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Ray Palmer died 3/29/1887, Newark, NJ.  He was born 11/12/1808, Little Compton, RI, son of Judge Thomas Palmer but grew up in Boston.  He attended Phillips Academy (Oliver Wendell Holmes was a classmate) & graduated from Yale.  After that he taught at woman’s schools & studied theology privately.

In 1834 he entered the ministry pastoring the Congregational Church, Bath, ME (1835-1850) & the First Congregational Church, Albany, NY (1850-1865).  Finally he served as Corresponding Secretary of the American Congregational Union until retirement (1878).

He published 11 books among them are Closet Hours, Hymns & Sacred Pieces, Hymns of My Holy Hours & Other Pieces, Complete Poetical Works, & he penned 38 hymns. Dr. Duffield (wrote English Hymns) expressed his regard this way, “He has written more & better hymns than any other American.” Palmer met Lowell Mason on a Boston street who asked him to write something for a new hymnal. Palmer located what is below in his old notes. Mason composed the tune & days later told Palmer, “You may live many years & do many good things but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of “My Faith Looks Up to Thee.” Mason was right – this hymn has been translated into over 20 languages.

“My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!

Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away, O let me from this day be wholly Thine!”

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My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul! 

Ray Palmer died 3/29/1887, at Newark, New Jersey.  Palmer attended Phillips Andover Academy (he and Oliver Wendell Holmes were classmates there) and Yale University.  He taught at a young ladies’ school (New York) and at a ladies’ college (Connecticut).  Later Palmer was ordained a Congregational minister (1835) and pastored in Bath, Maine and Albany, New York.

Palmer wrote the above lyrics about the time he graduated from Yale (21 years of age).  It is said that Mason (a couple of years later) met Palmer on a street in Boston, and asked him to write something for a new hymnal.  Palmer gave him these words.  Mason is reported to have told Palmer, “You may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of “My Faith Looks Up to Thee,” a correct prophesy.  Song has been translated into over twenty (20) languages.  Ray was born 11/12/1808, at Little Compton, Rhode Island.

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My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

Ray Palmer was born this date, 11/12/1808, at Little Compton, Rhode Island.

He at­tend­ed Phil­lips An­do­ver Acad­e­my (had Oliver Wendell Holmes for a school ­mate there) and attended Yale Un­i­ver­si­ty.  Palmer first taught (New York and Con­nec­ti­cut and later was or­dained a Con­gre­ga­tion­al min­is­ter.  He pas­tored in Maine and New York.  He eventually served as Sec­re­ta­ry of the Con­gre­ga­tion­al Un­ion. 

Low­ell Ma­son (wrote the music for this) is said to have predicted “You may live ma­ny years and do ma­ny good things, but I think you will be best known to pos­ter­i­ty as the au­thor of “My Faith Looks Up to Thee.”  How right Mason was. Palm­er re­tired in 1878 and died 3/29/1887 at New­ark, New Jer­sey.

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