Miss Havergal's sister Maria bears record that this hymn was written in England in 1872, when the author was unable to go to church one snowy morning. She asked for her prayer-book, always liking to follow the services of the day. On the return of her brother in-law, Mr. Shaw, from church, he heard her touch upon the piano.
“Why, Frances, I thought you were upstairs!” “Yes, but I had my prayer-book; and in the Psalms for to-day I read, 'Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King.' I thought, ' What a splendid first line!' and then the words and music came rushing in to me. There! it's all written out."
I found Miss Havergal's tune rather difficult to sing, and therefore arranged the one which is now found in ”Gospel Hymns, ”in” Sacred Songs and Solos,” and in the new Methodist Episcopal hymnal.