Thomas Binney

1798-1874. Minister and writer. Son of a Presbyterian, he was apprenticed to a bookseller before studying for the Congregational ministry. He held pastorates at Bedford and on the Isle of Wight before going to Weigh House Chapel, London (1829-69). His impressive preaching appealed to youth, for whom he wrote the most popular of his more than fifty books: Is it possible to make the best of both worlds? (1853). He attacked the established church, pioneered Nonconformist liturgical services (see his edition of and appendix to C.W. Baird's Chapter on Liturgies: Historical Sketches, 1856), wanted better music in such services (see his Service of Song in the House of the Lord, 1849), and was one of the first Nonconformists to introduce anthems and chants. Of his many poems, only the hymn “Eternal Light!” has survived.