Glory to God on High

Full Text

1 Glory to God on high!
Let earth and skies reply;
Praise ye his name:
His love and grace adore,
Who all our sorrows bore;
Sing aloud evermore,
Worthy the Lamb.

2 Jesus, our Lord and God,
Bore sin's tremendous load,
Praise ye his name:
Tell what his arm hath done,
What spoils from Death he won,
Sing his great name alone;
Worthy the Lamb.

3 While they around the throne
Cheerfully join in one,
Praising his name:
These who have felt his blood
Sealing their peace with God,
Sound his dear fame abroad,
Worthy the Lamb.

4 Join, all ye ransomed race,
Our holy Lord to bless;
Praise ye his name:
In him we will rejoice,
And make a joyful noise,
Shouting with heart and voice,
Worthy the Lamb.

5 What though we change our place,
Yet we shall never cease
Praising his name:
To him our songs we bring,
Hail him, our gracious King,
And without ceasing sing,
Worthy the Lamb.

6 Then let the hosts above,
In realms of endless love,
Praise his dear name:
To him ascribed be
Honor and majesty,
Through all eternity:
Worthy the Lamb.

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803

Author: James Allen

Allen, James, born at Gayle, Wensleydale, Yorkshire, June 24, 1734, and educated with a view to taking Holy Orders, first with two clergymen at different times, and then for one year at St. John's Coll., Cambridge. Leaving the University in 1752 ho became a follower of Benjamin Ingham, the founder of the sect of the Inghamites, but subsequently joined himself to the Sandemanians; and finally built a chapel on his estate at Gayle, and ministered therein to the time of his death; died 31st Oct., 1804. He published a small volume, Christian Songs, containing 17 hymns, and was the editor and a principal contributor to the Kendal Hymn Book, 1757, and Appendix to the 2nd edition, 1761. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Glory to God on high! Let heaven and earth reply
Title: Glory to God on High
Author: James Allen (1761)
Source: Appendix to the Kendal Hymn Book, second edition, 1761
Language: English
Notes: Julian, p. 428, states the words have been attributed to various other authors, but that his research concluded Kendall's version was the original.
Copyright: Public Domain


Glory to God on high, Let praises fill, &c. James Allen. [Praise to Jesus.] In the Appendix to the Kendal Hymn Book, published with the 2nd edition, in 1761, and of which Allen was the principal editor, this hymn appeared as follows:—

"Worthy the Lamb.”
“Glory to God on high,
Let praises till the sky!
Praise ye His name.
Angels His name adore,
Who all our sorrows bore,
And saints cry evermore,
‘Worthy the Lamb!'

"All they around the throne
Cheerfully join in one,
Praising His name.
We who have felt His blood,
Sealing our peace with God,
Spread His dear name abroad—
’Worthy the Lamb!'

"To Him our hearts we raise—
None else shall have our praise;
Praise ye His name.
Him our exalted Lord,
By us below adored,
We praise with one accord—
‘Worthy the Lamb!'

"If we should hold our peace,
Stones would cry out apace;
Praise ye His name!
Love does our souls inspire
With heavenly, pure desire,
And sets us all on fire—
‘Worthy the Lamb!'

"Join all the human race,
Our Lord and God to bless;
Praise ye His name!
In Him we will rejoice,
Making a cheerful noise,
And say with heart and voice,
‘Worthy the Lamb! '

“Though we must change our place,
Our souls shall never cease
Praising His name;
To Him we'll tribute bring,
Laud Him, our gracious King,
And without ceasing sing,
‘Worthy the Lamb.’ "

The use of this hymn in various forms is very extensive in Great Britain and America. The forms of the text which are most popular, are:
1. The original in an abbreviated form, and sometimes with slight verbal alterations as in Dr. Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, N. Y. 1872, No. 267.
2. An altered form which appeared in Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 186, as:—

"Glory to God on high!
Let heav'n and earth reply,
'Praise ye his name!'
Angels his love adore,
Who all our sorrows bore;
And saints cry evermore,
‘Worthy the Lamb!'"

This text, in 4 stanzas, was repeated in Binder's Collection, 1784, No. 112; in Williams & Boden, 1801, where it is attributed to Burder's Collection; in the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858-80, and many others.
3. Another version was given in Rippon's Selection, 1787, No. 387, in 6 stanzas, beginning:—

“Glory to God on high!
Let earth and skies reply,
Praise ye his name:
His love and grace adore,
Who all our sorrows bore;
Sing aloud evermore,
Worthy the Lamb."

This version of the hymn is given in several modern collections, either abbreviated, or in full, as in Kemble's New Church Hymn Book, 1873, the New Congregational Hymn Book, 1859, &c.
4. In the Oxford edition of Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book,
1864, two hymns (Nos. 557-558) are given beginning respectively as:—

"Glory to God on high!
Let earth to heaven reply
Worthy the Lamb!
Let mortal tongue awake," &c.


”Begin the glorious lay,
The Lord is risen today;
Worthy the Lamb," &c.

These hymns are based upon J. Allen's; the first is probably by Mercer, and the second is by E. Jackson (q.v)
5. In the Cooke & Denton Church Hymnal, 1853, No. 88, it opens:—

"Jesu, our risen King,
Glory to Thee we sing,
Praising Thy Name:
Thy love and grace adore,
Which all our sorrows bore,
Crying for evermore,
Worthy the Lamb."

This is also based on Allen, and was repeated in Kennedy, 1863, in Thring's Collection, 1882, as "Jesus," &c, and in others.
Other arrangements are found in modern hymn-books, but all are based on the altered texts of Toplady and Rippon. The original is ascribed to James Allen on the authority of his private and marked copy of the Kendal Hymn Book in. the possession of Mr. C. D. Hardcastle, sometime of Keighley, Yorkshire. In that copy his initials "J.A." are added in his own handwriting [S. MSS.].

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Felice de Giardini (b. Turin, Italy, 1716; d. Moscow, Russia, 1796) composed ITALIAN HYMN in three parts for this text at the request of Selina Shirley, the famous evangelically minded Countess of Huntingdon. Giardini was living in London at the time and contributed this tune and three others to Mar…

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