy Trinity and St. Peter. Despite tempting offers from Vienna, Haydn remained in Salzburg. He composed a great deal of music, including about 300 pieces for the church, all of which were initialed O.a.m.D.Gl., "Omnia ad mahorem Del Gloriam" (All for the Greater Glory of God). SDAH 599, GREENLAND, is one of his compositions. He died at Salzburg on August 10, 1806.
The arrangement was made by William Gardiner (1770-1835; see SDAH 177) and appeared in his Sacred Melodies II, 1815. Gardiner also arranged the tune GARDINER, which is used for SDAH 177, 355, and 376.
Scripture Reading: Revelation 5:1-14
1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Grant Colfax Tullar, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a public evangelist, was staying in the home of Charles L. Mead, a fellow minister, in Rutherford, New Jersey, while assisting in an evangelistic campaign. At one meal there was a small quantity of jelly left over, and Mead, knowing of Tullar's fondness for it, promised it all to him. Tullar said, "So this is all for me." Immediately the last three words registered in his mind as a theme for a gospel song. Forsaking the mundane idea of jelly, he went straight to the piano and began to compose words and music, beginning with the words:
All for me the Saviour suffered,
All for me He bled and died.
Telling the story of its spontaneous composition and singing it at the evangelistic meeting that evening, Tullar called it the jelly song. However, he decided to revise the words, feeling that they had been rather rapidly written and could be improved. In his mail the next morning he received several poems from Mrs. Frank A. (Carrie Ellis) Breck. One of them, "Face to Face," was in the exact meter of his jelly song. So he set the words to his music, and they have been together ever since.
Carrie Ellis was born January 22, 1855, in Walden, Vermont. She and her husband, Frank Breck, and five daughters were deeply committed Presbyterians. She wrote verse for religious periodicals, and in all, wrote about 1,500 hymn texts, in spite of having no sense of pitch. Most of her poems were written while she was engaged in housework. She died in Portland, Oregon, March 27, 1934.
Tullar, born August 5, 1869, at Bolton, Connecticut, was given his Christian names Grant Colfax after the then president and vice president of the United States. He was converted at the age of 19 at a Methodist camp meeting. For 10 years he was the song leader for evangelist Geoge Hilton. In 1893 he founded a music publishing house with Isaac Meredith, and was its president for more than 30 years. He edited many hymnals and gospel songbooks. This hymn, "Face to Face," which was written in 1898, was published in his Sermons in Song in 1899. He died May 20, 1950, at Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
Note: SDAH stands for the current Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, while CH represents the older Church Hymnal that is still in use in some places.