JONES, Harriet E.

Mrs. Harriet E. Jones

The name of Harriet E. Jones is known and honored by the great army of Christian workers in all lands. Wherever the gospel song has gone her name and influence have been felt. And what an honor it is to have written hymns that have cheered the hearts of saints and called sinners to repentance the world over, thus being a ” worker together with God ” and His chosen people in extending His kingdom in the world !

Mrs. Jones deserves all the love and esteem her good work has brought her. She is such a true Christian, with such a sunshiny disposition that to know her or to be associated with her in any way is to be benefited. She has passed through sore afflictions and trials, but these have served to reveal to her the goodness of God, and to draw her closer to Him. Her trials have really sweetened her character.

She was the daughter of Eleazer Rice, and was born April 18, 1823. She has always lived in Onondaga County, K. Y. Her post-office is Oran. Her girl hood was spent on a farm, receiving what education the country schools and one term at high school afforded. She was always fond of reading, and read a great deal. From early childhood she was a great singer, being passionately fond of music and possessed with a clear, ringing voice, and would have distinguished herself as a soloist if she would have had the advantages of vocal training. For years she sang regularly in the home choir.

On July 7, 1844, she was married to a son of Rev. Zenus Jones. Mrs. Jones’ husband died in 1879. While passing through the waters of affliction and sor row she wrote some verses. They were published, and attracted the attention of Dr. M. J. Munger, of Roches ter, N. Y., who was at that time compiling a book of Sunday-school songs with A. J. Abbey. He wrote Mrs. Jones, complimenting her on her poetry, and asked her to write some Sunday-school hymns for him. She con sented, and by his help in suggesting topics and by kindly criticisms and hints she made a success of it.

She next wrote for Mr. D. B. Towner, J. C. Ewing and Fillmore Brothers, and from that she received calls from almost all the composers and publishers, so that now her hymns are found in all the best gospel and Sunday-school song books.

Mrs. Jones is an enthusiastic Methodist and Prohibi tionist. For many 3ears she has been closely confined to her home by the care of an invalid son, but she never complains, but writes hymns, and sings the tunes that various composers set to them, and rejoices at the kind words that come to her from many sources testifying to the great happiness others receive from her inspirations.

Among the many popular hymns she has written we mention “Redeemed.” These words express her experience when she was converted. They abound in exclamations of joy and rapture, just the kind to inspire the most popular music. Mr. D. B. Towner caught its inspiration for music, and it has been one of his leading songs for many years past. At the great Moody meetings it was v.ery popular and a general favorite. Other singing evangelists have used it with great power. Some others are : ” Blue Sea of Galilee,” music by Davis ; ” The Song of Love,” music by Meredith ; ” Harbor Home ” and ” At the Pool of Siloam,” music by Entwisle; “There is Sweet Rest” and ” Trusting in the Blessed Christ,” music by Hall.

We don’t believe we can close this brief sketch better than by quoting a paragraph from one of her letters: ” I am trying in my imperfect way to serve the Master, and hope to live with Him by and by, and be able to enjoy the sweet music for which I have vainly longed through the toilsome, lonely years. ‘ Some souls go hungering through the years, And never find the food they seek.’

But over beyond in the home of our God is sweet fruition. There is the music of ano-els, fadeless flowers, green fields, and still waters and, what is better, reunion with loved ones, sweetest of all, the presence of the King and the glad redemption song, in which I hope to join.”