Midlane, Albert, an active and earnest English layman, was born in Newport, Isle of Wight, January 23, 1825, and was engaged in business in that town for many years. He has written over eight hundred hymns since 1842, when he published his first hymn. His hymns have been found most useful in Sunday school, revival, and mission services. He attributes his interest in and contributions to hymnology to the suggestion and encouragement of a favorite Sunday school teacher, who did much to shape his religious life. He is known as |the poet-preacher of the Strict Brethren.| He has published, in addition to several small volumes of prose, some half dozen volumes of poetry and sacred songs. Speaking of his habits of composition, he says:
Most of my hymns have been written during walks around the ancient and historic ruins of Carisbrooke Castle. The twilight hour, so dear to thought, and the hushed serenity then pervading nature have often allured my soul to deep and uninterrupted meditation, which, in its turn, has given birth to lines which, had not these walks been taken, would never probably have been penned.
Dr. Julian quotes from and approves Miller's estimate of Mr. Midlane's hymns:
They are full of spiritual thought, careful in their wording, and often very pleasing without reaching the highest form of poetical excellence. A marked feature of these hymns is the constant and happy use of Scripture phraseology.
A few years ago a popular subscription was taken up among the parents, teachers, and children of England to relieve Mr. Midlane's necessities. The most popular of all his hymns is the one found in this collection:
There's a Friend for little children 680