Born: November 10, 1852, Ger­man­town, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Died: Ap­ril 10, 1933, Prince­ton, New Jer­sey.

Buried: Prince­ton, New Jers­ey.

Van Dyke at­tend­ed Prince­ton Un­i­ver­si­ty, then served as pas­tor of the Brick Pres­by­ter­i­an Church in New York City. Se­ven­teen years lat­er, he re­turned to Prince­ton as a pro­fes­sor of En­glish lit­er­a­ture. Af­ter­ward, he held a num­ber of em­i­nent posts: Amer­i­can am­bas­sa­dor to the Netherlands and Luxembourg, mod­er­a­tor of the General Assembly of the Pres­by­ter­i­an Church, Com­mand­er of the Legion of Honor, and Pres­i­dent of the Na­tion­al In­sti­tute of Arts and Let­ters. He chaired the com­mit­tee that com­piled the Pres­by­ter­i­an Book of Com­mon Wor­ship in 1905, and helped pre­pare the re­vised in edit­ion in 1932. His works in­clude:

Some of Van Dyke’s quotes that have been wid­ely pub­lished:

There is a loft­i­er am­bi­tion than mere­ly to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift man­kind a lit­tle high­er.

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who re­joice, but for those who love, time is eter­ni­ty.

Who seeks for Heav­en alone to save his soul
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;
While he who walks in love may wan­der far,
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.

Use the talents you pos­sess, for the woods would be ve­ry sil­ent if no birds sang ex­cept the best.



  1. Jesus, Thou Divine Companion
  2. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
  3. No Form of Human Framing
  4. O Lord, Our God, Thy Mighty Hand
  5. O Maker of the Mighty Deep
  6. O Thou Whose Boundless Love Bestows