Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let Every Tongue Sing Thanks And Praise

Going back to the origins of congregational song, we know that there are a number of psalms on the theme of thanksgiving.  This paraphrase by Isaac Watts encompasses Psalm 107:1-22. As I've said before, I like hymns which reference the book of Exodus, and here Watts makes the reference even more explicit than the original psalmist.

Give thanks to God who reigns above;
Whose thoughts are kind, whose name is Love;
Whose mercy ages past have known,
And ages long to come shall own.
When God’s almighty arm had broke
From Israel the Egyptian yoke,
They traced the desert, wandering round
A wild and solitary ground.

There they could find no leading road,
Nor city for a fixed abode;
Nor food, nor fountain to assuage
Their burning thirst or hunger’s rage.
In their distress, to God they cried;
God was their Savior and their guide,
Who led their march far wandering round:
It was the path to Canaan's ground.

God feeds and clothes us all the way,
And guides our footsteps lest we stray.
God guards us with a powerful hand,
And brings us to the heav’nly land.
O let the saints with joy record
The truth and goodness of the Lord!
How great those works! How kind those ways!
Let every tongue sing thanks and praise!

Isaac Watts, 1719; alt.
Tune: CANDLER (L.M.D.)
Traditional Scottish melody

Six Years Ago: Now thank we all our God

The 'Mother' of Thanksgiving: Sarah Josepha Hale

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