Archive for July 2014

God of Our Fathers   2 comments


Above:  Main Street, Brandon, Vermont, 1900-1906

Publisher = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a10605

Words (1876) by Daniel C. Roberts (1841-1907), then the priest serving St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Brandon, Vermont, for that year’s July 4 celebration

Hymnal Source = The Hymnal (1895), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

From Psalter Hymnal Handbook (1998), Edited by Emily R. Brink and Bert Polman, pages 774-775:

Unlike many other nationalist hymns, this text keeps our focus on God.  This is a God who created the universe, who leads and governs his people, who serves as our protector, and who refreshes his people with divine love.  Presumably the text referred originally to white Anglo-Saxons, but in its present form it is fitting for all citizens and residents of any country.  Christians too may sing this anthem, using it to recognize the national association we have on earth but remembering that the practice of “true religion” (st. 3) transcends earthly loyalties and promotes citizenship in the kingdom of heaven.


1.  God of our fathers, whose almighty hand

Leads forth in beauty all the starry band

Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,

Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

2.  Thy love divine hath led us in the past;

In this free land by Thee our lot is cast;

Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide, and Stay;

Thy word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

3.  From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,

Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;

Thy true religion in our hearts increase,

Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

4.  Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,

Lead us from night to never-ending day;

Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,

And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.


Enter Thy Temple, Glorious King!   1 comment

Akron First MEC

Above:  First Methodist Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio, 1876

A scan from Cyclopedia of Methodism; Embracing Sketches of Its Rise, Progress and Present Condition, with Biographical Notices and Numerous Illustrations, Fifth Revised Edition, Edited by Matthew Simpson (Philadelphia, PA:  Louis H. Everts, 1882), page 19, courtesy of my scanner

Hymn Source = Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1878)

Words (1861) by Emily Huntington Miller (1833-1913) upon the occasion of the dedication of the new building of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio

The article about the church (from page 18), verbatim:

Akron First M.E. Church is one of the best edifices in Ohio.  The audience-room, exclusive of the vestibule, has an area of 90 by 64 feet; around which extends a gallery supported by brackets.  The wood-work is of solid black walnut, and the house throughout is neatly and beautifully furnished.  The basement below the audience-room affords commodious space for lecture-room, pastor’s study, church parlor, kitchen, and Sunday-school library.  The most attractive feature is the Sunday-school department.  Not only has the church a commodious basement, but adjoining the church, school-rooms are built in the form of a semi-octodecagon, having an area of 64 by 45 feet; furnished with chairs, piano, fountain, pictures, etc.  Around this is built a projection two stories high, providing rooms for separate classes.  The rooms are airy and well lighted, and ample provision made for the infant department.  The rooms can be closed separately, and can be thrown open into the main room by arched doorways, so that the superintendent may have, from a central point, command of every department of the school.  The Sunday-school rooms were finished in 1870, at a cost of $20,000.  The entire church and furnishing did not exceed $120,000.  At the time of its erection, the membership was about 400; at present (1876) it is 644.  The edifice is of brick with Ohio stone dressings, and is erected in the most substantial manner.


1.  Enter thy temple, glorious King!

And write thy name upon its shrine,

Thy peace to shed, thy joy to bring,

And seal its courts forever thine.

2.  Abide with us, O Lord, we pray,

Our strength, our comfort, and our light;

Sun of our joy’s unclouded day!

Star of our sorrow’s troubled night!

3.  If from thy paths our souls should stray,

Yet turn to seek thy pardoning grace,

Cast not our contrite prayer away,

But hear from heaven, thy dwelling place.

4.  Grant us to walk in peace and love,

And find, at last, some humble place

In that great temple above,

Where dwell thy saints before thy face.


Walter John Mathams   Leave a comment

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

Image in the Public Domain

Walter John Mathams (1853-1931) was a British Baptist (187os-1900) then Presbyterian minister and hymn writer.


Now in the Days of Youth

Jesus, Friend of Little Children

Christ of the Upward Way


Posted July 22, 2014 by neatnik2009 in Sources M

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Now in the Days of Youth   2 comments


Above:  Interfaith Children’s Movement Prayer Breakfast, October 22, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Hymn Source = Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935), U.S. Congregationalist

Words written before 1913 but published in Worship and Song (1913)

Words by Walter John Mathams (1853-1931)


1.  Now in the days of youth,

When life flows fresh and free,

Thou Lord of all our hearts and lives

We give ourselves to thee;

Our fervent gift receive,

And fit us to fulfill,

Through all our days, in all our ways,

Our Heav’nly Father’s will.

2.  Teach us where’er we live,

To act as in thy sight,

And do what thou wouldst have us do

With radiant delight;

Not choosing what is great,

Nor spurning what is small,

But take as from thy hands our tasks

And glorify them all.

3.  Teach us to love the true,

The beautiful and pure,

And let us not for one short hour

An evil thought endure.

But give us grace to stand

Decided, brave, and strong,

The lovers of all holy things,

The foes of all things wrong.

4.  Spirit of Christ, do thou

Our first bright days inspire,

That we may live the life of love

And loftiest desire;

And be by thee prepared

For larger years to come,

And for the life ineffable

Within the Father’s home.

Jesus, Friend of Little Children   2 comments


Above:  St. George’s Episcopal Church, Griffin, Georgia, May 4, 2014

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Hymn Source = The Church Hymnary (1927), Presbyterian

Words (1882) by for the Baptist Psalms and Hymns for School and Home (1882) by Walter John Mathams (1853-1931)


1.  Jesus, Friend of little children,

Be a friend to me;

Take my hand and ever keep me

Close to Thee.

2.  Teach me how to grow in goodness

Daily as I grow;

Thou hast been a child, and surely

Thou dost know.

3.  Never leave me nor forsake me,

Ever be my Friend;

For I need Thee from life’s dawn

To its end.

Christ of the Upward Way   2 comments


Above:  Good Friday Pilgrimage, Atlanta, Georgia, April 18, 2014

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta


Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1933), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Words (between 1909 and 1915) by Walter John Mathams (1853-1931)


1.  Christ of the Upward Way,

My Guide divine,

Where Thou hast set Thy feet

May I place mine;

And move and march wherever Thou hast trod,

Keeping face forward up the hill of God.

2.  Give me the heart to hear

Thy voice and will,

That without fault or fear

I may fulfill

Thy purpose with a glad and holy zest,

Like one who would not bring less than his best.

3.  Give me the great stout arm

To shield the right,

And wield Thy sword of truth

With all my might,

That, in the warfare I must wage for Thee,

More than a victor I may ever be.

4.  Christ of the Upward Way,

My Guide divine,

Where Thou hast set Thy feet,

May I place mine;

And when Thy last call comes serene and clear,

Calm may my answer be, “Lord, I am here.”

O Bread of Life from Heaven   2 comments

St. Matthew's, Snellville

Above:  The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Snellville, Georgia, June 29, 2014

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta


Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1933), of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Original Latin words anonymous; English translation (1869) by the Reverend Philip Schaff (1819-1893), U.S. German Reformed


1.  O Bread of life from heaven,

To saints and angels given,

O Manna from above!

The souls that hunger, feed Thou,

The hearts that seek Thee, lead Thou,

With Thy sweet, tender love.

2.  O fount of grace redeeming,

O river ever streaming,

From Jesus’ holy side!

Come, Thou, Thyself bestowing,

On thirsty souls, and flowing,

Till all are satisfied.

3.  Jesus, this feast receiving,

Thy word of truth believing,

We Thee unseen adore!

Grant, when the veil is rended,

That we, to heaven ascended,

May see Thee evermore.

Posted July 17, 2014 by neatnik2009 in Eucharist, Eucharist 1800s, The Hymnal (1933)

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Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days   1 comment

Temptations of Christ

Above:  Temptations of Christ

Image in the Public Domain

Words (1873) by Claudia Frances Ibotson Hernaman (1838-1898)

Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1933), of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.


1.  Lord, who throughout these forty days,

For us didst fast and pray,

Teach us with Thee to mourn our sin,

And close by Thee to stay.

2.  As Thou with Satan didst contend,

And didst the victory win,

O give us strength in Thee to fight,

In Thee to conquer sin.

3.  And through these days of penitence,

And through Thy Passiontide,

Yea, evermore, in life and death,

Jesus! with us abide.

4.  Abide with us, that so, this life

Of suffering overpast,

An Easter of unending joy

We may attain at last!

John Bowring   Leave a comment

John Bowring Portrait

Above:  Sir John Bowring, by John King

Image in the Public Domain

Sir John Bowring (1792-1872) was a humanitarian, British statesman, social reformer, linguist extraordinaire, and hymn writer.


In the Cross of Christ I Glory:

Father and Friend:


Posted July 17, 2014 by neatnik2009 in Sources Bo

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Father and Friend!   2 comments

Sunset, Lake Champlain

Above:  Sunset, Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont, 1900-1920

Publisher = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a25377

Words (1825) by John Bowring (1792-1872), British statesman, social reformer, British Unitarian Hymn Writer, and genius

Hymn Source = The Hymnal (1933), of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.


1.  Father and Friend!  Thy light, Thy love,

Beaming through all Thy works we see;

Thy glory gilds the heavens above,

And all the earth is full of Thee.

2.  Thy voice we hear, Thy presence feel,

While Thou, too pure for mortal sight,

Involved in clouds, invisible,

Reignest the Lord of life and light.

3.  Thy children shall not faint nor fear,

Sustained by this exalted thought:

But this we know, that where Thou art,

Strength, wisdom, goodness dwell with Thee.

4.  Thy children shall not faint nor fear,

Sustained by this exalted thought:

Since Thou, their God, art everywhere,

They cannot be where Thou art not!