O Trinity, most blessed Light
An evening hymn
Author: St. Ambrose (340-397) ;
Translation: J. M. Neale (1818-1866)
Melody adapted from B. Cooke (1734-1793)
Ambrosius (St. Ambrose), second son and third child of Ambrosius, Prefect of the Gauls, was born at Lyons, Aries, or Treves--probably the last--in 340 A.D.
On the death of his father in 353 his mother removed to Rome with her three children. Ambrose went through the usual course of education, attaining considerable proficiency in Greek; and then entered the profession which his elder brother Satyrus had chosen, that of the law.
In this he so distinguished himself that, after practising in the court of Probus, the Praetorian Prefect of Italy, he was, in 374, appointed Consular of Liguria and Aemilia.
Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818.
He inherited intellectual power on both sides. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals."
He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards a private pupil, first of the Rev. William Russell, Rector of Shepperton, and then of Professor Challis.
In 1836 he went up to Cambridge, where he gained a scholarship at Trinity College, and was considered the best man of his year. But he did not inherit his father's mathematical tastes, and had, in fact, the greatest antipathy to the study; and as the strange rule then prevailed that no one might aspire to Classical Honours unless his name had appeared in the Mathematical Tripos, he was forced to be content with an ordinary degree.
Dr. Neale was an industrious and voluminous writer both in prose and verse; it is of course with the latter class of his writings that this sketch is chiefly concerned; but a few words must first be said about the former.