Professor W. F. Sherwin was holding a Sunday school institute in Maine on one occasion. This hymn was used in the exercises, and a young lawyer was so much affected by the singing of the third verse that it was the means of changing all his plans for life. He consecrated himself to Christ's service, and thereafter devoted himself with his whole heart to evangelistic work.
“A large family joined my church lately, ”says a minister in Glasgow. ”The mother told me that, while a stranger in the city, she had happened to drop into our chapel, when she was quite overcome. Her heart was lifted up as the people sang, ' Saviour! Thy dying love.'"
Now famous in many lands, this hymn was first published more than forty years ago in the ”Watchman and Reflector,” and from there it was copied by various other religious papers. Dr. Robert Lowry requested the author, the Rev. Mr. Phelps, to furnish some hymns for the hymn-book, ”Pure Gold,” which he and W. H. Doane were preparing, and among others which Mr. Phelps contributed was ”Saviour! Thy dying love. ”Dr. Lowry composed for it the tune with which it will always be associated. On the author's seventieth birthday—nine years before his death in 1895—Mr. Phelps received this congratulation from Dr. Lowry:
“It is worth living seventy years, even if nothing comes of it but one such hymn as ' Saviour! Thy dying love.' Happy is the man who can produce one song which the world will keep on singing after its author shall have passed away."