Scripture Verse

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


John Pierpont

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-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

John B. Calkin

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 Hebrews 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.