Sunday, August 13, 2006

On Jordan's Stormy Banks

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

Chorus:
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land,
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land.

All o’er those wide extended plains,
Shines one eternal day;
There God the Son forever reigns,
And scatters night away.

No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?

Lyrics by Samuel Stennett (ca. 1727-1795)

Dr. Samuel Sten­nett was born in Ex­e­ter, in 1727. He was con­vert­ed and was bap­tized when young. Like his fa­ther he was a man of super­i­or tal­ents and great er­u­di­tion. Iv­i­mey says, “His pro­fi­cien­cy in Greek, La­tin and Or­i­ent­al tongues and ex­ten­sive ac­quaint­ance with sac­red lit­er­a­ture, are so abundantly dis­played in his val­u­able works that they can­not fail to es­tab­lish his re­pu­ta­tion for learning and genius.”

He had been ac­cus­tomed to move in the so­ci­e­ty of per­sons of re­fine­ment; and on en­ter­ing up­on his pas­tor­al du­ties in Lon­don he was remarkable for the ease and suavity of his man­ners, for the good breed­ing, the pol­ished lang­uage, and the graceful ways of the true gen­tle­man. He was fre­quent­ly in com­pa­ny with per­sons enjoying the high­est so­cial dis­tinc­tion and in such si­tu­a­tions as gave him an op­por­tun­i­ty to com­mend Bap­tists and aid Dis­sent­ers of all de­nom­in­a­tions.

In 1763 he was made a Doc­tor of Di­vin­i­ty by King’s Coll­ege, Aberdeen. Among the no­ble men who wait­ed upon his min­is­try and loved him with the af­fection of a friend was John Howard, the philanthropist. In a let­ter from Smyr­na, writ­ten to Dr. Sten­nett Au­gust 11, 1786, Mr. Howard says, “I bless God for your min­is­try; I pray God to re­ward you a thou­sand fold. My friend, you have an hon­or­a­ble work; ma­ny seals you have to your min­is­try.”

He min­is­tered to the Lit­tle Wild street church as his fa­ther’s assistant for ten years; and as its pas­tor, af­ter his fa­ther’s death, for thir­ty-sev­en years. The meeting house was rebuilt dur­ing his min­is­try. His fa­ther, Jo­seph Sten­nett, D. D.; his grandfa­ther, Jo­seph Sten­nett; his great-grand­fa­ther, Ed­ward Sten­nett; his bro­ther, Joseph, and his son, Jo­seph, were all Bap­tist min­is­ters—and Sab­bath-keep­ers.
Hat Tip: Cyber Hymnal

4 comments:

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Being such a heathen, I can't believe I've gotten to enjoy your Sunday hymns - but they just don't make them the way they used to.

jgf said...

Writing in general was different. I think it was so much more descriptive. Now songs, secular and religious, use so much repetition. I love the melodies and the intricate lyrics so many of the old hymns have.

NEO, SOC said...

Sometimes the old songs drew so much from the scriptures and I believe that is what is lacking in today's compositions.

Stevin said...

I wonder: was Dr. Stennett a convert from a Jewish family? The hymn is reminiscent of traditional Jewish songs.