Bowring, Sir John, an eminent English politician, statesman, foreign minister, and literary man, was born at Exeter, England, October 17, 1792. He held many official positions of responsibility under the English government, and was knighted in 1854. He was a genius in the acquisition of languages. He made translations from no less than thirteen modern languages, mostly of poetry. For many years he represented the English government in China and other portions of the Orient. He was a Unitarian in faith. He died at Exeter November 23, 1872, being eighty years old. His hymns are found in his Matins and Vespers, 1823, and in his Sequel to the Matins, 1825. His published volumes are very numerous, no less than ten of them containing poetic translations from foreign languages or disquisitions on poetry. Although a Unitarian, he is the author of two of our most popular and useful hymns on Christ, one on the life of Christ (No.290) and the other on the cross of Christ (No.143); while two others (Nos.199 and 636) are among our best missionary hymns, striking a triumphant note concerning the beneficent and universal spread of the gospel of Christ.
God is love; his mercy brightens 88
How sweetly flowed the gospel sound 290
In the cross of Christ I glory 143
Upon the gospel's sacred page 199
Watchman, tell us of the night 636