Archive for the ‘Praise of God/Seeking God 1900s’ Category

Lord, Through Changing Days, Unchanging   2 comments

Above:  Mountain Path

Image in the Public Domain

Text (no later than 1920) by Walter Russell Bowie (1882-1969)

Hymn Source = Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969), Moravian Church in America


Lord, through changing days, unchanging,

Thou the light our fathers knew,

Through our widening ways, far ranging,

Let Thy splendor claim us too;

Go beside us,

Lead and guide us,

To whatever things are true.


Be the path through vale, up mountain,

Through the cloud, or through the blue,

By smooth field and silver fountain

Or parched desert struggled through;

Hold before us,

Kindle o’er us,

Whatsoever things are true.


Past all sham of small succeeding

Sordid gains that call and woo,

Lift us by the mighty leading

Fit for Thine aspiring few;

Hold us serving,

All unswerving,

Whatsoever things are true.

O Gracious God, Whose Constant Care   Leave a comment

Above:  Sunlight

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = New Worship and Song (1942), Congregational Christian Churches (U.S.A.)

Text (1930), the Harry Thomas Stock (1891-1958). for a vesper service at a summer youth conference; published in The Congregationalist in the issue of February 12, 1931

Stock was a U.S. Congregationalist then (after the merger) Congregational Christian minister active in the institutional life of both denominations.  He also taught church history at Chicago Theological Seminary (1917-1922) and was deeply involved in the Christian education of young people.  Stock also received D.D. degrees from Piedmont College (1931), Knox College (1939), and Chicago Theological Seminary (1940).  From 1938 to 1958 Stock served as the General Secretary of the Division of Christian Education of the Board of Home Missions of the Congregational Christian Churches.

 This was the only hymn he wrote.


O gracious God, whose constant care

Supplies our golden days,

Whose joyous fellowship we share

At work, at rest, in play and prayer–

Accept our heart-felt praise.


We thank thee, Father, for each word,

Each thought, revealing truth;

For prophet voices gladly heard,

For daring dreams, for friends who stirred

The fragile wills of youth.


Companion of our vesper hour,

Renew in us each day

Our lofty purpose, grant us power

That worthy thoughts in deeds may flower,

In Christlike lives, we pray.


Surround us through temptation’s maze

When artful foes assail;

Help us a peaceful path to blaze,

To lead mankind in nobler ways,

Give strength–we would not fail!

Thy Wisdom and Thy Might Appear   1 comment

Above:  Starry Night Sky

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Hymns for the Living Age (1923)

Text (1921) by Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)


Thy wisdom and thy might appear,

Eternal God, through every year;

From day to day, from hour to hour,

Thy works reveal self-ordered power.


We worship thee whose will hath laid

Thy sovereign rule on all things made;

The faithful stars, the fruitful earth,

Obey thy laws that gave them birth.


Yet thou canst make a marvel shine

Amid these mighty laws of thine,

As when thy servant Moses came

And saw the bush with thee aflame.


We turn aside and tread the ways

That lead through wonder up to praise;

Whatever thou by man art found

The homely earth is holy ground.


If thou hast formed us out of dust

Through ages long, in thee we trust;

O grant us in our souls to see

The living flame that comes from thee.

Salvation Unto Us Is Come   1 comment


Above:  Paul Speratus

Image in the Public Domain

Original German Text (1523) by Paul Speratus, during or shortly after his political incarceration (for being a Protestant) in Moravia

Composite Translation

Hymn Source = Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), Evangelical Lutheran Synod

This, perhaps the most Lutheran of hymns, is a staple in many Lutheran hymnals.  However, the majority of Lutheran hymnals I have consulted include no more than 10 stanzas.  The full text is 14 stanzas long.


Salvation unto us is come

By God’s free grace and favor.

Good works cannot avert our doom;

They help and save us never.

Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,

Who did for all the world atone;

He is our one Redeemer.


What God doth in His law demand

No man to Him could render.

Before this Judge all guilty stand;

His law speaks curse in thunder.

The law demands a perfect heart;

We were defiled in ev’ry part,

And lost was our condition.


False dreams deluded minds did fill,

That God His law had given,

As if to Him we could at will

Earn grace and enter heaven.

The law is but a mirror bright

To bring the inbred sin to sight

That lurks within our nature.


From sin our flesh could not abstain,

Sin held its sway unceasing;

The task was useless and in vain,

Our guilt was e’er increasing.

None can remove sin’s poisoned dart

Or purify our guilty heart,

So deep is our corruption.


Still all the law fulfilled must be,

Else we were lost forever,

Then God His Son send down that He

Might us from doom deliver;

He all the law for us fulfilled

And thus His Father’s anger stilled

Which over us impended.


As Christ hath full atonement made

And brought us to salvation,

So may each Christian now be glad

And build on this foundation:

Thy grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,

Thy death now is my life indeed,

For Thou hast paid my ransom.


Not doubting this, I trust in Thee,

Thy Word cannot be broken,

Thou all dost call, “Come unto me!”

No falsehood hast Thou spoken:

“He who believes and is baptized,

He shall be saved,” say’st Thou, O Christ,

And he shall never perish.


The just is he–and he alone–

Who by this faith is living,

The faith that by good works is shown,

To God the glory giving;

Faith gives thee peace with God above,

But thou thy neighbor, too, must love,

If thou art new created.


The law reveals the guilt of sin,

And makes man conscience-stricken;

The gospel then doth enter in,

The sin-sick soul to quicken.

Come to the cross, look up and live!

The law no peace to thee doth give,

Nor can its deeds bring comfort.


Faith to the cross of Christ doth cling

And rests in Him securely;

And forth from it good works must spring

As fruits and tokens surely;

Still faith doth justify alone,

Works serve thy neighbor and make known

The faith that lives within thee.


Hope waits for the accepted hour

Till God give joy for mourning;

When He displays His healing pow’r,

Thy sighs to songs are turning.

Thy needs are known unto thy Lord,

And He is faithful to His Word,

This is our hope’s foundation.


Though it may seem He hears thee not,

Count not thyself forsaken;

Thy wants are ne’er by Him forgot,

Let this thy hope awaken;

His word is sure, here is thy stay,

Though doubts may plague thee on thy way,

Let not thy faith be shaken.


All blessing, honor, thanks and praise,

To Father, Son, and Spirit,

The God who saved us by His grace,

All glory to His merit.

O Father in the heav’ns above,

The work begun performs Thy love,

Thy worthy name be hallowed.


Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done

In earth, as ’tis in heaven.

Keep us in live, by grace led on,

Forgiving and forgiven;

Save Thou us in temptation’s hour,

And from all ills; Thine is the pow’r,

And all the glory, Amen!

Search Me, God, and Know My Heart   1 comment


Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925), The Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod

Paraphrase (1924) of Psalm 139:23 and 24 by Claus August Wendell (1866-1950)


Search me, God, and know my heart,

Lord of truth and mercy;

Try me, Thou who from afar

Knowest all my secrets;

And if any wicked way

Should be found within me,

Blessed Saviour, lead Thou me

In the way eternal.


The Service Book and Hymnal (immediate predecessors of the American Lutheran Church [1960] and the Lutheran Church in America [1962], 1958) also contains the above text verbatim.


The Lutheran Book of Worship (immediate predecessors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [1987], 1978) modernizes the text and makes it the second verse of a composite hymn, with a new first verse (beginning with “Wondrous are your ways, O God!”) by Joel W. Lundeen.  The modernized version of the text by Wendell follows:

Search me, God, and know my heart,

Lord of truth and mercy.

From afar, O Lord, you know

All my thoughts and secrets.

And if any wicked way

Should be found within me,

Cleanse, forgive me by your grace;

Grant me life eternal.


Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1993) also modernizes the Wendell text and uses it as the second verse of a composite hymn.  However, this hymn book alters the Lundeen text.


The text by Wendell is absent from the current Lutheran  denominational hymnals in my collection:

  1. Ambassador Hymnal for Lutheran Worship (The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, 1994),
  2. Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1996),
  3. Worship Supplement 2000 (Church of the Lutheran Confession, 2000),
  4. Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2006), and
  5. Lutheran Service Book (The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, 2006).






Litany of Work   Leave a comment

Buckingham's General Store

Above:  Buckingham’s General Store, Circa 1898

Image Source = Library of Congress

Litany Source = A Book of Worship for Free Churches (1948), the General Council of the Congregational and Christian Churches in the United States


O Lord, who didst create the earth for our habitation, and the increase thereof for our enrichment,

Have mercy upon us.

On the earth and all that is therein; on the harvest of the soil; on the trade and industry of our people; on the soil by which the sons of men obtain thy abundant gifts,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On those who search for thy treasures hidden in the earth; on those who labor to make them fir for the use of man,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On those who work in the building and adoring of the churches in which we worship, of the homes in which we live, of the goodly palaces of fart, and government, and commerce,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On manufacturers and craftsmen; on those who devise cunning machines and are skilled in all manner of workmanship,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On merchants who bring thy gifts from foreign lands; on the men who go down to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On all who trade with us in the shop, or in the market; on all who serve at the counter, or in the office; on those who bring what we need for life, or comfort, or enjoyment, within reach of our homes,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

O Lord, how manifold are thy works;

In wisdom thou hast made them all.

O Lord, how manifold are thy works;

The earth is full of thy riches.

O God, who orderest all things both in heaven and earth; grant that every man, according to the business which he hath undertaken among the sons of men, may know that he is thy servant therein; that whatsoever his hand findeth to do, he may do it as in thy service and to thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–Pages 317-319


This is post #1750 of GATHERED PRAYERS.


Litany for the Whole Earth   Leave a comment


Above:  Earthrise, Apollo 8, December 24, 1968

Image Source = NASA

Litany Source = A Book of Worship for Free Churches (1948), the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in the United States


O Lord our Lord,

How excellent is thy Name in all the earth!

Thou hast made us to have dominion over the works of thy hands;

Thou hast put all things under our feet.

On all rulers and legislators, on councillors and ministers of state, on judges and magistrates,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On those who study the laws of the land that they may give wise and just counsel to men in their dealings with one another,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On all who defend us from lawlessness by land or by sea or in the air, and maintain peace and order,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On those who humbly search out thy works, and mark the wisdom in which thou hast made them all,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On all students and learners, on all teachers and instructors, on our schools and universities,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On physicians and nurses and all who practice the arts of healing; on those by whose skill thou takest away pain and givest sleep, restoring the sick to health and the weak to strength,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On those who adorn thy world with works of beauty; on those who build glorious houses for thy worship; and on those who make sweet music to thine honor,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

On all that guides aright the course of mankind; on all that makes us know thy divine order and the beauty of thy works; on all that opens our eyes to see thy glory, and uplifts our souls in praise,

We pray for thy blessing, O Lord.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;

In whose heart are thy ways.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;

And thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

–Pages 315-317