16 March 2009

Josiah Hopkins

Professor of Theology

Josiah Hopkins was born on -- April 1786 at Pittsford, Vermont. He was educated by the pastor of his church and subsequently by Rev. Lemuel Haynes, a well-respected "colored" minister of Rutland. Hopkins completed theological studies at Auburn Theological Seminary, and later received degrees of an honorary nature from Middlebury College (M.A., 1813; and D.D., 1843). he was licensed as a Congregational minister in 1810 and worked as a missionary preacher in western Vermont for one year. He was the pastor of the Congregational Church at New Haven, Vermonth, from 1809 until 1830. While residing there, he authored The Christian Instructor (Middlebury, 1825), a theological textbook that passed through numerous editions.

In 1830, Hopkins accepted a call to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church at Auburn. He remained in that pastorate until 1846, resigning as a result of failing health. He labored as a home missionary in the Western Reserve region of Ohio, returning to New York State to minister in the vicinity of Seneca Falls from 1851 until 1855. On 21 (27) June 1862 he died at the water cure at Geneva, where he had sought treatment for asthma. Hopkins was twice married, first in 1808 to Orril Dike of Pittsford, and later to Lavinia Fenton of Rutland, Vermont.

Hopkins was the author of the gospel hymn "Oh Turn Ye, Oh Turn Ye, for Why Will Ye Die?" His hymn, "Lord, Thy Love Has Sought and Found Us," is sung to the melody of "Till He Come," by L. Mason.

Lord, Thy Love Has Sought and Found Us

LORD, Thy love has sought and found us
Wandering in this desert wide,
Thou hast thrown Thine arms around us,
For us suffered, bled and died:
Sing my soul! He loved thee,
Jesus gave Himself for me.

Hark! what sounds of bitter weeping,
From yon lonesome garden sweep,
'Tis the Lord His vigil keeping,
Whilst His followers sink in sleep.
Ah, my soul, He loved thee,
Yes, He gave Himself for me.

He is speaking to His Father,
Tasting deep that bitter cup,
Yet He takes it, willing rather
For our sakes to drink it up.
Oh what love! He loved me!
Gave Himself, my soul, for me.

Then that closing scene of anguish;
All God's waves and billows roll
Over Him, there left to languish
On the cross, to save my soul.
Matchless love! how vast, how free,
Jesus gave Himself for me.

Hark again! His cries are waking
Echoes on dark Calvary's hill;
God, my God, art Thou forsaking
Him who always did Thy will?
Ah! my soul, it was for thee,
Yes! He gave Himself for me.

Lord, we joy, Thy toils are ended,
Glad Thy suffering time is o'er,
To Thy Father's throne ascended,
There Thou liv'st to die no more.
Yes, my soul! He lives for thee,
He who gave Himself for me.

Lord, we worship and adore Thee
For Thy rich, Thy matchless grace;
Perfect soon in joy before Thee,
We shall see Thee face to face.
Yet e'en now our song shall be,
Jesus gave Himself for me.