Scripture Verse

True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. John 4:23


John Pierpont (1785–1866)

Words: John Pier­pont, 1824.

Music: Walt­ham (Cal­kin) John B. Cal­kin, 1872 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Cal­kin (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

John B. Calkin (1827–1905)

Origin of the Hymn

Universal Wor­ship is the ti­tle which this hymn bears in the au­thor’s Po­ems and Hymns, 1840. It was writ­ten for the op­en­ing of the In­de­pen­dent Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church in Ba­rton Square, Sa­lem, Mas­sa­chu­setts, De­cem­ber 7, 1824, and was print­ed at the close of the ser­mon preached by Rev. Hen­ry Cole­man on that day.

The sen­ti­ment of vers­es two and three seems to have been ins­pired by Christ’s con­ver­sa­tion with the wo­man of Sa­ma­ria at the well.

Nutter, pp. 10–11


O Thou, to whom, in an­cient time,
The lyre of He­brew bards was strung,
Whom kings ad­ored in song sub­lime,
And pro­phets praised with glow­ing tongue.

Not now in Zi­on’s height alone
The fa­vored wor­shiper may dwell,
Nor where, at sul­try noon, Thy Son
Sat wea­ry by the pa­tr­iarch’s well.

From ev­ery place be­low the skies,
The grate­ful song, the fer­vent pray­er,
The in­cense of the heart, may rise
To Heaven, and find ac­cept­ance there.

In this, Thy house, whose doors we now,
For so­cial wor­ship, first un­fold,
To Thee the sup­pli­ant throng shall bow,
While circ­ling years on years are rolled.

To Thee shall age, with sno­wy hair,
And strength and beau­ty, bend the knee;
And child­hood lisp, with re­ver­ent air,
Its prais­es and its pray­ers to Thee.

O Thou to whom, in an­cient time,
The lyre of pro­phet bards was strung,
To Thee at last, in ev­ery clime,
Shall tem­ples rise, and praise be sung.