Matheson, George

(1842-1906)
   The eldest son of George Matheson, a prosperous Glasgow merchant, he was born with poor sight, and by the age of 17 he was totally blind. Notwithstanding, he learned Latin, Greek and several modern languages, graduated M.A. from Glasgow University in 1862, and became a Church of Scotland minister in 1867. It is said that he so memorized his sermons and entire sections of the Bible that strangers were not aware that he was blind. In 1874 he published Aids to the Study of German Theology, and he wrote many theological and devotional books and sacred poetry. Queen Victoria directed that the sermon Matheson preached at Balmoral in October 1885 be printed for private circulation. His Sacred Songs was published in 1890 and in the third edition (1904) he included "O Love that wilt not let me go," a hymn that is still in most hymn books. Edinburgh University made him doctor of divinity (1879) and Aberdeen University awarded him doctor of laws (1902). He was buried in the family vault in Glasgow, Necropolis. Two of his other hymns/poems: "Christian Freedom," "Make Me a Captive, Lord."
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. A Treasury of Poems for Worship and Devotion. Charles L. Wallis, ed. Harper, 1959. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. George Matheson, History of "O love that will not let me go." (http://igracemusic.com/igracemusic/hymnbook/authors/george_matheson.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Cyber Hymnal (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm). The Speaker's Treasury of 400 Quotable Poems. Croft M. Pentz, ed. Zondervan, 1963.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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