John Bakewell, born at Brailsford, Derbyshire, 1721. At about the age of eighteen, his mind was turned towards religious truths by reading Boston's Fourfold State. From that date he became an ardent evangelist, and in 1774 (the year of the first Methodist Conference) he began to preach. Removing to London some short time after, he became acquainted with the Wesleys, M. Madan, A.M. Toplady, J. Fletcher, and other evangelical men. After conducting for some years the Greenwich Royal Park Academy, he resigned in favour of his son-in-law, Dr. James Egan and employed much of his time in preaching at various places for the Wesleyans. He died at Lewisham, near Greenwich, March 18th. 1819, aged 98, and was buried in the Wesleyan burying ground connected with the City Road Chapel, London. Mr. Bakewell was the author of a few hymns, the best hymn being "Hail Thou once despised Jesus" the abbreviations of the same, "Paschal Lamb by God appointed" and "Jesus hail, enthroned in glory", A short memoir of him was published by Mr. Stelfot, Belfast,1864.
Julian on page 479 of his Hymnology has some interesting facts about Bakewell's hymn "Paschal Lamb, by God appointed" which is no.18 in the 'Spiritual Songs' hymn book
"Hail, Thou once despised Jesus". J. Bakewell (Ascension).
In a volume of Poetical Tracts. 1757-74, in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Hymni G. Pamph 1276(1)) there is, bound up with others, a small pamphlet of 72 pages with the following title:- A Collection of Hymns addressed to the Holy, Holy, Holy Triune God in the Person of Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Advocate. (Ps. 47:6 in Hebrew; and Cant. 4:16 in English) London. Printed by M. Lewis in Paternoster Row MDCCLVII. At page 40 of this pamphlet the following hymn is found:
Hail, Thou once-despised Jesus,
Hail, Thou Galilean King!
Who didst suffer to release us,
Who didst free salvation bring!
Hail, Thou universal Saviour,
Who hast borne our sin and shame;
By whose merits we find favour,
Life is given thro' Thy Name!
Jesus hail! enthroned in glory,
There forever to abide;
All the heavenly host adore Thee,
Seated at Thy Father's side:
Worship, honour, pow'r and blessing,
Thou art worthy to receive-
Loudest praises without ceasing,
Meet it is for us to give.
In M. Madan's Coll. of Ps.and Hys 1760, this hymn reappeared in the following expanded form, the added portions being in italics:- Stanza 1 is the same as already quoted. Stanza 2 in italics is
Paschal Lamb by God appointed,
All our sins were on Thee laid,
By almighty love appointed,
Thou hast full atonement made:
Every sin may be forgiv'n
Thro' the virtue of Thy blood,
Open'd is the gate of Heaven,
Peace is made 'twixt man and God.
Stanzas 2 and 3 are a mixture of stanza 1 in the first quotation of the hymn. Another alteration was made in stanza 2 of the hymn as it appeared in Madan's Collection of Ps. and Hys, in R. Conyers Coll. of Ps. and Hys. 1774, no. 70, in the Lady Huntingdon's Coll. of Hys. Edinburgh, c.1771 and others. In stanza 2 line 3 "love anointed" is substituted for "love appointed".
Julian has this to say about Bakewell's hymn: "Unless it can be shown that he re-wrote and enlarged it for Madan's Ps. and Hys. 1760, of the 40 lines so confidently attributed to him, only 16 are his".
It would appear from Julian's remarks that there is some doubt that the first stanza of no.18 in 'Spiritual Songs' belongs to Bakewell. There is no suggestion by Julian as to who the author might be.
This hymn was not in G.V. Wigram's version of 1856, but was included by Mr. Darby in 1881 and repeated in 1894, 1903, 1928 and 1978.