Robert Wadsworth Lowry
Biography of Robert Wadsworth Lowry
Robert Lowry was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 12th March 1826.
He studied theology at the University of Lewisburg and on graduating, in 1854, became ordained as a Baptist minister. He had charge of churches in a number of places including New York, Brooklyn, West Chester, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In 1869 he returned to Lewisburg as a faculty member (having previously served as a professor of literature) and later went on to become its chancellor.
From 1880 until 1886 he was president of the New Jersey Baptist Sunday School Union.
He is most remembered as a composer of gospel music and a hymn writer, and also worked as a music editor at the Biglow Publishing Company. He was responsible for around 500 compositions, including Beautiful River and Nothing But the Blood.
Volumes he edited include:
Happy Voices (1865)
Gospel Melodies (1868)
Bright Jewels (1869)
Pure Gold (1871)
Royal Diadem (1873)
Temple Anthems (1873)
Tidal Wave (1874)
Good as Gold (1880)
Our Glad Hosannas (1882)
Joyful Lays (1884)
Glad Refrain (1886)
Despite his success as a hymn writer, it was as a preacher that Lowry would have preferred to be recognised. He once stated: "Music, with me has been a side issue... I would rather preach a gospel sermon to an appreciative audience than write a hymn. I have always looked upon myself as a preacher and felt a sort of depreciation when I began to be known more as a composer."
Despite this, it is as a hymn writer that he remains renowned, songs such as I Need Thee Every Hour and Christ Arose as popular now as they ever were.
Lowry was married with three sons and died in Plainfield, New Jersey on 23rd November 1899.
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Robert Wadsworth Lowry Poems
At the River
Shall we gather at the river, Where bright angel feet have trod, With its crystal tide for ever flowing by the throne of God?
And he showed me a pure River of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb." -- Rev. xxii. 1 Shall we gather at the river
How Can I Keep From Singing?
My life flows on in endless song; Above earth’s lamentation I hear the sweet though far off hymn That hails a new creation:
Lead Them to Thee
Lead them, my God, to Thee, Lead them to Thee, These children dear of mine, Thou gavest me.
Chorus of Fire
O! golden Hereafter, thine every bright rafter Will shake in the thunder of sanctified song; And every swift angel proclaim an evangel, To summon God’s saints to the glorified throng.
Low in the Grave He Lay
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior, Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord! Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph over His foes,
Nothing But the Blood
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
The Straying Sheep
How many sheep are straying Lost from the Savior's fold! Upon the lonely mountain, They shiver with the cold: Within the tangled thickets,
The Angel's Song
Rolling downward, through the midnight, Comes a glorious burst of heav’nly song; ’Tis a chorus full of sweetness— And the singers are an angel throng.
And he showed me a pure River of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb." -- Rev. xxii. 1
Shall we gather at the river
Where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?