Scripture Verse

Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17


William B. Bradbury

Words: Will­iam Wal­ford, 1845. Pub­lished in The New York Ob­ser­ver, Sep­tem­ber 13, 1845.

Music: Sweet Hour Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry, Gold­en Chain (New York & Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Iv­i­son, Phin­ney & S. C. Griggs, 1861), num­ber 10 (🔊 pdf nwc).

An Apostle
Jacob Jordaens

During my re­si­dence at Coles­hill, War­wick­shire, Eng­land, I be­came ac­quaint­ed with W. W. Wal­ford, the blind preach­er, a man of ob­scure birth and con­nect­ions and no edu­ca­tion, but of strong mind and most re­ten­tive me­mo­ry.

In the pul­pit he nev­er failed to se­lect a les­son well adapt­ed to his sub­ject, giv­ing chap­ter and verse with uner­ring pre­ci­sion and scarce­ly ev­er mis­placing a word in his re­pe­ti­tion of the Psalms, ev­ery part of the New Test­a­ment, the pro­phe­cies, and some of the his­to­ries, so as to have the re­pu­ta­tion of know­ing the whole Bi­ble by heart.

He ac­tu­al­ly sat in the chim­ney cor­ner, em­ploy­ing his mind in com­pos­ing a ser­mon or two for Sab­bath de­liv­e­ry, and his hands in cut­ting, shap­ing and pol­ish­ing bones for shoe horns and other lit­tle use­ful im­ple­ments. At in­ter­vals he at­tempt­ed po­et­ry.

On one oc­ca­sion, pay­ing him a vis­it, he re­peat­ed two or three piec­es which he had com­posed, and hav­ing no friend at home to com­mit them to pa­per, he had laid them up in the store­house with­in.

How will this do? asked he, as he re­peat­ed the fol­low­ing lines, with a com­pla­cent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he sub­ject him­self to cri­ti­cism.

I ra­pid­ly co­pied the lines with my pen­cil, as he ut­tered them, and sent them for in­ser­tion in the Ob­ser­ver, if you should think them wor­thy of pre­ser­va­tion.

Thomas Salmon


Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!