Sing Praise To God Who Reigns Above

By the time of Martin Luther’s death in 1546, the Lutheran Church in Germany was strong—strong and zealous.  However, as so often happens, that zeal cooled considerably over the next century.  By the mid-1600s, the Lutheran Church in Germany was still quite correct doctrinally but cool with regard to zeal. Philip Spener became the pastor of a Lutheran congregation in Frankfurt am Main in the mid-1600s, and effected a revival by fervent preaching that emphasised repentance, personal piety, and discipleship. Not only did the church that Spener was serving in Frankfurt prosper, but a pietistic movement swept across Germany through his influence. An enthusiastic member of Spener’s congregation was a young attorney, Johann Jakob Schutz, who not only encouraged Spener’s work but also wrote hymns.  He wrote “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above” in 1675, and published it in a collection of hymns that same year. An Oxford scholar, Frances Elizabeth Cox translated this and many other German hymns into English. It was first published in English in 1841 in a collection entitled, “Sacred Hymns from the German.”1.

Sing praise to God who reigns above, 
The God of all creation, 
The God of pow’r, the God of love, 
The God of our salvation. 
With healing balm my soul He fills, 
And ev’ry faithless murmur stills: 
To God all praise and glory

What God’s almighty pow’r hath made 
His gracious mercy keepeth. 
By morning glow or evening shade 
His watchful eye ne’er  sleepeth. 
Within the kingdom of His might, 
Lo! all is just and all is right: 
To God all praise and glory!

The Lord is never far away, 
But, thru all grief distressing, 
An ever-present help and stay, 
Our peace and joy and blessing. 
As with a mother’s tender hand 
He leads His own, His chosen band: 
To God all praise and glory!

Thus all my toilsome way along 
I sing aloud His praises, 
That men may hear the grateful song 
My voice unwearied raises. 
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart! 
Both soul and body bear your part: 
To God all praise and glory!

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