Above: Henry Williams Baker
Image in the Public Domain
HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER (MAY 27, 1821-FEBRUARY 12, 1877)
Anglican Priest, Hymnal Editor, and Hymn Writer and Translator
Henry Williams Baker, born on May 27, 1821, was a priest of the Church of England. The son of Vice Admiral Henry Loraine Baker, Henry graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1844, and entered the priesthood the same year. He spent most of his career as Vicar of Monkland Priory Church in Herefordshire, England.
Baker’s legacy is mostly musical. From 1860 to 1877 he served as editor-in-chief of Hymns Ancient and Modern. Also, Baker wrote 23 hymns, including “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” and translated 9 hymns, including the Latin classic, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”
The King of Love My Shepherd Is
The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow,
My ransomed soul he leadeth
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me
And on his shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With thee, dear Lord, beside me,
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spredst a table in my sight;
Thine unction grace bestoweth;
And, oh, what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever.
Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness: You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Henry Williams Baker. Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21
Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006)
Revised on November 30, 2016