Archive for the ‘Margaret Mackay’ Tag

Margaret Mackay   1 comment

Inverness from the Castle

Above:  View of Inverness, Scotland, from the Castle, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-07611

Margaret Mackay (1802-1887), daughter of one Royal Army officer and wife and widow of another, wrote prose (both fiction and history) and poetry, including hymns.


Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep:

Gracious Spirit, From on High:


Posted September 1, 2015 by neatnik2009 in Sources M

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Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep   3 comments


Above:  Country Churchyard, Monona County, Iowa, 1940

Photographer = John Vachon (1914-1975)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-060720-D

Text (1832) by Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)

Hymn Source = William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

Margaret Mackay wrote more hymns than this one, but “Asleep in Jesus” is the most popular of her works of that genre.  (I had to consult obscure and long out-of-print sources at to find other hymns she wrote.)  This hymn debuted in The Amethyst; or Christian’s Annual (1832).  She composed the text after visiting a rural cemetery, that of Pennycross Chapel, or the Chapel of St. Pancras, in Devonshire, England.

Seldom does a hymnal contain all six stanzas.  I have a collection of hymnals old and recent (mostly old).  Usually, when I found this hymn, I found four stanzas–not always the same ones.  Occasionally I located five stanzas on a page.  I had to resort to a hymnal companion volume to find all six stanzas.


Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep;

A calm and undisturbed repose,

Unbroken by the land of woes.


Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet

To be for such a slumber meet,

With holy confidence to sing

That death has lost his venomed sting!


Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,

Whose waking is supremely blest;

No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour

That manifests the Saviour’s power.


Asleep in Jesus! Oh, for me

May such a blissful refuge be!

Securely shall my ashes lie

And wait the summons from on high.


Asleep in Jesus! Time nor space

Debars this precious “hiding-place”;

On Indian plains or Lapland snows

Believers find the same repose.


Asleep in Jesus! Far from Thee

Thy kindred and their graves may be;

But there is still a blessed sleep,

From which none ever wakes to weep.


Gracious Spirit, From On High   3 comments

Pentecost Dove May 24, 2015

Above:  The Holy Spirit as a Dove

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Text (1854) by Margaret Mackay (1802-1887)

Hymn Source = Songs of the Spirit:  Hymns of Praise and Prayer to God the Holy Ghost (1871), edited by Bishop William Henry Odenheimer (1817-1879) and Father Frederic Mayer Bird (1838-1908), both Episcopalians


Gracious Spirit, from on high,

Sent to show a Saviour nigh!

In the darkest hours of night

Cheer me with Thy quenchless light.


By Thine holy office led

Testify of Him who bled;

Testify how Jesus slain

Rose, revived, and reigns again.


Turn the sinner from his sin,

Teach him how the crown to win;

Bring him to Immanuel’s feet,

Lead him to the mercy seat.


Thou canst make the soul to feed

On the ever-living Bread;

Thou canst calm his newborn fears,

Dry his penitential tears.


Bid him hear the Shepherd’s voice,

Think of Jesus and rejoice;

Daily, though earth’s woes increase,

Thou canst sweetly whisper peace.


While in just avenging ire

God is “a consuming fire,”

Yet, Thou new life-giving Dove,

Thou canst show how God is love.