I sing th'almighty power of God

Full Text

1 We sing the mighty power of God
that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad
and built the lofty skies.
We sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
the moon shines full at his command,
and all the stars obey.

2 We sing the goodness of the Lord
that filled the earth with food;
he formed the creatures with his word
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how your wonders are displayed,
where'er we turn our eyes,
if we survey the ground we tread
or gaze upon the skies.

3 There's not a plant or flower below
but makes your glories known,
and clouds arise and tempests blow
by order from your throne;
while all that borrows life from you
is ever in your care,
and everywhere that we can be,
you, God, are present there.

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Notes

Scripture References:
all st. = Gen. 1, Job 26, Ps. 104

Written by Isaac Watts (PHH 155), this eight-stanza text originally began "I sing the almighty power of God." The text was published in Divine and Moral Songs far the Use of Children (1715; the first hymnal intended primarily for children) with the heading "Praise for Creation and Providence." The Psalter Hymnal omits the original stanzas 7 and 8 and combines the other six original stanzas into three long ones.

Although it was written for children, this is also a great hymn for adults. The text presents a wonderful view of God's creation sketched in vivid pictorial language. The creation around us is a beautiful panorama that testifies to its Creator, whose power and wisdom (st. 1), goodness and wonders (st. 2), and providence and omnipresence (st. 3) we confess with awe and praise.

Liturgical Use:
On many occasions at the beginning of worship; services that focus on creation and providence (including harvest thanksgiving).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
=======================

I sing the Almighty [Mighty] power of God. I. Watts. [Praise for Creation and Providence.] Appeared in his Divine Songs for Children, 1715, in 8 stanza of 4 lines, and headed, "Praise for Creation and Providence." Although seldom used in its complete form, arrangements of the text, varying in the number of stanzas taken, are in common use in all English-speaking countries. It is sometimes given as "I sing the mighty power of God," but this reading is not popular.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

ELLACOMBE

Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the…

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FOREST GREEN

FOREST GREEN is an English folk tune associated with the ballad "The Ploughboy's Dream." Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) turned FOREST GREEN into a hymn tune for The English Hymnal (1906), using it as a setting for "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Shaped in rounded bar form (AABA), FOREST GREEN has th…

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