Joseph Irons, 1785-1852.

Julian's account of Joseph Irons:

Joseph Irons, son of William Irons of Ware, was born at Ware, Nov. 1785, and was for some years the friend of John Newton when the latter was Rector of St. Mary, Woolnooth, and an attendant on his ministry. On the death of Newton, Irons joined the Noncomformists, and was for some time Pastor of a Nonconformist Chapel at Sawston, and then of the Grove Chapel, Camberwell, London. He died April 3rd. 1852. J. Iron's reputation as a preacher amongst the Nonconfornmists was very great. His sermons were intensely Calvinistic and very powerful; and the perorations, not infrequently in poetical blank verse, were most striking and effective. His hymns are powerful and at times poetical, but because of their strong Calvinistic teaching have failed to become popular. They were published for use by his own congregation and, until several were adopted by Spurgeon in his O.O.H. book 1866, and Snepp in his Songs of G. and G. 1872, were seldom found in any other collection for congregational use. J. Irons' poetical works including those in which his hymns appeared were:-

(1) Zion's Hymns intended as a supplement to Dr. Watts Psalms and hymns, printed for the author by G. Youngman, Saffron Waldon, 1816. This edition contained 247 hymns. It was enlarged 2nd. edition, 1819; 3rd. edition, 1825; 5th. edition, 1827 (611 hymns). The title was afterwards changed to Zion's Hymns, for the use of Zion's Sons and Daughters.

(2) Nymphas, Bride and Bridegroom Communing. A Paraphrastic Exposition of the Song of Solomon in blank verse, 1840.

(3) Judah. The Book of Psalms Paraphrased in 'Spiritual Songs' for Public Worship, 1847; and

(4) Calvary, a Poem in Blank Verse. Iron's hymn in 'Spiritual Songs' is No.389. "Now let our hearts unite to praise the Saviour's Name".

This hymn was not in the 1856, 1881 and 1903 editions of the Little Flock Hymn Book, but included in 1894, 1928 and 1978.

Hymns by Joseph Irons