Thomas Gibbons, 1720-1785

Julian's account is as follows:

Thomas Gibbons was born at Reak, near Newmarket on May 31st. 1720; educated by Dr. Taylor at Deptford; ordained in 1742 as assistant to the Rev. Mr.Bures at Silver Street Chapel, London; and in 1743 became minister of the Independent Church at Haberdashers Hall where he remained until his death on Feb. 22nd. 1785. In addition to his ministerial office he became in 1754, tutor of the Dissenting Academy at Mile End, London: and in 1859, Sunday evening lecturer at Monkwell Street. In 1760, the College of New Jersey, U.S.A., gave him the degree of M.A. and in 1764 the degree of D.D. by that of Aberdeen. His prose works were:

1) Calvinism and Nonconformity Defended

2) Sermons on Various Subjects 1762

3) Rhetoric 1740

4) Female Worthies, 2 vols. 1777

Among his poetic writings are: 1) Juvenilia: Poems on Various Subjects of Devotion and Virtue, 1750. It was published by subscription. Among the subscribers is found the name of the Rev. George Whitfield, B.A. It was dedicated to the Countess of Huntingdon and bears her coat of arms. 2) An English version of the Latin epitaphs on the Nonconformists' Memorial, with a poem to the memory of the 2,000 ministers ejected in 1662.

Dr. Gibbons may be called a disciple in hymn-writing of Dr. Watts, whose life he wrote. His hymns are not unlike those of the second rank of Watts. He lacked "the vision and faculty divine" which gives life to hymns and renders them of permanent value. Gibbons compiled a supplement to Watts which was published in 1769, and followed by a second collection in 1784.

Gibbon's hymn in 'Spiritual Songs' is No. 207.

"Now may the God of Peace and Love". It was dated 1769 and headed "Close of Service" The hymn is in all the editions of the Little Flock Hymn Book from 1856 to 1978.

Hymns by Thomas Gibbons