1804-1889
portrait

November 6, 1804, Summer Hill (near Birmingham), Warwickshire, England.

April 6, 1889, Torquay, Devonshire, England.

Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge, England.

Benjamin’s father was Rann Kennedy, sometime incumbent of St. Paul’s Church in Birmingham and editor of A Church of England Psalm-Book (1821). He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham; Shrewsbury School; and St. John’s College, Cambridge. He graduated BA in 1827 (First Medalist). He was Fellow of his College (1828-36); Headmaster of Shrewsbury School (1836-66); and Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge and Canon of Ely, 1867. He took Holy Orders in 1829, and was for some time Prebendary in Lichfield Cathedral and Rector of West Felton, Shropshire. He was elected Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, in 1880. His works include:

Kennedy versified many of the psalms, and wrote and translated numerous other hymns, as well.

THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY

1 John 2:17

Awake, again the Gospel trump is blown;
From year to year it swells with louder tone;
From year to year the signs of wrath
Are gathering round the Judge’s path:
Strange words fulfilled, and mighty works achieved,
And truth in all the world both hated and believed.

Behold, the world is thronging round to gaze
On the dread vision of the latter days,
Constrained to own Thee, but in heart
Prepared to take Barabbas’ part;
Hosanna now, tomorrow Crucify,
The changeful burden still of their rude lawless cry.

The bad and good their several warnings give
Of HIs approach, whom none may see and live:
Faith’s ear, with awful still delight,
Counts them like minute-bells at night,
Keeping the heart awake till dawn of morn,
While to the funeral pile this agèd world is borne.

But what are heaven’s alarms to hearts that cower
In willful slumber, deepening every hour,
That draw their curtains closer round
The nearer swells the trumpet’s sound?
Lord, ere out trembling lamps sink down and die,
Touch us with chastening hand, and make us feel Thee nigh.

Benjamin Hall Kennedy
Hymnologia Christiana, number 19, 1863

  1. Hope, Christian Soul, in Every Stage
  2. O God, Whose Gifts Alone Can Bless
  3. O Hear Me, Lord, Instruct and Save
  4. O Highest Love, in Lowliest Guise
  5. Save Me, O Lord, for Thou Alone
  6. Savior of the Nations, Come
  7. Thou, O God, Our Quiet Trust
  1. All My Heart with Joy Is Springing
  2. Arise, O Lord, with Healing Rod
  3. Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know
  4. God, Our Hope and Strength Abiding
  5. Help Us, O Lord, the Good Decay
  6. How Long Forgotten, Lord, by Thee?
  7. Lord, Thou Hast Been Thy People’s Rest
  8. O Miracle of Love and Might!
  9. There Is No God, So Saith the Fool
  10. Whilst the Careless World Is Sleeping
  11. Who Trusts in God, a Strong Abode
  12. Ye Judges of the Earth, Be Still