Shine Thou Upon Us Lord

Shine Thou upon us, Lord,
True Light of men, today,
And through the written Word
Thy very self display;
That so from hearts which burn
With gazing on Thy face,
Thy little ones may learn
The wonders of Thy grace.

Breathe Thou upon us, Lord,
Thy Spirit’s living flame,
That so with one accord
Our lips may tell Thy name;
Give Thou the hearing ear,
Fix Thou the wandering thought,
That those we teach may hear
The great things Thou hast wrought.

Speak Thou for us, O Lord,
In all we say of Thee;
According to Thy Word
Let all our teaching be;
That so Thy lambs may know
Their own true Shepherd’s voice,
Where’er He leads them go,
And in His love rejoice.

Live Thou within us, Lord;
Thy mind and will be ours;
Be Thou beloved, adored,
And served with all our powers;
That so our lives may teach
Thy children what Thou art,
And plead, by more than speech,
For Thee with every heart.

John Ellerton was born in London, England, of a strong evangelical family. After graduating from Cambridge University, he became associated with the Church of England’s liberal side because of a great concern for the social problems of his day. Ellerton along with William How were looked upon as the leaders of the liberal faction of the Anglican Church. He was however able to keep friendly relations with the evangelicals as well as appreciate the best in everyone.
John Ellerton ministered in the poor and hidden parishes throughout England. He was loved and respected by his parishioners as someone of noble character and having a broad knowledge of culture. His people admired him for being an authority of hymnody as well. During his time, no hymn was ever published unless he approved it. Matthew Arnold, renowned theologian of that era, considered him to be “the greatest of the living hymn writers. ”
Ellerton composed around eight-four hymns including ten Latin translations. Many of these hymns are used today. He chose never to copyright his hymns saying that, “ if his hymns were counted worthy to contribute as Christ’s praise in the congregation, one ought to feel very thankful and humble. ”
Besides this hymn (902), he wrote another popular one titled, “Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name” which was used as a hymn to close the service of worship. This is in keeping with the Lord’s meeting with his disciples just before his crucifixion: “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out... ”.
“ Savior Again to Thy Dear Name” was written in 1866 for a choral festival in Cheshire, England, by one of England’s leading hymnodists of the day and is considered one of the finest closing hymns. It was included in the Anglican Church hymnal, “Hymns Ancient and Modern, ” in 1868. Its tune was composed by Edward John Hopkins who was born in London on June 30, 1818. He was one of the best musicians of his time. He composed the tune for Ellerton’s text in 1869.