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Palmer, Ray

PALMER, RAY (1808-1887), American clergyman and hymnwriter, was born in Little Compton, Rhode Island, on the 12th of November 1808. He graduated at Yale College in 1830, and in 1832 was licensed to preach by the New Haven West Association of Congregational Ministers. In 1835-1850 he was pastor of the Central Congregational Church of Bath, Maine, and in 1850-1866 of the First Congregational Church of Albany, New York; and from 1866 to 1878 was corresponding secretary of the American Congregational Union. He died on the 29th of March 1887 in Newark, New Jersey, where, from 1881 to 1884 he had been assistant pastor of the Belleville Avenue Congregational Church. His most widely known hymn, beginning " My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary," was written in 1830, was set to the tune " Olivet " by Lowell Mason, and has been translated into many languages; his hymn beginning " Jesus, these eyes have never seen " (1858) is also well-known.

Among the hymns translated by him are those beginning: "O Christ, our King, Creator, Lord " (by Gregory the Great); " Come Holy Ghost in love " (by Robert II. of France) ; " Jesus, thou Joy of loving hearts " (by Bernard of Clairvaux) ; and " O, Bread to pilgrims given " (from the Latin). Other hymns(someof them translations from Latin) and poems were collected in his Complete Poetical Works (1876), followed in 1880 by Voices of Hope and Gladness. He also wrote Spiritual Improvement (1839), republished in 1 85 1 as Closet Hours; Hints on the Formation of Religious Opinions (1860), and Earnest Words on True Success in Life (1873).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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