Short Stories Of The Hymns by Henry Kieffer

“The purpose of this little book is to present to its readers some brief account of the origin and authorship of some of our more familiar hymns… to select from a very large amount of material which the author has for years past been gathering, a few of the more striking and interesting incidents connected with the composition of some of our best known Songs of Zion.

“It is quite possible, truly, that this little book may traverse some ground already familiar to some of its readers, but it is believed that to the great majority of them the story of the hymns is new, and will prove interesting and profitable… such facts connected with the origin of the hymns, as the author, after some years of patient search, has found most interesting and instructive to himself.” — Henry Martyn Kieffer.

Level of Difficulty: Primer: No subject matter knowledge needed.

Why Read This Book?

Fascinating stories about well known hymns. This book is an encouragement to faith and just fun to read.

Henry Martyn Kieffer (1845-1930), wrote many books including “The Recollections of a Drummer Boy,” “College Chapel Sermons,” “The First Settlers of the Forks of the Delaware,” “It is to Laugh” “The Funny Bone,” etc. Especially valuable is his “Short Stories of the Hymns: A Brief Account Of The Circumstances In Which Some Of Our Best Hymns And Songs Were Written.” Dr. Kieffer served as pastor of the First Reform Church of Easton, Pa., where he translated early German record books of the church into the publication “Some of the First Settlers of The Forks of the Delaware and their descendants from 1760-1852”.

Book Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 “Jesus, Lover of my Soul” by Charles Wesley
    • A War Incident
    • ◊ Charles Wesley
  • 3 “Nearer, My God To Thee” by Sarah Flower Adams
  • 4 Isaac Watts
    • ◊ Isaac Watts
  • 5 William Cowper and Augustus Toplady
  • 6 William Williams; The Titanic
  • 7 Henry Harbaugh
  • 8 Heber. From Greenland’s Icy Mountains
  • 9 “Just As I Am, Without One Plea.”
    • The Hymn, “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.”
  • 10 O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • 11 Home Sweet Home
    • The First Singing of “Home, Sweet Home.”
  • Something About “The Star Spangled Banner.”
  • 12 “Closing Hymns”
  • 13 “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”
  • 14 “O Mother Dear, Jerusalem”
    • The New Jerusalem
  • 16 “The Celestial Country”
  • 17 Conclusion

Publication Information

  • Lutheran Library edition first published: 2020
  • Copyright: CC BY 4.0