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Background

Hymns Ancient and Modern: Historical Edition
William H. Frere, 1909

John Mason, the son of a Nonconformist minister, was educated at Strixton School, Northants, and Clare College, Cambridge. He took Holy Orders, and was Curate of Isham; in 1668, Vicar of Stantonbury, Bucks; and later Rector of Water-Stratford, where he remained until his death, in 1694. He was among the first to begin the practice of hymn singing as distinct from the use of the metrical psalter. His Spiritual Songs: or Songs of Praise to Almighty God on Several Occasions; and his Poem on Dives and Lazarus passed rapidly through several editions. See Hymn 358.

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

John Mason, an earnest and pious clergyman of the English Church, was the son of a Dissenting minister; lived in the seventeenth century; was graduated at Cambridge in 1664; and died at the rectory of Water-Stratford, Buckinghamshire, in 1694. His Spiritual Songs were published in 1683. He was the best English hymn writer preceding Watts, and many think they can detect his influence upon Watts and Wesley. Richard Baxter styled him “the glory of the Church of England,” and said that “the frame of his spirit was so heavenly, his deportment so humble and obliging, his discourse of spiritual things so weighty, with such apt words and delightful air, that it charmed all that had any spiritual relish.” This character well befits the author of a hymn so deeply devotional and truly spiritual as the one here given.

Now From the Altar of My Heart 46
TitleAuthor
A Living Stream, as Crystal ClearRev. John Keble (1792-1866), based on Rev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
Blest Day of God! Most Calm, Most BrightRev. John Mason, 1683
How Shall I Sing That Majesty?Rev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
Lord, for the Mercies of the NightRev. John Mason, 1683
Lord, in the Day Thou Art AboutRev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
My Lord, My Love, Was CrucifiedRev. John Mason, 1683
Now from the Altar of My HeartRev. John Mason, 1683
The World Can Neither Give Nor TakeRev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
There Is a Stream, Which Issues ForthRev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
Thou Wast, O God! And Thou Wast BlestRev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
Thousands of Thousands Stand AroundRev. John Mason (circa 1646-1694)
What Shall I Render to My God?Rev. John Mason, 1683, altered