Hymn #471: What a Covenant

Elisha Albright Hoffman (1839-1929) wrote this hymn in 1887 at the suggestion of A. J. Showalter, a music publisher.  It has been published in more than one thousand music books and translated into nearly every language of the world where Christianity is practiced.

Elisha A. Hoffman was born May 7, 1837, in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania.  He was an ordained Evangelical minister and served churches of several denominations in the Midwest.  Hoffman was an editor for the Evangelical Association Publishing House in Cleveland, Ohio, for more than a decade.
 
Anthony Johnson Showalter (1858-1924) composed the tune LEANING in 1887 and the refrain in 1888.  The tune was inspired in part by letters from two friends, both of whom had been recently widowed.  In his sympathy notes to them, he quoted Deuteronomy 33:27, and he based this gospel song on that verse.
 

A. J. Showalter was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1858.  A composer and music teacher, he formed his own publishing company with branches in Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee and published over one hundred books on music during his life.  He died in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1924.