Mason, John, an earnest and pious clergyman
of the English Church, was the son
of a Dissenting minister; lived in the seventeenth
century; was graduated at Cambridge
in 1664; and died at the rectory of
Water-Stratford, Buckinghamshire, in 1694.
His Spiritual Songs were published in 1683.
He was the best English hymn writer preceding
and many think they can detect
his influence upon Watts and
styled him "the glory of
the Church of England," and said that "the
frame of his spirit was so heavenly, his deportment
so humble and obliging, his discourse
of spiritual things so weighty, with
such apt words and delightful air, that it
charmed all that had any spiritual relish."
This character well befits the author of a
hymn so deeply devotional and truly spiritual
as the one here given.
|Now from the altar of our hearts