Archive for the ‘Psalter Hymnal Handbook (1998)’ Tag

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.