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James Vila Blake was active in the ministry for fifty years and the writer of a number of good hymns. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, January 21, 1842, graduated at Harvard in 1862 and from the Divinity School in 1866. He was minister at Haverhill, Massachusetts, at Quincy, Illinois, and for fifteen years at the Third Unitarian Church in Chicago. While in Chicago, he established a preaching station at Evanston, organized a church, built a chapel, and then for twenty-five years served as its minister. He wrote and published nearly twenty volumes of essays, poetry and drama. He died in Chicago, April 27, 1925.