is God's gift to man, the only art of heaven
given to earth, the only art of earth we take to
heaven." "Hymn singing reflects
a congregation's spiritual vitality and
their response to God's grace".
One of the great powers that influence the world
is the writer of favorite songs and hymns. Such
a person approaches nearer to the hearts of the
people than any one else.
A Mighty Fortress
Author & Composer : Martin Luther
Year : 1483 to 1546
English Translation : Frederick H. Hedge
Tune Name : " Ein' Feste Burg"
Scripture Reference : Psalm 46
The single most powerful Hymn of the Protestant Movement was Luther's
" A Mighty Fortress s our God"
based on Psalm 46.This Hymn became the battle cry
of the people, a great source of strength and inspiration
even for those who were martyred for their conviction.
This Hymn has been translated into practically every
known language and is regarded as one of the noblest
and most classic example of Christian hymnody.
Abide with me
Author : Henry F. Lyte
Year : 1793 to 1847
Composer : William H.Monk
Tune Name : "Even Tide"
Scripture Reference : Luke 24:29
Henry F Lyte text for this Hymns was taken from the famous Emmaus walk
and the statement that the disciples make " Abide with us for it is
towards evening and the day is far spent " He wrote this Hymn just
before his home-going. It has since become one of the favorite Hymn for
Christians everywhere during times of sorrow and deep distress.
It happens to be one of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite Hymns and this
Hymn played as the closing song at the �Beating Retreat" on Jan 29th
at Delhi every year.
All Hail the Power
Author : Edward Perronet
Year : 1726 to 1792
Altered by : John Rippon
Year : 1751 to 1836
Composer : Oliver Holden
Tune Name : "Coronation"
Scripture Reference : Revelation 19 : 12 &16
This Hymn is often called the " National Anthem of Christendom".
This Hymn has been translated to all languages where Christians is known .
Where ever it is sung, it communicates to the spiritual needs of the human
Fairest Lord Jesus
Author : Munster Gesangbuch
One of the best known accounts is that it is called the " Crusaders
Year : 1677
Altered by : John Rippon
Year : 1751 to 1836
Composer : Schlesische Volkslieder
Tune Name : "Crusaders Hymn"
No one knows for certain who first translated the text from German into
English. The English adaptation of the text by Richard Storrs Willis
appeared in 1850
Guide me O thou great
Author : William Williams
Year : 1717 to 1791
Translated : Peter Williams
Composer : John Hughes
Tune Name : "Cwn Rhondda"
Throughout the centuries the Welsh people have been recognised as one
of the most enthusiastic groups of Singers. William Williams was preparing
for Medical profession when he was touched by a sermon he heard and
entered ministry. During his years of service he wrote almost 800 Hymns in
Welsh. Some one said "What Isaac Watts has been to England, that and
more has William Williams been to Wales" .
The imagery of the Hymn is drawn wholly or the Bible. The Hymn compares
the forty years of journey of the Israelites to the promised land with the
living of a Christian life as a "pilgrim (age) through the barren
The strong symbolic text with its virile tune has had great universal
appeal, evidenced by the fact that the Hymn has been translated into over
How great thou art
OriginalAuthor : Rev Carl Bobberg
Year : 1886
Translated : Straut K Hine
Composer : Straut K Hine and
Manna Music of Swedish folk Melody
This is a twentieth century Hymn that became favourite with God's
people during the last three decades .
The original text was a poem entitled " O Store Gud" written by a
Swedish pastor, Rev Carl Boberg He was suddenly caught in a mid day
thunderstorm with awe inspiring moments of flashing violence, followed by
a clear brilliant sun. Soon afterwards he heard the calm, sweet songs of
the birds in nearby trees. The experience prompted him to fall on his
knees in humble adoration of his mighty God. The text was translated into
German by Manfred von Glehn entitled " Wie gross bist Du".In 1925 ,
the text was translated into English by Rev E. G. Johnson. This literal
translation is different from the text we know today. In 1927 it was
translated into Russian by S. Prokhanoff from the German version.
In 1933 Rev S.K. Hine was in Ukraine were they learned the Russian
version. The thought of the first three verses in English were born, line
by line, amidst unforgettable experiences in the mountain region they were
Author : Henry van Dyke
Year : 1852 to 1933
Composer : Ludwig van Beethoven
Tune Name : "Hymn to Joy"
This Hymn is generally considered by hymnologist to be one of the most
joyous expressions of hymn lyrics in the English language. Apart from
being a Presbyterian preacher he served as a Professor of Literature at
Princeton University . He was also Ambassador to Holland and Luxenbourg.
Praise ye the Lord
Author : Joachim Naender
Year : 1650 to 1680
Translated : Catherine Winkworth
Composer : John Hughes
Tune Name : "Lobe Den Herren"
Scripture Reference : Psalm 103 1-6 / Psalm 150
Joachim called of all German- Calvinist reformed Hymn writers, and
nearly all of his Hymns are triumphant expressions of praise. Though he
died at the age of 30 was a noted scholar in theology, literature and
music apart from being the Pastor of the Reformed pastor in Dusseldorf.
O God our help in Ages
Author : Isaac Watts,
Composer : Attr. to William Croft; harm. by W.H. Monk
Tune Name : St Anne
Scripture Reference : Psalm 90
This Hymn, considered to be one of the grandest in the whole realm of
English Hymnody, is a paraphrase of Psalm 90. This Hymn undoubtedly ranks
as one of the finest of Watts 600 or more Hymns.
This is my Father's
Author : Maltbie D.Babcock
Composer : Franklin L. Shepherd
Tune Name : "Terra Beata"
This Hymn is part of a 16 verse poem written by
Rev Maltbie D. Babcock and published posthumously
in 1901. The first verse of all the 16 verses start
with " This is my Father's world".
He was a skilled musician, performing on the Organ,
piano and violin. He was a great admirer of nature
as reflected in the text. He was characterized by
his frequent expression" I'm going
out to see my Father's world".
A writer noted " This Hymn is more than mere outburst of song of
nature but rather a seasoned appreciation, beautifully worded of the
unfailing trust in the ways and judgments of God. Message portrays "
God's Presence, God's Personality, God's Power, God's Purpose"
Terra Beata is the Latin for � blessed earth"
Jesus shall Reign
Author : Isaac Watts,
Composer : John Hatton
Tune Name : Duke Street
Scripture Reference : Psalm 72
This is one of the earliest Hymn written with a missionary emphasis.
When this was written in 1719 the evangelical missionary movement had
scarcely began. This is one of the finest missionary Hymns written and one
that is widely used.
All to Jesus Surrender
Author : Judson W. Van DeVenter,
Music : Winfield S. Weeden,
Judson wrote this Hymn while he was conducting a meeting at East
Palestine, Ohio, in the home of George Sebring developer of the town of
Sebring, Florida). For some time, he had struggled between developing his
talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At
last the pivotal hour of his life came, and he surrendered all. A new day
was ushered into his life. He became an evangelist and discovered down
deep in his soul a talent hitherto unknown to him. God had hidden a song
in his heart, and touching a tender chord, which caused him to sing.
Weeden published a number of books of religious music, but this song must
have been one of his favorites: its title was on his tombstone.
Arise my Soul Arise
Author : Charles Wesley,
Composer : Lenox, Lewis Edson, in The Chorister's Companion, by Simeon
celyn and Amos Doolittle
It is said that a Wesleyan missionary laboring in the West Indies, "of
two hundred persons, young and old, who received the most direct evidence
of the forgiveness of their sins while singing �Arise, my soul.'
The Lord is my Shepherd
Author : Scottish Psalter
Year : 1850
Composer : Jessie S. Irvine
Tune Name : CRIMOND
Scripture Reference : Psalm 23
In a beautiful paraphrase of Psalm 23, the hymn gives us a
reassuring-and challenging-image of God. He's celebrated as our shepherd,
the One who provides for all our needs. And those words wash us with the
"quiet waters" of peace because they assure us that God will
never leave us in want. But the image of God as shepherd also confronts us
with this challenging question: If God is our shepherd, are we sheep who
follow and trust? Or do we wander our own way?
The gentle shepherd promises to lead us to pasture-to fill our every need.
Yet often one looks for food somewhere else? Some neglect their faith and
family to work long hours, not trusting God to provide in another way.
Others hold onto unhealthy relationships, fearful of being left alone.
In hundreds of such ways, Christians wander from the Shepherd. And at the
root of our wanderings lies a lack of trust in God and fear that he won't
come through. Not content with the quiet pasture God's provided for today,
we start worrying about tomorrow and devising our own plans to fill our
"The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want" first appeared in print
in the Scottish Psalter of 1650. In it, portions from various sources were
combined to create the beautiful hymn we know today. Though it was
well-loved in Scotland, "The Lord's My Shepherd" did not enjoy
popularity outside the Church of Scotland for nearly 300 years. It finally
And Can it Be
Author : Charles Wesley
Year : 1738
Composer : Thomas Campbell
Tune Name : SAGINA
Scripture : Romans 5:8
Everybody loves a good mystery. Charles Wesley wrote it soon after He
came to Christ. As he looks back on his life, he sees himself as a
prisoner in a dark dungeon, chained by the sins that he committed-and even
more "made captive" by the sin that was a part of his very
being. One night, the gospel of Christ-the good news that Christ had died
to meet his need-seemed.
Perhaps you may think that this hymn describes the dramatic experience of
one who was rescued from the life of terrible sin and ruin... perhaps
drugs, adultery, murder or who knows what? But at the time of his
conversion, Charles Wesley had been a pastor in his church for over three
years. And he had just returned from a "missionary" trip to
But in all of this religious activity, he had never experienced peace-the
peace that only God can give. Peace cannot be manufactured or
"faked". Christ had never come to dwell in his life. He looked
good on the outside, but the mystery of a life committed to Christ was not
to be found in him.
On May 20, 1738, around midnight, Charles Wesley was saved. Finally, he
began to understand the great mystery of being "in Christ." It's
a little like that night, 1900 years ago, when Jesus said to the Jewish
religious leader: Nicodemus, "You must be born again." Nicodemus
was a respected religious leader, but he wasn't born again. He had never
experienced the "mystery."
I leave all things to
Author : Salomo Franck
Composer :Georg Neumark 1657
Translated to English: August Crull (1845-1923)
Tune Name :Wer Nur Den Lieben Gott (German)
Bible Reference : Rom.8:28, 2 Pet.3:9, Is.38:17, Jer.29:11
When the composer of the song Georg Neumark was proceeding to the city
of Keal from the city of Hamburg, he fell among thieves and was robbed
completely by them. He was left with nothing to sustain his life. After
reaching the city of Keal he somehow managed to procure a job of teaching
to children from a wealthy family. The song "Wer Nur Den Leiben Gott"
in German (If thou but suffer God to guide thee) was composed in this
circumstance as an affirmation of his faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ
Salomo Franck wrote the song "I leave all things to God's direction"
which was later translated into English by August Crull (1845-1923) and
used the music composed by Georg Neumark
To God be the Glory
Author : Fanny Crosby,
Year : 1820 to 1915
Composer : W. Howard Doane
Wherever the religion of Christ has found lodgment, the countless songs of
Fanny Crosby, the subject of this sketch, have brought comfort to
Christian hearts and stirred up inspiration that will abide as long as
life shall last.
She became blind at the age of six weeks from maltreatment of her eyes
during a period of sickness. When she was eight years old she moved with
her parents to Ridgefield, Connecticut, the family remaining there four
years. At the age of fifteen she entered the New York Institution for the
Blind, where she received a good education. She became a teacher in the
Institution in 1847, and continued her work until March 1, 1858. She
taught English grammar, rhetoric, Roman and American history.
Her hymns have been in great demand and have been used by many of our
most popular composers, among whom may be mentioned Wm. B. Bradbury, Geo.
F. Root, W. H. Doane, Rev. Robert Lowry, Ira, D. Sankey, J. R. Sweney, W.
J. Kirkpatrick, H. P. Main, H. P. Danks, Philip Phillips, B. C. Unseld,
and others. She can compose at any time and does not need to wait for any
special inspiration, and her best hymns have come on the spur of the
moment... She learned to play on the guitar and piano while at the
Institution, and has a clear soprano voice. She also received a technical
training in music, and for this reason she can, and does, compose airs for
some of her hymns.
"Safe in the arms of Jesus," probably one of her best known
hymns, is her own favorite
The secret of this contentment dates from her first composition at the age
of eight years. "It has been the motto of my life," she says. It
"O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be;
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't!
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, and I won't.''
My Jesus I love thee
Author : William Ralph Featherston
Date : 1864
Composer : Adoniram Judson Gordon
Tune : CARITAS
Scripture Reference : I John 4:19
Sixteen year old William Featherston of Montreal, Canada wrote this simple
but profound hymn in 1862, not long after he was
converted to Christ. William wrote no other hymns
that we know of and his brief life ended just before
his twenty-seventh birthday.
How could such a young man write this thoughtful
hymn? The answer begs the question, as young or
old, when a person comes to Christ, the Holy Spirit
bestows a power that transcends the commonplace.
Though William lived only ten years after writing
this hymn, perhaps, instinctively, he knew that
his destiny was "endless delight", that
he would sing an unending song of adoration to his
In mansions of glory and endless delight
I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright,
I'll sing with the glittering crown on
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.'