Mary A. Lathbury

The  Story  Behind Break  Thou  the Bread  of Life

This   beautiful devotional hymn  wa s   wr i t t en  in  1880  a s   a  ” s tudy  song”  for   a  group  of   students  gathe r ed for   conf e r enc e   a t  Lake   Chaut auqua ,   New York,   a  mos t   f i t t ing  s e t t ing  for   such  a  song.

I t s   author   wa s   the   daught e r   of   a  Me thodi s t   mini s t e r .   Ea r ly in  l i f e   she  showed  evidenc e   of   unusua l   poe t i c   t a l ent .   One   day  God’ s   Spi r i t   spoke   to he r ,   “Remembe r ,   My  chi ld,   you  have   a  gi f t   for   wr i t ing  ve r s e ;   cons e c r a t e  thi s  to Me   a s   you  do  your  inmos t  spi r i t . “

Having he a rd the   c a l l ,   she   gave   up  he r  t e a ching  of   a r t  and  devot ed  he r -s e l f   to  edi tor i a l   work  and wr i t ing  for   Sunday  s chool   pe r iodi c a l s .   The   r e -sul t   of   he r   cons e c r a t ion  brought   untold  bl e s s ing  to  many- – – e spe c i a l ly  by me ans   of   thi s   hymn and anothe r ,   “Day i s   Dying in  the  We s t , ”   a l so  written in  1880  for   Chaut auqua   a s   a  ve spe r   song.

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