Praise the Lord! Ye Heavens Adore Him

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1 Praise the LORD! O heavens, adore him;
praise him, angels in the height.
Sun and moon, rejoice before him;
praise him, shining stars of light.
Praise the LORD, for he has spoken;
worlds his mighty voice obeyed.
Laws which never shall be broken
for their guidance he has made.

2 In the earth let all things praise him:
seas and all that they contain,
stormy winds that do his pleasure,
hail and lightning, snow and rain.
Hills and mountains, praise your Maker;
praise him, all you flocks and herds.
Fields and orchards, sing his glory;
praise him, creeping things and birds.

3 All you nations, come before him:
earthly rulers and all kings,
men and women, parents, children,
join with all created things.
Praise the God of our salvation,
who restores from sin and shame.
Heaven and earth and all creation,
praise and magnify his name!

Source: Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #148F

Author (v. 3): Edward Osler

Osler, Edward, was born at Falmouth in January, 1798, and was educated for the medical profession, first by Dr. Carvosso, at Falmouth, and then at Guy's Hospital, London. From 1819 to 1836 he was house surgeon at the Swansea Infirmary. He then removed to London, and devoted himself to literary pursuits. For some time he was associated with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, both in London and at Bath. In 1841 he became the Editor of the Royal Cornwall Gazette, and took up his residence at Truro. He retained that appointment till his death, at Truro, March 7, 1863. For the Linnaean Society he wrote Burrowing and Boring Marine Animals. He also published Church and Bible; The Voyage: a Poem written at Sea, and in the West Indies,… Go to person page >

Author (v. 1, 2): Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >


A summons to a universal choir to praise the LORD, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has redeemed his people.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-6
st. 2 = vv. 7-10
st. 3 = vv. 11-14

A post-exilic hymn, Psalm 148 maintains that God's glory displayed in creation and redemption is so great that the praise on Israel's lips (as in 149) needs to be supplemented by a chorus from all creation. Let everything created in the heavens praise God for the majesty and ordered goodness of the celestial realm
(st. 1). Let all created things on earth and in the seas praise their Maker (st. 2). Let all people join in praising God for salvation "from sin and shame" (st. 3). The versification of stanzas 1 and 3b is from an anonymous leaflet appended to a collection of psalms, hymns, and anthems for the Foundling Hospital in London (1796). Stanzas 2 and 3a (altered) are from the 1912 Psalter. Other settings of Psalm 148 are at 188 and 466.

Liturgical Use:
This cosmic call to praise is fitting at the beginning of worship and for many other occasions; especially appropriate for Thanksgiving and for similar services focusing on how the creation around us praises the Lord.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore Him. [Ps. cxlviii.] This hymn is given in a four-paged tract which is found pasted at the end of some copies of the 1796 musical edition of the Psalms, Hymns, and Anthems of the Foundling Hospital, London and again also at the end of the edition of words only, published in 1801. When this sheet was printed, and when it was added to the musical edition of 1796, and then to the copy of words only, 1801, is unknown. As the 1801 ed. is only a reprint of the words of the 1796 edition, it suggests that the sheet was added to copies of both editions at the same time, and that after the printing of the 1801 ed. The sheet has this title:—

"Hymns of Praise. For Foundling Apprentices Attending Divine Service to return Thanks."
and the contents are:—
1. "Father of mercies! deign to hear." By the Rev. Mr. Hewlett. Music by “Shield."
2. "Again the day returns of holy rest." By J. Mason. Music by "Ebden."
3. "Soon will the evening star with silver ray." By J. Mason. Music by “Ebden."
4. "Praise the Lord, ye heav'ns adore Him." Music by "Haydn."
5. “While health, and strength, and youth remain.” Music by "Gluck."

To these are added the words of a Sanctus to be sung "Before the Communion Service." The special hymn now in consideration is printed thus:—

"Praise the Lord, ye heav'ns adore him;
Praise him angels in the height:
Sun and moon rejoice before him,
Praise him all ye stars and light.
"Praise the Lord, for he hath spoken;
Worlds his mighty voice obey'd:
Laws, which never shall be broken,
For their guidance hath he made.
"Praise the Lord, for he is glorious;
Never shall his promise fail:
God hath made his saints victorious;
Sin and death shall not prevail.
"Praise the God of our salvation;
Hosts on high his power proclaim:
Heaven, and earth, and all creation,
Laud and magnify his name."

The same text is again found in Psalms & Hymns for Magdalen Chapel, 1804; in the Foundling Collection of 1809, and then in J. Kempthorne's Select Portions of Psalms & Hymns 1810. In the last case slight changes are introduced, e.g. st. i. 1.7, "Laws which" to "Laws that": and st i. 1. 8, "hath He," to "he has." This form of the text was repeated very extensively to 1853, when it appeared in the Cooke and Denton Church Hymnal, with the well-known stanza by E. Osier, from Hall's Mitre Hymn Book, 1836:—

"Worship,honor, glory, blessing,
Lord we offer unto Thee;
Young and old Thy praise expressing,
In glad homage bend the knee.
All the saints in heaven adore Thee,
We would bow before Thy throne;
As Thine angels serve before Thee,
So on earth Thy will be done."

The use of this hymn in all English-speaking countries, sometimes with the addition of Osier's stanza, and at other times without, is very extensive.
The question of the authorship of this hymn has been a matter of serious inquiry for some years, with the result that on the one hand it is attributed to John Kempthorne, and on the other to Bishop Mant, and both in error. The claim for John Kempthorne was made by D. Sedgwick; and this claim, we find from his manuscripts, was a pure guess on his part. Mr. Kempthorne's son (the Rev. E. Kempthorne, of Elton Rectory) said in theGuardian (Dec. 10, 1879) that it was not written by his father, and he has repeated the same to the writer of this article during the progress of this work. Kempthorne, in the Preface of the 2nd ed. of his Select Portions of Psalms & Hymns, 1813, omits it from his list. It is clear therefore that it was not written by John Kempthorne. The ascription of authorship to Bishop Mant occurred through confounding the hymn "Praise the Lord Whose mighty wonders" (q.v.), which appeared in Mrs. Mant's Parent's Poetical Anthology, 1814, with this hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Praise the Lord! ye heavens, adore him , p. 903, ii. Mr. W. T. Brooke informs us that he has discovered a leaflet with this hymn thereon, which was printed for General Use, and which he regards as an older copy of the hymn than that noted on p. 903, ii. That this may be so we admit, but that it is so is open to question, seeing that the leaflet is neither signed nor dated. The authorship and date of the writing and first printing of the hymn are therefore still open to investigation and research. The "Rev. Mr. Hewlett," referred to on p. 903, ii. 1, was John Hewlett, b. 1762, became Morning Preacher at the Foundling, about 1802, d. in London, April 13, 1844, and was buried in the vaults of the Foundling Chapel.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)





One of the most loved Welsh tunes, HYFRYDOL was composed by Rowland Hugh Prichard (b. Graienyn, near Bala, Merionetshire, Wales, 1811; d. Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, 1887) in 1830 when he was only nineteen. It was published with about forty of his other tunes in his children's hymnal Cyfaill y Cant…

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