Scripture Verse

Bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard. Psalm 66:8

Introduction

Words: Ano­ny­mous, 1808. Orig­in­al first line: Great God, our in­fant voic­es raise.

Music: Al­pha, in the Sab­bath School Me­lo­dist, ed­it­ed by Will­iam Byrnes (Bos­ton: Mas­sa­chu­setts Sab­bath School So­cie­ty, 1850), num­ber 1 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Pub[lished] ano­ny­mous­ly in Row­land Hill’s Hys. for the Use of S. Schools, 1808, in 4 sts. of 6 l. The hymn was de­signed to be sung by child­ren, the con­gre­ga­tion tak­ing st. iv. as a cho­rus. In the Bris­tol S. S. H. Bk., 1812, that st. was omit­ted, and has not since been re­stored. In Stow­ell’s Man­ches­ter Sel., 1831, No. 156, the op­en­ing line of the hymn be­gins, Great God, our voice to Thee we raise, and in one or two other hymn-books the first line is again al­tered to Great God, our youth­ful voices raise.

Julian, p. 453

Lyrics

Great God! our voice to Thee we raise
Tune Thou our lips and hearts with praise,
Thy good­ness to adore:
Our life, our health, and ev­ery friend,
From Thee arise—on Thee de­pend,
Kind Fa­ther of the poor.

Stretch o’er our heads Thy guard­ian wings,
Secure the weak, O King of kings!
Our shield and re­fuge be:
Thy Spir­it, Lord, con­duct our youth,
Thro’ Christ, the life, the way, the truth,
That we may come to Thee!

While friends their ge­ne­rous aid afford,
Accept the kind in­tent­ion, Lord,
And crown it with Thy love;
Then joy shall tune our hum­ble songs,
Till we shall join im­mor­tal tongues
In nob­ler praise above.

Lord, let this work of love
Be crowned with full suc­cess!
Let thou­sands, yet un­born,
Thy sac­red name here bless!
To Thee, O Lord, all praise to Thee
We’ll raise through­out eter­ni­ty.