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Whittier, John Greenleaf, commonly known as the "Quaker Poet," was born at Haverhill, Mass., December 17, 1807; and died at Hampton Falls, N. H., September 7, 1892. Beginning life as a farmer boy and village shoemaker, and with only a limited education, he entered the profession of journalism in 1828, becoming that year editor of the American Manufacturer, published in Boston, and in 1830 editor of the New England Review. In 1836 he became Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society and editor of its official organ, the Freeman. In Boston, Hartford, Haverhill, Philadelphia, and Washington he pursued his profession successfully for about twenty years, after which, beginning with 1847, he became the corresponding editor of the National Era in Washington, D. C. He was a strong advocate for the freedom of the slaves, and his pen both as journalist and poet was ever at the call of the cause that was so near to his heart. The Quaker poet was as much opposed to war as he was to slavery. With the rigid and narrow type of Calvinistic theology that so long dominated New England he had no sympathy, but felt that a part of his mission as a poet was to rebuke and refute a theology which he felt to be a caricature upon the heart and character of God. Many of his poems are described as "rhetoric on fire with emotion." In his religious poems he always magnified the goodness and love of God for man and man's love for and service of his fellow-man as that which proves far better than creeds and ceremonies could that one possesses the Christian character. Whittier's poems are pervaded by the ethical and religious element more largely, perhaps, than is true of the writings of any other great English poet of modern times. From 1824 to the year of his death (1892) he wrote and published poems singly in periodicals and collectively in book form. From these poems about seventy-five hymns have been made by selecting verses of religious and devotional sentiments. Our Hymnal contains seven of his hymns:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind 543
I bow my forehead in the dust 472
It may not be our lot to wield 398
O Love! O Life! Our faith and sight 479
Our thought of thee is glad with 712
We may not climb the heavenly 128
When on my day of life the night 589
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