This hymn is uploaded for, and dedicated to our member Erzahler, who mentioned that it was one of his favorite hymns.
I hope you like it, Andrew, and THANKS for the friendship!
The music of the hymn was composed by the Rev. John B. Dykes (1823-1876). At age 12, Dykes became assistant organist at St. John’s Church in Hull, where his grandfather was vicar. He studied at Wakefield and St. Catherine’s Hall, Cambridge, where he earned a BA in Classics. In 1848, he became curate at Malton, Yorkshire. For a short time, he was canon of Durham Cathedral, then Precentor (1849-1862). In 1862 he became Vicar of St. Oswald’s, Durham. He published sermons and articles on religion, but is best known for composing over 300 hymn tunes. In his music, as in his ecclesiastical work, he was less dogmatic than many of his contemporaries about the theological controversies of the day. In addition to writing music, he played the organ, piano, violin, and horn.
The words were written by William Whiting (1825-1878), who was born in Kensington, November 1, 1825, and was educated at Clapham and Winchester Colleges. He was later master of Winchester College Choristers' School, where he wrote Rural Thoughts and Other Poems, 1851. He died at Winchester.
This text, which has seen a number of "alterations and expansions" over the years, was originally written for a student who was about to sail to American, and fearful of the voyage. Often played at naval funerals, the work is based on the Gospel of St. Matthew xxiv, 23, 24, 25, the dramatic scene of Jesus walking on the sea.
For another piece dealing with that account, you may like this:
The grand free accompaniment in the final verse is "mostly by" T. Tertius Noble (1867 – 1953) who was organist of Ely Cathedral, York Minster, and finally of St. Thomas Church in NYC.
Photos of Dykes, Whiting, and Noble are attached below, and the full text is given in the First Comment.