Walter Chalmers Smith

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Walter Chalmers Smith

Walter Chalmers Smith (5 December 1824 – 19 September 1908), was a hymnist, poet and minister of the Free Church of Scotland, chiefly remembered for his hymn "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise".


He was born in Aberdeen and attended Marischal College at the University of Aberdeen and New College, Edinburgh.[1] He received the degrees of D.D. and LL.D. He was mentioned in Lord Adam Gifford's will.


He was ordained pastor of the Chadwell Street Scottish Church, Pentonville, Islington, London, on Christmas Day, 1850. He later served at:

The Free Church of Scotland elected him its moderator during its Jubilee year in 1893. He was a distinguished preacher and a man of catholic sympathies.

Published works[edit]

He attained considerable reputation as a poet. Among his works are The Bishop's Walk (1861), Olrig Grange (1872), Hilda among the Broken Gods (1878), Raban (1880), Kildrostan (1884), and A Heretic (1890). Some of these were written under the names of "Orwell" and Hermann Kunst.


  • Earth was waiting, spent and restless[2]
  • Immortal, invisible, God only wise[3]


  1. ^ "Walter Chalmers Smith". The Cyber Hymnal;. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  2. ^ "Earth was waiting, spent and restless" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Immortal, invisible, God only wise". The Cyber Hymnal;. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 

Further reading[edit]

Bailey, Albert Edward (1950). The Gospel in Hymns. New York: Charles Scribner's sons. pp. 455–456. 

Julian, John (June 1907). A Dictionary of Hymnology. London: John Murray. p. 1064. 

"Gifford Lecture Series". Retrieved 2007-01-30. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource 

External links[edit]