NOT the St. Augustine's hymn !

I like old hymns, and I have a small collection of oldish hymnbooks which I've acquired over the years.

Looking through one of the books some time ago in search of something else, the words "ST. AUGUSTINE" caught my attention. It was the name of a hymn tune, attributed to "L.Mason" - presumably Lowell Mason. The title of the hymn was "How few are entering in", which did seem to fit our not overwhelmingly big congregation.

The author of the words is not identified. It is not one of the most memorable hymns ever written, but the sentiments are worthy. Here are the first and last verses :

How few are ent'ring in,
So many turn away,
Despising God, His boundless grace;
And wasting life's short day.

Will you not enter in ?
Hark ! hear the Master say :
"I am the door, Oh enter now,
There is no other way."

- and here's the tune "St Augustine" ( which, all being well, sounds like this ) :

Music of 'St Augustine', after L. Mason

Theme song or not, if you would like to accept the green invitation, you would be most welcome.

In the unlikely event that anyone wants to know, I add that the hymn book is "Hymns Old and New with supplement", published by R.L. Allan & Son of Glasgow. It's undated, but internal evidence suggests that it was later than 1931.

- and then it happened again. This time it was in my Methodist Hymn Book ( published 1933, revised 1954 ), which I have owned since around 1960 or so. This one is written by someone called J.S. Bach. It is presumably coincidental that it shares the same metre as the other version (, or S.M. ). Here it is :

Music of 'St Augustine', after J.S. Bach

- and it sounds like this.

( Click either of the scores for a more readable copy.

MIDI files if you want them : for the first one, and for the second one. )

Alan Creak,
2009 May.