William Wiliams responded to a challenge from Howell Harris who called for someone to provide better hymns than those then in use. In less than fifty years he produced eight hundred hymns. However, only one of those is really well-known today. That hymn is based upon Nehemiah 9:12 "Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road Which they should travel." By now you might have guessed (or already knew) that the hymn in question is "Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah."
It was written in Welsh in the year 1743 and had five verses. In 1771 Peter Williams of Carmarthen produced an English translation but the author was not satisfied with this translation so he issued his own version!
Todsay, when we sing this hymn, we use Peter William's first verse and the remainder is the work of the original author.
The tune we generally use, "Cwm Rhondda", was written in 1907 for Church Anniversary services at Chapel Rhondda, Pontypridd. The composer was John Hughes who died in May, 1932.
William Williams was born into a farmer's family in 1717. At twenty-one, when a medical student, he was converted to Christianity and in 1740 he was ordained a Deacon of the Episcopal Church. He became an itinerant preacher travelling well over two thousand miles each year. He died following a long illness in 1791 at Pantycelyn.
CORRIE TEN BOOM was the daughter of a Dutch Watchmaker and Corrie, herself, later qualified as a watchmaker. Her family became known for its work in hiding Jews who were being rounded up for the gas chambers. Eventually the family was betrayed and arrested and Corrie and her older sister were sent to Ravenbruck Concentration Camp. Her sister died and soon after Corrie was released, apparently as a result of a clerical error; a week after her release the women were transferrd to the gas chambers. Corrie told her story in "The Hiding Place", later made into a feature film. She died on her 91st birthday in California, to where she had emigrated.
She left behind many quotes and we leave you with this one to ponder:
"If you loom at the world, you'll be distressed.
If you look witthin you'll be depressed.
If you look to God you'll be at rest."