Stone, Samuel John


b Whitmore, Staffs 1839, d at The Charterhouse, Finsbury, N London 1900. Charterhouse Sch and Pembroke Coll, Oxford (BA, MA). He was ordained in 1862, to be curate at Windsor, then in 1870 joined his father William at St Paul’s Haggerston, succeeding him as incumbent from 1874 until 1890 when he moved to All-Hallows-on-the-Wall, in the City of London. He was concerned there for the hundreds of girls who travelled to the city on cheap early-morning fares, and then walked the streets until the offices opened. His church became a temporary haven for many of them, and he prepared some for Confirmation. Of the 50 or so hymns he wrote, one proved of enduring value—see notes to 577. 10 of them featured in various edns of Hymns A&M, on whose committee he served. The collections he compiled were published in 1866 (Lyra Fidelium, including 12 hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed), 1872, 1875 (Sonnets of the Christian Year) and 1886. His poems and hymns, some of which are marked by a wistful yearning or even melancholy, were posthumously edited, with a memoir, by F G Ellerton, Vicar of Ellesmere. They include the remarkable hymn of assurance (in spite of its opening), Weary of earth, and laden with my sin; the missionary challenge of Through midnight gloom from Macedon; and the spiritual battle-cry of ‘Round the sacred city gather/ Egypt, Edom, Babylon;/ all the warring hosts of error, sworn against her, move as one…’. ‘Dogmatic’ and ‘hopeful’ are two adjectives used by Julian, where Stone’s hymns are said to ‘present a pleasing variety’, and in spite of abrupt antitheses and limited vocabulary, to show ‘a masterly condensation of Scripture facts and of Church teaching given tersely and with great vigour’. No.577.

Hymns and songs by Stone, Samuel John

Number Hymn Name
577 The church’s one foundation