James Hannington was born the son of a merchant on September 3, 1847. His grandfather, Smith Hannington, was the founder of Hanningtons, Brighton's leading department store. As a yong man he worked in his father's business until the late 1860s. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Oxford in 1873, he was ordained by the Church of England and in 1882 was sent by the Church Missionary Society to the Lake Victoria region of Africa.

Illness caused him to return to England to recover. In 1884 he was consecrated Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa.

He proved to be a faithful servant of Christ and did much to spread the gospel. He was a contemporary of Alexander MacKay and decided to push into the heartland of Uganda with the message of forgiveness in Christ.

He made it as far as Luba where on Wednesday, October 21, 1885, he was captured by the soldiers of King Mwanga. Some eight days later he was led out towards the banks of the Victoria Nile and martyred for the cause of Christ.

It is recorded that on his march to martyrdom, he sang Safe in the Arms of Jesus and My God, I am Thine.

His last words are reported to have been Tell the king that I die for Uganda. I have bought this road with my life.

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Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Based on Mark 10:16
Words by Fanny Crosby, 1868
Music by William Howard Doane

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o'er shaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! 'tis the voice of angels, Borne in a song to me,
Over the fields of glory, Over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe from corrding care,
Safe from the world's temptations, Sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, Free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials, Only a few more tears.

Jesus, my heart's dear refuge, Jesus had died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, Ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, Wait till the night is o'er;
Wait till I see the morning Break on the golden shore.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o'er shaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.

My God, I am Thine

MY God, I am thine, What a comfort divine,
What a blessing to know that my Jesus is mine!

In the heavenly Lamb Thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of his name.

True pleasures abound In the rapturous sound;
And whoever hath found it hath paradise found:

My Jesus to know, And feel his blood flow,
'Tis life everlasting, 'tis heaven below.

Yet onward I haste To the heavenly feast:
That, that is the fulness; but this is the taste!

And this I shall prove, Till with joy I remove
To the heaven of heavens in Jesus's love.

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