Born: November 19, 1854, St. Louis, Missouri.
Died: January 28, 1930, Newark, New Jersey.
Buried: Evergreen Cemetery, Newark, New Jersey. There is also a memorial to him in Newark’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Lyman was the son of George Otis Allen and Julia Olds Whitney, and husband of Myra Irwin (married September 4, 1880, Monroe, Iowa). Some hymnals incorrectly give his first initial as ‘S’.
He graduated from Washington University, St. Louis (BA & MA). He conducted postgraduate studies in philosophy at Princeton University, and attended Princeton Theological Seminary. The University of Wooster later awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree.
The Presbytery of St. Louis ordained Allen in 1882, and he served several years as pastor of the Carondelet Presbyterian Church.
In 1889, he moved to the South Park Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, serving there 27 years.
In October 1916, he resigned to work full time in the literary field. At one time, he was on the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions in New York.
O God of rest!
Thy watchful care has safely kept
My soul from evil while I slept;
Thy guardian love has been my shade;
Thy healing touch has strength conveyed;
In mystic sleep destroyed Thou hast
The disenchantments of the past;
In life renewed, in frame reborn,
I wake and praise Thee with the morn,
O God of rest,
O God of dreams!
By night Thou hast revealed to me
Chambers of precious imagery;
The fresher air, the farther lights,
My native world upon the heights,
Dear faces of the earlier time,
Loved voices with the olden rime.
I view my hope mount from eclipse,
I hail my heart’s apocalypse,
O God of dreams,
O God of light!
When morning’s beams my slumbers break
I feel Thy presence as I wake;
About me floats an atmosphere
All crystalline, most pure and clear,
Charged with Thy tender Fatherhood,
Through which I sense th’Eternal Good
In pulsings of high purpose beat;
And all my soul lies at Thy feet,
O God of light,
O God of life!
From sleep and dreams I turn, I spring,
To greet my being’s Sire and King.
Refreshed and strong I now present
Myself a humble instrument
By which Thy covenant may pursue
Its course of love the whole day through.
Accept me, let the joy be mine,
Of service ’neath Thy yoke divine,
O God of life,
O God of love!
What blessed guerdons Thou dost give!
The grace to grow more sensitive
To every rhythm; the subtle power
To see the far-off full-blown flower
Of every seed; the ecstasy
Of secret comradeship with Thee;
The glory, only faith may win,
Of working out what Heaven works in;
O God of love,
Lyman Whitney Allen
A Parable of the Rose, 1908