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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Thomas Binney (1798–1874)

MANY modern hymns have been written with a direct view to inculcating religious doctrine, and some have admirably succeeded in their didactic aim without losing altogether poetic character. Of these the following hymn by Dr. Binney is an example.

Thomas Binney was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the year 1798, and was apprenticed to a bookseller, but made use of what little leisure he had for self-culture by studying the classics with a Presbyterian clergyman. He ultimately entered the Theological Seminary at Wymondley, Hertfordshire, where he remained three years, after which he held pastorates successively at “New Meeting,” Bedford, and “St. James’s Street,” Newport, Isle of Wight, removing in 1829 to the Weigh House Church, Fish Street Hill, London. He was an eloquent preacher, an earnest controversialist, and a successful author, his most popular books being “Is it Possible to Make the Best of Both Worlds?” (1853) and “Micah the Priest-Maker” (1867). He was a D.D. of Aberdeen. He died on the 23rd of February, 1874, and was buried at Abney Park Cemetery, Dean Stanley taking part in the service. He wrote several hymns, of which the following is the best.