Reginald Heber

Reginald Heber
Short Name: Reginald Heber
Full Name: Heber, Reginald, 1783-1826
Birth Year: 1783
Death Year: 1826

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today.
-- Greg Scheer, 1995

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Heber, Reginald, D.D. Born at Malpas, April 21, 1783, educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; Vicar of Hodnet, 1807; Bishop of Calcutta, 1823; died at Trichinopoly, India, April 3, 1826. The gift of versification shewed itself in Heber's childhood; and his Newdigate prize poem Palestine, which was read to Scott at breakfast in his rooms at Brazenose, Oxford, and owed one of its most striking passages to Scott's suggestion, is almost the only prize poem that has won a permanent place in poetical literature. His sixteen years at Hodnet, where he held a halfway position between a parson and a squire, were marked not only by his devoted care of his people, as a parish priest, but by literary work. He was the friend of Milman, Gifford, Southey, and others, in the world of letters, endeared to them by his candour, gentleness, "salient playfulness," as well as learning and culture. He was on the original staff of The Quarterly Review; Bampton Lecturer (1815); and Preacher at Lincoln's Inn (1822). His edition of Jeremy Taylor is still the classic edition. During this portion of his life he had often had a lurking fondness for India, had traced on the map Indian journeys, and had been tempted to wish himself Bishop of Calcutta. When he was forty years old the literary life was closed by his call to the Episcopate. No memory of Indian annals is holier than that of the three years of ceaseless travel, splendid administration, and saintly enthusiasm, of his tenure of the see of Calcutta. He ordained the first Christian native—Christian David. His first visitation ranged through Bengal, Bombay, and Ceylon; and at Delhi and Lucknow he was prostrated with fever. His second visitation took him through the scenes of Schwartz's labours in Madras Presidency to Trichinopoly, where on April 3,1826, he confirmed forty-two persons, and he was deeply moved by the impression of the struggling mission, so much so that “he showed no appearance of bodily exhaus¬tion." On his return from the service

”He retired into his own room, and according to his invariable custom, wrote on the back of the address on Confirmation 'Trichinopoly, April 3, 1826.' This was his last act, for immediately on taking off his clothes, he went into a large cold bath, where he had bathed the two preceding mornings, but which was now the destined agent of his removal to Paradise. Half an hour after, his servant, alarmed at his long absence, entered the room and found him a lifeless corpse." Life, &c, 1830, vol. ii. p. 437.

Heber's hymns were all written during the Hodnet period. Even the great missionary hymn, "From Greenland's icy mountains," notwithstanding the Indian allusions ("India's coral strand," "Ceylon's isle"), was written before he received the offer of Calcutta. The touching funeral hymn, "Thou art gone to the grave," was written on the loss of his first babe, which was a deep grief to him. Some of the hymns were published (1811-16) in the Christian Observer, the rest were not published till after his death. They formed part of a ms. collection made for Hodnet (but not published), which contained, besides a few hymns from older and special sources, contributions by Milman. The first idea of the collection appears in a letter in 1809 asking for a copy of the Olney Hymns, which he "admired very much." The plan was to compose hymns connected with the Epistles and Gospels, to be sung after the Nicene Creed. He was the first to publish sermons on the Sunday services (1822), and a writer in The Guardian has pointed out that these efforts of Heber were the germs of the now familiar practice, developed through the Christian Year (perhaps following Ken's Hymns on the Festivals), and by Augustus Hare, of welding together sermon, hymnal, and liturgy. Heber tried to obtain from Archbishop Manners Sutton and the Bishop of London (1820) authorization of his ms. collection of hymns by the Church, enlarging on the "powerful engine" which hymns were among Dissenters, and the irregular use of them in the church, which it was impossible to suppress, and better to regulate. The authorization was not granted. The lyric spirit of Scott and Byron passed into our hymns in Heber's verse; imparting a fuller rhythm to the older measures, as illustrated by "Oh, Saviour, is Thy promise fled," or the martial hymn, "The Son of God goes forth to war;" pressing into sacred service the freer rhythms of contemporary poetry (e.g. "Brightest and best of the sons of the morning"; "God that madest earth and heaven"); and aiming at consistent grace of literary expression.. Their beauties and faults spring from this modern spirit. They have not the scriptural strength of our best early hymns, nor the dogmatic force of the best Latin ones. They are too flowing and florid, and the conditions of hymn composition are not sufficiently understood. But as pure and graceful devotional poetry, always true and reverent, they are an unfailing pleasure. The finest of them is that majestic anthem, founded on the rhythm of the English Bible, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty." The greatest evidence of Heber's popularity as a hymnwriter, and his refined taste as a compiler, is found in the fact that the total contents of his ms. collection which were given in his posthumous Hymns written and adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year. London, J. Murray, 1827; which included 57 hymns by Heber, 12 by Milman, and 29 by other writers, are in common in Great Britain and America at the present time. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.]
Of Bishop Heber's hymns, about one half are annotated under their respective first lines. Those given below were published in Heber's posthumous Hymns, &c, 1827. Some of them are in extensive use in Great Britain and America; but as they possess no special histories they are grouped together as from the Hymns, &c, 1827:—
1. Beneath our feet, and o'er our head. Burial.
2. Creator of the rolling flood. St. Peter's Day, or, Gospel for 6th Sunday after Trinity.
3. Lo, the lilies of the field. Teachings of Nature: or, Gospel for 15th Sunday after Trinity.
4. 0 God, by Whom the seed is given. Sexagesima.
6. 0 God, my sins are manifold. Forgiveness, or,
Gospel for 22nd S. after Trinity
.
6. 0 hand of bounty, largely spread. Water into Wine, or, Gospel for 2nd S. after Epiphany.
7. 0 King of earth, and air, and sea. Feeding the Multitude; or, Gospel for 4th S. in Lent.
8. 0 more than merciful, Whose bounty gave. Good Friday.
9. 0 most merciful! 0 most bountiful. Introit Holy Communion.
10. 0 Thou, Whom neither time nor space. God unsearchable, or, Gospel for 5th Sunday in Lent.
11. 0 weep not o'er thy children's tomb. Innocents Day.
12. Room for the proud! Ye sons of clay. Dives and Lazarus, or, Gospel for 1st Sunday after Trinity.
13. Sit thou on my right hand, my Son, saith the Lord. Ascension.
14. Spirit of truth, on this thy day. Whit-Sunday.
15. The feeble pulse, the gasping breath. Burial, or, Gospel for 1st S. after Trinity.
16. The God of glory walks His round. Septuagesima, or, the Labourers in the Marketplace.
17. The sound of war in earth and air. Wrestling against Principalities and Powers, or, Epistle for 2lst Sunday after Trinity.
18. The world is grown old, her pleasures are past. Advent; or, Epistle for 4th Sunday in Advent.
19. There was joy in heaven. The Lost Sheep; or, Gospel for 3rd S. after Trinity.
20. Though sorrows rise and dangers roll. St. James's Day.
21. To conquer and to save, the Son of God. Christ the Conqueror.
22. Virgin-born, we bow before Thee. The Virgin Mary. Blessed amongst women, or, Gospel for 3rd S. in Lent.
23. Wake not, 0 mother, sounds of lamentation. Raising the Widow's Son, or, Gospel for 16th S. after Trinity.
24. When on her Maker's bosom. Holy Matrimony, or, Gospel for 2nd S. after Epiphany.
25. When through the torn sail the wild tempest is streaming. Stilling the Sea, or, Gospel for 4th Sunday after Epiphany.
26. Who yonder on the desert heath. The Good Samaritan, or, Gospel for 13th Sunday after Trinity.
This list is a good index of the subjects treated of in those of Heber's hymns which are given under their first lines, and shows that he used the Gospels far more than the Epistles in his work.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Texts by Reginald Heber (158)sort iconAsInstances
Abashed be all the boast of ageReginald Heber (Author)13
Aloha ko na mauna I pa'a mau i ka hauReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)2
Ashamed be all the boast of ageReginald Heber (Author)2
Astro el mas bello en la regia cohorteReginald Heber (Author)5
Astro mas bello de toda la corteReginald Heber (Author)2
Beneath our feet and o'er our headReginald Heber (Author)146
Bread of the world, in mercy brokenReginald Heber (Author)234
Bright King of glory, dreadful God!Reginald Heber (Author)1
Brightest and best of the sons of the morningReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)671
Brightness of glory, thou God of the morningReginald Heber (Author)5
By cool Siloam's shady rillReginald Heber (Author)472
Bydd mrydd o ryfeddodauR. Heber. (1783-1826) (Author (stanza 3))1
Can we, whose souls are lightedReginald Heber (Author)3
Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shiningReginald Heber (Author)1
Come, Jesus, come, return againReginald Heber (Author)2
Come, Jesus, from the sapphire throneReginald Heber (Author)1
Come to judgment, come awayReginald Heber (Author)2
Creator of the rolling floodReginald Heber (Author)4
Creator of the starry heightReginald Heber (Author)7
De heladas cordilleras, De playas de coralReginald Heber (Author)6
Dear Lord, thy little lambs are weReginald Heber (Author)2
Death rides on every passing breezeReginald Heber (Author)10
Desde um ao outro pólo, da China ao PanamáReginald Heber (Author)2
Di', de vi mallum' kaj lumoHeber (Author)2
Ernst, feierlich und inhaltsschwerReginald Heber (Author)2
Es rufen uns die BotenReginald Heber (Author)2
Forth from the dark and stormy skyReginald Heber (Author)98
Fra Groenlands Is og KuldeReginald Heber (Author)3
From foes that would the land devourReginald Heber (Author)20
From Georgia's southern mountainsReginald Heber (Author)2
From glory unto glory!Reginald Heber (Author)1
From Greenland's icy mountainsReginald Heber (Author)1280
God has gone up with a merry noiseReginald Heber (Author)2
God that madest earth and heaven, Darkness and light!Reginald Heber (Author (st. 1))362
God who made the earth and heaven (Ryberg)Reginald Heber (Author (st. 1))1
Guds Son sig ut i strid begerReginald Heber (Author)2
Hail the blest morn, see the great MediatorReginald Heber (Author)159
Lovely star in the skyReginald Heber (Author)3
Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born KingBishop Reginal Heber (Author)1
He has gone to the graveReginald Heber (Author)2
He hemolele Oe, Iehova ke Akua!Reginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)2
He is gone to the graveReginald Heber (Author)3
Heilig, heilig, heilig, Gott, ewig VaterReginald Heber (Author)4
Heilig, heilig, heilig, Gott und Herr, allm'chtigReginald Heber (Author)4
Heilig, heilig, heilig, Herr Gott allm'chtigReginald Heber (Author)4
Heilig, heilig, heilig, Herr Gott, und pr'chtigReginald Heber (Author)2
Heilig, heilig, heilig, Herr, Herr, gross und m'chtigReginald Heber (Author)2
Heilig, heilig, heilig, Herr und Gott allm'chtigReginald Heber (Author)2
Helig, helig, helig, Herre Gud allsmäktig!Reginald Heber, D. D. (Author)2
Helig, helig, helig, Herre Gud allsvåldigReginald Heber (Author)1
Hellig, hellig, hellig, Herre alm'gtigReginald Heber (Author)2
Hellig, hellig, hellig, Herre Gud alm'gtigReginald Heber (Author)2
Hoku ao nani e alohi e anaReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)2
Holy, holy, holy Lord God AlmightyReginald Heber (Author)4
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.Reginald Heber (Author)1259
Holy, holy, holy Lord God almighty, Deep in adorationReginald Heber (Author)2
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, Ever in theReginald Heber (Author)2
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, Almighty, Maker of theReginald Heber (Author)2
Holy, holy, holy, Lord! Live by heavenReginald Heber (Author)1
Hosanna al buen Se±or JesusReginald Heber (Author)2
Hosanna, Lord, thine angels cryHeber (Author)6
Hosanna to the living Lord!Bishop R. Heber (Author)141
How long the time since Christ beganHeber (Author)9
I praised the earth in beauty seenReginald Heber (Author)14
In the sun, and moon, and starsBishop Heber (Author)40
Incarnate word, by every griefReginald Heber (Author)1
Incarnate word, who, wont to dwellReginald Heber (Author)2
It is the Holy FastBishop Heber (Author)1
Itaŋcaŋ He kokipa poReginald Heber (Author)1
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, die du so hochReginald Heber (Author)10
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, enthroned once on highBishop Heber (Author)6
Jesus, thou Man of sorrows, bornReginald Heber (Author)3
Joy to the world! the Lord is come!Heber (Author)1
Klaraste stj'rna pa himmelens f'steReginald Heber (Author)2
Life nor death shall disseverReginald Heber (Author)2
Lo the lilies of the fieldReginald Heber (Author)24
Lord, now we part in thy blest nameReginald Heber (Author)31
Lord of mercy and of might, Of mankind the Life and LightReginald Heber (Author)81
Lord of mercy and of might, God and Father of us allBishop Reginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)5
Lord, whose love, in power excellingReginald Heber (Author)5
Messiah Lord, who, wont to dwellHeber (Author)7
O Captain of God’s host, whose dreadful mightReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)1
O Father, with protecting careHeber (Author)4
O God, by whom the seed is givenHeber (Author)76
O God, my sins are manifoldReginald Heber (Author)9
O God of pure affectionReginald Heber (Author)7
O hand of bounty largely spreadReginald Heber (Author)2
O holy starReginald Heber (Author)2
O Jesus, kom nu til os indReginald Heber (Author)3
O King of earth, and air, and seaReginald Heber (Author)8
O Lord, turn not thy face away R. Heber (Alterer)9
O most merciful, O most bountifulR. Heber (Author)6
O Savior, is thy promise fled?Reginald Heber (Author)15
O Savior of the faithful deadReginald Heber (Author)3
O Savior, whom by every griefReginald Heber (Author)2
O Savior, Whom that holy mornReginald Heber (Author)13
O sweet was the voice of the First born of heavenReginald Heber (Author)1
O Thou, Who gav'st Thy servant graceReginald Heber (Author)13
O thou whose infant feet were foundReginald Heber (Author)8
O 'twas a joyful sound to hearHeber (Author)2
O wakan, wakan, wakan, Itancan ḣce cin! (Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!)Reginald Heber (Author)2
Ob Trübsal uns kränktReginald Heber (Author)1
Oh God that madest the earth and skyHeber (Author)11
O thou whom neither time nor spaceHeber (Author)8
Our children, Lord, in faith and prayerReginald Heber (1783-1826) (Author)1
Reflected on the lake, I loveReginald Heber (Author)3
Saint, saint, saint, Le Vivant, le Dieu Tout-PuissantReginald Heber (1783-1826) (Author)2
Sale a la lucha el salvador corona a conquistarReginald Heber (Author)2
Salvation, O the joyful sound! What PleasureHeber (Author)1
Santo! Santo! Santo! Deus onipotente!Reginald Heber (Author)2
Santo santo santo senor omnipotenteReginald Heber (Author)8
Savior, like a shepherd lead usReginald Heber (Author)1
See, daylight is fading o'er earth and o'er oceanReginald Heber (Author)15
Shall man, the Lord of natureReginald Heber (Author)1
Shall we whose souls are lightedReginald Heber (Author)3
Shepherds, go worship the babeReginald Heber (Author)1
'Sit thou on my right hand, my Son!' saith the LordBp. Heber (Author)4
Spirit of truth, on this Thy dayReginald Heber (Author)57
Spirit of truth, to thee we prayReginald Heber (Author)2
The angel comes, he comes to reapHeber (Author)1
The God of glory walks his roundHeber (Author)25
The God of mercy warns us allReginald Heber (Author)2
The Grand old party was in a sad plightReginald Heber (Author)1
The Lord of love on CalvaryReginald Heber (Author)2
The Lord of might from Sinai's browReginald Heber (Author)16
The Lord will come, but not the sameReginald Heber (Author)6
The Lord will come, but not the same as once in lowly form he cameReginald Heber (Author)2
The Lord will come: the earth shall quakeBp. Heber (Author)122
The Son of God goes forth in loveReginald Heber (Author)2
The Son of God goes forth to warReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)636
The winds were howling o'er the deepBp. Reginald Heber (1783-1826) (Author)15
The world is grown old, [and] her pleasures are pastReginald Heber (Author)4
There was joy, great joy in heavenReginald Heber (Author)2
There was joy in heavenReginald Heber (Author)23
There's not a tint that paints the roseHeber (Author)1
Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore theeReginald Heber (Author)219
Thou who madest earth and heavenReginald Heber (Author)2
Though sorrows rise, and dangers rollReginald Heber (Author)21
Thy bounteous hand with food can blessHeber (Author)11
Till polens kalla gr'nserReginald Heber (Author)2
'Tis hard from those we love to goReginald Heber (Author)7
Tuwa Wakaŋ kiŋ maka kiŋ hẹ kaġaReginald Heber (Author)1
'Twas dreadful, when the accuser's powerReginald Heber (Author)2
Vid Siloams vaag saa ren och svalReginald Heber (Author)3
Virgin born, we bow before theeReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)9
Von Groenlands eis'gen BergenReginald Heber (Author)1
Von Groenlands eis'gen ZinkenReginald Heber (Author)17
Von Groenlands EisgestadenR. Heber (Author)35
Wake not, O mother, sounds of lamentationReginald Heber (Author)2
Waziyata makoceReginald Heber (Author)1
We ask not, Lord, thy cloven flameReginald Heber (Author)2
When on her maker's bosomReginald Heber (Author)11
When our heads are bowed with woe, When our bitter tears o'erflowReginald Heber (Author)9
When spring unlocks the flowersReginald Heber, 1783-1826 (Author)17
When this goodly world to frameReginald Heber (Author)3
When through the torn sail the wild tempest is streamingReginald Heber (Author)105
Wicani kta Aġuyapi kiŋReginald Heber (Author)1
Ye whose young cheeks are fair and brightReginald Heber (Author)2

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