In Devotional, Gospel, Worship

Reginald Heber (21 April 1783 – 3 April 1826) was an English bishop, man of letters and hymn-writer. After 16 years as a country parson, he served as Bishop of Calcutta until his death at the age of 42. The son of a rich landowner and cleric, Heber gained fame at the University of Oxford as a poet. After graduation he made an extended tour of Scandinavia, Russia and Central Europe. Ordained in 1807, he took over his father’s old parish, Hodnet, Shropshire. He also wrote hymns and general literature, including a study of the works of the 17th-century cleric Jeremy Taylor. He was consecrated Bishop of Calcutta in October 1823. He travelled widely and worked to improve the spiritual and general living conditions of his flock. Arduous duties, a hostile climate and poor health led to his collapse and death after less than three years in India.

Reginald Heber who wrote the hymn Holy, Holy Holy! did not become widely known or recognised until after his death. He was an example of a humble man. He did not seek fame in his short life. His name though, is now connected to one of the most favoured hymns ever written. It was after his death that his wife sent some poems and the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy! to a publisher who then published it.

Over a period of 150 years, Holy, Holy, Holy has been sung in churches and other meetings all over the world. It is one of the most sung congregational hymns ever written. It has also been sung and recorded by choirs as well as individual recording artists right up to this day.

What we do for the Lord may not always be noticed or acclaimed while we are alive, but God knows our hearts and motives and He can do more than we can ask or think. Sometimes people like Heber become famous long after they have passed into Heaven, others serve faithfully, never recognised by man.

The Lord knows. Their true reward comes in Heaven.

Speak or sing the inspired words below now, and see if you are touched by the Lord as so many millions have been. The words are all about Him!


Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed trinity!

Reginald Heber

David Drew was the founder of Life Ministries and was the Director of the ministry for the first four years, then continued to serve on the board until now.

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