The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalms 19:1 KJV)
Words by Henry Ware Jr. (1794-1843), 1822
Music – Bethlehem by Gottfried W. Fink (1783-1846)
All Nature’s Works His Praise Declare
All nature’s works His praise declare, to whom they all belong;
There is a voice in every star, in every breeze a song.
Sweet music fills the world abroad with strains of love and power;
The stormy sea sings praise to God, the thunder and the shower.
To God the tribes of ocean cry, and birds upon the wing;
To God the powers that dwell on high their tuneful tribute bring.
Like them, let us the throne surround, with them loud chorus raise,
While instruments of loftier sound assist our feeble praise.
Great God, to Thee we consecrate our voices and our skill;
We bid the pealing organ wait to speak alone Thy will.
Lord, while the music round us floats may earth born passions die;
O grant its rich and swelling notes may lift our souls on high!
Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. (Psalms 148:1 KJV)
Henry Ware, Jr was born April 21, 1794 in Hingham, Massachusetts, Died on September 25, 1843 in Framingham, Massachusetts and was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Son of a Unitarian minister, Ware attended Harvard and became an assistant teacher at Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. In 1815, the Boston Unitarian Association licensed him to preach, and in 1817, he was ordained and became pastor of the Second Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He was Professor of Pulpit Eloquence and Pastoral Care at the Harvard Divinity School, 1829-1842. He also edited the Christian Disciple (later renamed the Christian Examiner), and ran the Society for Religious Improvement at Harvard University (his father was on the faculty there, as well). A two volume Memoir and a four volume Works were published three years after his death. Ware wrote this hymn for a service dedicating a new organ (see the last stanza).
Gottfried W. Fink was born onMarch 8, 1783, Sulza on the Ilm, Thuringia and died on August 27, 1846, Leipzig, Germany.
Fink sang as a chorister at Naumburg, and studied theology at Leipzig (1804-8). He became a Professor of Music at Leipzig in 1842. He is remembered for his writings on music history and theory, and his collections of secular and religious songs.
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