Hymn #159: As with Gladness Those of Old

William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898) wrote this Epiphany hymn during an illness sometime around 1860.  Having read Matthew 2 as his morning devotional, he lay in bed trying to put the words into a metrical form.  By evening, the text had been created.

 

William C. Dix wrote hymns and devotional materials as a hobby, and many of his works were published.  This one was included in his Hymns of Love and Joy (1861).  Dix worked as manager of a marine insurance firm in Glasgow, Scotland.

Conrad Kocher (1786-1872) composed this melody as a chorale tune for "Treuer Heiland."  It was adapted by William Henry Monk in 1861 and named DIX for the author of the words.  Kocher was an editor of chorale books in Germany and popularized four-part singing in Wurttemberg.

 

Conrad Kocher left Germany for Russia to prepare for the teaching profession but returned with a dedication to music.  His friend Muzio Clementi encouraged him, and he went to Rome to pursue his studies.  Kocher was influenced by the works of Palestrina and founded a school of sacred song.