This is our processional hymn this week: A great thumping Protestant march.
The composer’s biography indicates it was originally entitled, “Come, Children, Join to Sing,” and was composed for young people:
Bateman, Christian Henry, son of John Bateman, was born Aug. 9, 1813, at Wyke, near Halifax. After studying in the Moravian Church and exercising his ministry there for a time, he became, in 1843, minister of Richmond Place Congregational Church, Edinburgh. After 1846 he was successively Congregational minister at Hopton, in Yorkshire, and Beading, in Berkshire. On taking Holy Orders in the Church of England he became, 1869-71, curate of St. Luke’s, Jersey, and Chaplain to the Forces; 1871-75, Vicar of All Saints, Childshill, Middlesex; 1877-84, curate of St. John’s, Penymynydd, Hawarden. His hymns appeared mainly in:—
The Sacred Song Book (Edin., Gall & Inglis, subsequently published as Sacred Melodies for Children; and as 200 Sacred Melodies for Sunday Schools and Families, was edited by himself, with the Rev. James Gall, and latterly with Mr. Robert Inglis, the publisher. First pub. 1843 as 25; enlarged by a second part, 1846, to 60; revised and enlarged, 1854, to 80; 1862, to 130; and 1872, to 200; it reached a circulation of a million and a half before 1862, four millions before 1872, and above six millions before 1881. It was for many years the hymnbook for Sabbath School use in Scotland. (2) The Children’s Hymnal and Christian Year (London., J. Hodges, 1872), including 11 original hymns, with others from many sources. His best known hymn is: “Come, children, join to sing.”