Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

1 June 1791 AD. Scottish Anglican divine and hymnwriter, Mr. (Rev.) Henry Francis Lyte, is Born.

1 June 1791 AD.  Scottish Anglican divine and hymnwriter, Mr. (Rev.) Henry Francis Lyte, is Born.  Two famous hymns continue in our midst to this day:  (1) Praise My Soul the King of Heaven and (2) Abide With Me Fast Falls the Eventide 

We post the u-tube renditions, respectively:  (1) From St. Paul’s, London: and (2) From King’s College, Cambridge:  Gems to be conserved and transmitted in the covenantal generations, hymns bespeaking literacy, good doctrine, piety, decorum, decency, balance and honor.  Now, for the brief on the Anglican divine.

The source for our bio-note is below.

No author. “Short History of Henry Francis Lyte.”  All Saints Brixham Church. N.d.  Accessed Apr 25, 2014.

Short History of Henry Francis Lyte - one time Vicar of All Saints Brixham

Henry Francis Lyte (June 1, 1793 - November 20, 1847) was a Scottish Anglican divine and hymn-writer.

He was born to Thomas and Anna Lyte on a farm at Ednam, near Kelso, Scotland.[1] Thomas Lyte deserted the family shortly after making arrangements for his two oldest sons to attend Portora Royal School in EnniskillenCounty Fermanagh. Anna moved to London, where both she and her youngest son soon died.

The headmaster at Portora, Dr. Burrowes, recognized Henry Lyte's ability, paid the boy’s fees, and "welcomed him into his own family during the holidays. Lyte was effectively an adopted son, and he never forgot Burrowes' generosity and compassion.[2]

Lyte then studied at Trinity College, Dublin. He took Anglican holy orders in 1815, and for some time held a curacy in Taghmon nearWexford. In 1817 he was a curate in Cornwall married to Anne Maxwell, who came from Monaghan in Ireland. They had two daughters and three sons, one of whom was the chemist and photographer Farnham Maxwell-Lyte, born on 10 January 1828 in Brixham.[3] Because of bad health Lyte moved to England, and after several changes settled, in 1823, in the parish of Lower Brixham, a fishing village in Devon where he helped educate Lord Salisbury, later British prime minister.

In poor health throughout his life, he developed consumption. He visited continental Europe often and continued to write, mainly religious poetry and hymns. While in Brixham, Lyte wrote his most famous hymns. Three of the best known are paraphrases of psalms, taken from Lyte’s book, The Spirit of the Psalms (1834). “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven” is Lyte’s version of Psalm 103; “God of Mercy, God of Grace” is based on Psalm 67; and “Pleasant are thy courts above” is a paraphrase of Psalm 84.[4] In 1844 Lyte's health finally gave way. After his last service, he penned his most famous hymn Abide With Me after watching the sun set over Torbay. Lyte died just two weeks later in 1847 in Nice, southern France, and was buried there.[5]

Lyte's first work was Tales in Verse illustrative of Several of the Petitions in the Lord's Prayer (1826), which was written at Lymington and was commended by Wilson in the Noctes Ambrosianae. He next published (1833) a volume Poems, chiefly Religious, and in 1834 a little collection of psalms and hymns entitled The Spirit of the Psalms. After his death, a volume of Remains with a memoir was published, and the poems contained in this, with those in Poems, chiefly Religious, were afterwards issued in one volume (1868).

His best known hymns are:

Praise my soul the KIng of Heaven
Abide with me fast falls the eventide

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