Hymn #475: God's Eye Is on the Sparrow

Civilla Durfee Martin (1866-1948) was inspired to write this poem while visiting a friend in Elmira, New York, who endured chronic illness.  The friend said she never became discouraged because "my Heavenly Father watches over each little sparrow and I know he loves and cares for me."

 

Civilla D. Martin, born in Nova Scotia, Canada, wrote poetry only as a hobby until her husband, W. Stillman Martin, encouraged her to write hymn texts.  He composed the music for many of her songs and served as a professor at a Bible College in Johnson City, New York.

Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932) was asked to write this tune when W. Stillman Martin, the textwriter's husband, was dissatisfied with his own attempts.  This combination was first sung at Royal Albert Hall, London, England, during the 1905 Torrey-Alexander revival meeting.

 

Charles H. Gabriel, born in Wilton, Iowa, became one of the most prolific early twentieth-century gospel songwriters.  Without ever having a formal music lesson, he edited more than 150 religious songbooks.  Gabriel often used the pseudonym Charlotte G. Homer for his hymn texts.