Not Unto Us

This song is written by UK collective Joyful Noise, with the chorus of this song coming straight from Psalm 115:1. We can be so quick to seek glory for ourselves, but this song reminds us that God alone is our creator, He alone is our redeemer, and He alone gives us the grace to persevere all the way to heaven. He alone deserves all the glory. Enjoy!

All the glory, Lord to You!
For in the secret place
Each life you fashioned through and through
In fearful wonder made!
What have we but given by you?
To our God all honour due!
You who also made the stars
Yours the glory never ours

Not unto us, not unto us
But all the glory unto you!
For your great love and faithfulness
We give the glory all to you!

Though the world may praise our deeds
You search much deeper in
You see our pride you see our greed,
You see our darkest sin
You the seeker, we the lost
Ours the sin, and yours the cross
Yours the love that took our place
Yours the glory, ours the grace!


Hopeless lies the road ahead
If in our strength we go
Our only hope to run the course
Is in your strength alone
Every battle every race
Won by your empowering grace
When our fearful faith is small
God of grace you give us all!


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!

Thank and Praise Jehovah’s Name

This hymn was written by Scotsman James Montgomery (1771-1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school. He published eleven volumes of poetry, mainly his own, and at least four hundred hymns. Some critics judge his hymn texts to be equal in quality to those of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. I love this version, with the melody written by Gregory Wilbur and sung by Neal Carpenter; I’m sure this will make you praise the name of our Lord!

Thank and praise Jehovah’s name;
For His mercies, firm and sure,
From eternity the same,
To eternity endure.

Praise Him, ye who know His love;
Praise Him from the depths beneath.
Praise Him in the heights above;
Praise your maker all that breathe.

Let the ransomed thus rejoice,
Gathered out of every land,
As the people of His choice,
Plucked from the destroyer’s hand.

For His truth and mercy stand,
Past, and present, and to be,
Like the years of His right hand
Like His own eternity.

Praise My Soul, The King of Heaven

Born in Scotland and educated at Enniskillen and Trinity College in Dublin, Henry Francis Lyte’s (1793-1847) most significant appointment was as Anglican curate at Lower Brixham, Devonshire, England, where he served for 24 years. Lyte’s poetry earned him several honours. He wrote “Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven” for his congregation. The hymn was first published in 1834, among a collection of three hundred hymns entitled “Spirit of the Psalms.” Unlike translations of the Psalms-commonly used in Psalters of that time-or paraphrases like those written by Isaac Watts, “Spirit of the Psalms” contained hymns that were simply inspired by the Psalms. A part of this collection, “Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven” captured the “spirit” of Psalm 1031.

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me His praise should sing?
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favour
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same forever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Frail as summer’s flower we flourish
Blows the wind and it is gone
But while mortals rise and perish
God endures unchanging on
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise the high eternal One

Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He Knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Widely as His mercy goes.

Angels help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise with us the God of grace.

All Creatures of Our God and King

A monk in search of reform, Francis Assisi lived a humble, simple lifestyle in service to God and to his fellow man from around 1181-1226. He is said to have loved nature, travel, and would preach to anyone who’d listen, even if it was a group of birds in a cave. His love of nature and his love for the Creator of nature is what birthed his “Song of Brother Sun and All Creatures,” or “Cantico del frate sole.” It was one of several popular laude spirituale, or popular spiritual songs in Italian for use outside of the liturgical context. Francis is believed to have written this poem near the end of his earthly life, during a period of tremendous pain and suffering. And among its more salient details are the tone with which Francis writes, a tone that expresses a desire for man and nature to be one, a love of the earth and all God’s creatures in it and is based in part upon Psalm 1481.

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing:
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,

O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou rising morn in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice:


Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright
that givest us both warmth and light,


All ye who are of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
sing his praises, Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care,


Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
and praise the Spirit, Three in One,


Now Thank We All Our God

Martin Rinckart (1586-1649) was an accomplished musician who studied at the University of Leipzig and then spent most of his career as a musician and archdeacon in the city of Eilenburg. Germany during the Thirty Years’ War. British Hymnologist J.R. Watson accounts that as one of the last surviving ministers in the city, Rinckart had to stretch personal resources to take care of refugees and spend most of his time performing nearly fifty funerals per day at the height of the plague. This experience during the Thirty Years’ War had a profound impact on Rinckart’s poetry, just as it did for his hymnwriter contemporaries. Lutheran scholar Carl Schalk observes that the “cross and comfort” hymnody of the time reflected life situations of the people with greater metrical regularity, smoother language, and a theology relatable to everyday life. For someone in Rinckart’s dire situation, this expression of abundant gratitude is fitting for a man who lived in constant fear of starvation, the plague, and invading armies1.

Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers’ arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven
the one eternal God,
whom heaven and earth adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

His Robes for Mine

This hymn I heard a few months ago at a friend’s wedding and loved the words as soon as I heard it. I then recently listened to a podcast where the author of the hymn, Chris Anderson, talks about his book “Theology That Sticks – The Life Changing Power of Exceptional Hymns”. He discusses the importance of singing songs that are sound in theology, honouring to God and edifying for us. He’s a former pastor of 25 years and author of several well-known hymns, including this one1; I’m sure you’ll enjoy either of these versions this Lord’s Day!

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise—my all—shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.


His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried, “’Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.


His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!


This Is My Father’s World

This wonderful hymn was sent through as a suggestion on the contact page, and for good reason. This is My Father’s World” was written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock and was published after his death in 1901. It was originally written as a poem containing sixteen verses of four lines each. Franklin L. Sheppard set the poem to music in 1915 and selected three verses for the final hymn. Babcock, who was a minister from Lockport, New York, would often take walks overlooking a cliff, where he would enjoy the view of beautiful Lake Ontario and the upstate New York scenery. As he prepared to leave for his walks he would often tell his wife that he was “going out to see my Father’s world.”1 Don’t forgot you too can suggest a hymn for me to post via the “Suggest A Hymn Page”!.

This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!,to%20see%20my%20Father’s%20world.%E2%80%9D

Give to Our God Immortal Praise

What better way to start the year than with a hymn of praise? The text, based on Psalm 136, was written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). It is thought to be the best of his three paraphrases of the Psalm published in his 1719 work The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament. Many tunes have been used with it, notably one (Warrington) by Ralph Harrison that in our books is most commonly associated with Henry F. Lyte’s “Sweet Is the Solemn Voice That Calls.” Another one that fits well with it was composed by Herbert Sidney Oakeley, who was born on July 22, 1830, at Ealing in Middlesex, near London, England, the son of a Anglican minister named Herbert Oakeley1.

Give to our God immortal praise;
mercy and truth are all his ways:
wonders of grace to God belong;
repeat his mercies in your song.

Give to the Lord of lords renown;
the King of kings with glory crown:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when lords and kings are known no more.

He built the earth, he spread the sky,
and fixed the starry lights on high:
wonders of grace to God belong;
repeat his mercies in your song.

He fills the sun with morning light;
he bids the moon direct the night:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when suns and moons shall shine no more.

He sent his Son with pow’r to save
from guilt and darkness and the grave:
wonders of grace to God belong;
repeat his mercies in your song.

Through this vain world he guides our feet,
and leads us to his heav’nly seat:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when this vain world shall be no more.


Praise to the Lord, The Almighty

The author of this hymn, Joachim Neander, was born in Bremen, Germany in 1650. In his early years, he lived a lusty, immoral life. Then he and a group of friends decided to attend a service conducted by a visiting preacher, Pastor Under-Eyke, and Neander was quickly converted. In his mid-20s, Neander became director of the Latin School of Dusseldorf, where he served for several years. He experienced considerable opposition there because of his pietism, and was eventually dismissed from that position. He then suffered declining health, and died at age 30. Neander’s life was tragic in the classic sense—a life of great potential cut short by an untimely death. However, he wrote 60 hymns—most during his tenure at the Latin School. Most are hymns of joyful praise, even though they were written at a time when Neander was living under considerable stress. “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” is based on Psalms 103 and 150. It was inspired not only by those psalms but also by the beauty of the hills and rivers that Neander experienced on his walks through the German countryside1. As you can imagine there are lots of versions! Below are some of my favourite.

Praise to the Lord! the Almighty,
The King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him,
For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord! Who o’er
All things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings,
Yea, so gently sustaineth:
Hast thou not seen,
How thy desires have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord! Who doth prosper
Thy work, and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy
Here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew,
What the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee!

Praise to the Lord! Oh let all that is
In me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath,
Come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen,
Sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him!