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Annotations of the Hymnal
Charles L. Hutchins, 1872

James Bowring was born at Exeter, in 1792. He possessed at an early age a remarkable power of attaining languages, and acquired some reputation by his metrical translations of foreign poems. He became editor of The Westminster Review in 1825, and was elected to Parliament in 1835. In 1849, he was appointed Consul at Canton, and in 1854, was made Governor of Hong Kong, and received the honor of knighthood. He is the author of some important works on politics and travel, and is the recipient of several testimonials from foreign governments and societies. His poems and hymns have also added to his reputation. His Matins and Vespers have passed through many editions. In religion he is a Unitarian.

The Hymns and Hymn Writers of The Church
Charles S. Nutter & Wilbur F. Tillett, 1911

Sir John Bowring, an eminent English politician, statesman, foreign minister, and literary man, was born at Exeter, England, October 17, 1792. He held many official positions of responsibility under the English government, and was knighted in 1854. He was a genius in the acquisition of languages. He made translations from no less than thirteen modern languages, mostly of poetry. For many years he represented the English government in China and other portions of the Orient. He was a Unitarian in faith. He died at Exeter November 23, 1872, being eighty years old. His hymns are found in his Matins and Vespers, 1823, and in his Sequel to the Matins, 1825. His published volumes are very numerous, no less than ten of them containing poetic translations from foreign languages or disquisitions on poetry. Although a Unitarian, he is the author of two of our most popular and useful hymns on Christ, one on the life of Christ (No. 290) and the other on the cross of Christ (No. 143); while two others (Nos. 199 and 636) are among our best missionary hymns, striking a triumphant note concerning the beneficent and universal spread of the gospel of Christ.

God Is Love; His Mercy Brightens 88
How Sweetly Flowed the Gospel Sound 290
In the Cross of Christ I Glory 143
Upon the Gospel’s Sacred Page 199
Watchman, Tell Us of the Night 636
TitleAuthor
Father and Friend, Thy Light, Thy LoveSir John Bowring (1792-1872)
From the Recesses of a Lowly SpiritSir John Bowring (1792-1872)
God Is Love; His Mercy BrightensSir John Bowring, 1825
How Sweetly Flowed the Gospel’s SoundSir John Bowring, 1823
In the Cross of Christ I GlorySir John Bowring, 1825
Upon the Gospel’s Sacred PageSir John Bowring (1792-1872)
Watchman, Tell Us of the NightSir John Bowring, 1825