All People That on Earth Do Dwell

“All People That on Earth Do Dwell” is based on Psalm 100. In the Reformation, Calvin was concerned that hymns not clearly based on scripture might introduce false doctrine into the church, and so he advocated the singing of Psalms. He said that there were “no better songs nor more appropriate to the purpose (of congregational singing) than the Psalms of David which the Holy Spirit made and spoke through him.” In 1551, a Psalter was published in Geneva and in 1561, the Anglo-Genevan Psalter (an English-language Psalter) was published that included “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” set to a tune written earlier by Louis Bourgeois for Psalm 134. The words to “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” were written by William Kethe, a Scottish clergyman who had fled the persecutions of Queen Mary. His exile took him first to Frankfurt, Germany and then to Geneva. Kethe helped with the translation of the Geneva Bible in 1560 and contributed 25 psalms to the Anglo-Genevan Psalter.1

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Serve him with joy, his praises tell,
Come now before him and rejoice!

Know that the Lord is God indeed;
He formed us all without our aid.
We are the flock he comes to feed,
The sheep who by his hand were made.

O enter then his gates with joy,
Within his courts his praise proclaim.
Let thankful songs your tongues employ.
O bless and magnify his name.

Trust that the Lord our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure.
His faithfulness at all times stood
And shall from age to age endure.

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