“This hymn was penned by Samuel Medley, who wrote two hundred and thirty hymns, which were gathered in a volume the year after his death. He was engaged as midshipman in the British navy, and on various occasions engaged in battle, in which at length in a fearful conflict, he was severely wounded. Taken to his grandfather’s house for surgical treatment, he was brought under Christian influence and at length led to Christ by hearing read one of Dr. Watts’ sermons.
He left the sea, and became faithful and successful preacher of that Saviour whose name in early life he often profaned. For twenty-seven years he faithfully served as pastor of the First Baptist Church at Liverpool, England, and also acted as one of the supplies of Lady Huntingdon’s Tabernacle, and Tottenham-court Chapels in London.
In 1799, he closed his earthly career, being sixty-one years of age, joyfully exclaiming just before his departure, “I am now a poor shattered bark, just about to gain the blissful harbor; and O how sweet will be the port after the storm! Dying is sweet work, sweet work. I am looking to my dear Jesus, my God, my portion, my all in all; glory! Glory! Home! Home!
He also wrote the popular hymn—
“Awake my soul in joyful lays,
And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise.”
The sweet echo of this hymn still lingers in the memory of the writer as the one frequently used to give expression to his love and gratitude, when, as a child in years and grace, he passed from death unto life.”
The quoted passage is from the "Illustrated History of Hymns and Their Authors," published in 1875, page 280.
Melody Publications is an organization focused on reawakening the melody of truth in believers' hearts and minds at home and abroad. Our prayer is that our work would aid churches and families as they sing "Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs" in praise and worship to our God.