Scripture Verse

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the heights above. Psalm 148:1

Introduction

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Prince Albert
1819–1861

Words: Psalms, Hymns, and An­thems of the Found­ling Hos­pi­tal Tho­mas Co­ram, 1796 (stan­zas 1 & 2) & Ed­ward Os­ler, Church and King 1836 (stan­za 3).

Music: Go­tha (Al­bert) Prince Al­bert of Saxe-Co­burg and Go­tha (1819–1861), in The Pres­by­te­ri­an Book of Praise (Lon­don: Hen­ry Frowde, 1897), num­ber 21 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Os­ler,

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Edward Osler
1798–1863

Background

Background: Lon­don’s Found­ling Hos­pi­tal was an or­phan­age that be­came fa­mous for sing­ing. It was found­ed in 1739 by a mer­chant named Tho­mas Cor­am who was al­so in­volved in pro­mot­ing the Wes­leys’ ev­an­gel­is­tic ef­forts in Geor­gia.

By the ear­ly 1800s it was quite in vogue for Lon­don­ers to vi­sit Sun­day ser­vic­es at the or­phan­age where the child­ren were led in sing­ing by trained mu­si­cians and could be ob­served at din­ner in their quaint cos­tumes. Han­del was so fond of the in­st­it­ution that he do­nat­ed a cha­pel or­gan and gave a num­ber of be­ne­fit per­for­manc­es of Mes­si­ah to raise funds for it.

The Found­ling Hos­pital is re­mem­bered to­day chief­ly through a hymn­book called Psalms, Hymns, and An­thems of the Found­ling Hos­pi­tal, Lon­don, which was pub­lished by Cor­am in 1796. Past­ed in­to the jack­et of that hymn­book were the words to this hymn. Though there is much con­jec­ture about the au­thor­ship of the text, each the­ory has been re­fute­d, and it re­mains ano­ny­mous.

However, the va­ri­ous tunes that are com­mon­ly as­so­ci­at­ed with the text are more ea­si­ly stu­died. For ins­tance, the first tune that was used with the text was Franz Jo­seph Hay­dn’s Aus­tri­an Hymn. The tune gained its no­to­ri­e­ty as Deutsch­land, Deutsch­land, üb­er Al­les, but be­gan its life as Gott er­halte Franz, den Kai­ser (God Save Em­per­or Franz) and it was first per­formed on Franz’ birth­day in 1797. Since some came to as­so­ci­ate the tune Aus­tri­an Hymn with Hit­ler, the text to Praise the Lord: Ye Hea­vens, Adore Him is oft­en cou­pled with the hymn tune Hy­fry­dol.

The first verse of the hymn is a pa­ra­phrase of Psalm 148 which shows all of cre­ation prais­ing the Lord, from the an­gels and heav­en­ly hosts above to the crea­tures of the sea and land be­low. Imp­li­cit in this praise is the fact that God has cre­at­ed all of these be­ings and pro­vides for their needs. His most lov­ing pro­vi­sion is the re­demp­tion He’s of­fered to us from sin and death, which is the sub­ject of the se­cond verse.

The third verse, which was add­ed in 1836 by Ed­ward Os­ler in his jour­nal Church and King and first ap­peared in Hall’s Mitre Hymn Book is a dox­ol­o­gy of praise for both the cre­ation of the first verse and the re­demp­tion of the se­cond. It is tru­ly a fit­ting re­sponse to God’s good­ness.

Lyrics

Praise the Lord: ye heav­ens, adore Him;
Praise Him, an­gels in the height.
Sun and moon, re­joice before Him;
Praise Him, all ye stars of light.
Praise the Lord, for He hath spok­en;
Worlds His migh­ty voice obeyed.
Laws which ne­ver shall be brok­en
For their guid­ance He hath made.

Praise the Lord, for He is glo­ri­ous;
Never shall His pro­mise fail.
God hath made His saints vic­to­r­ious;
Sin and death shall not pre­vail.
Praise the God of our sal­va­tion;
Hosts on high, His pow­er pro­claim.
Heaven and earth and all cre­ation,
Laud and mag­ni­fy His name.

Worship, hon­or, glo­ry, bless­ing,
Lord, we of­fer un­to Thee.
Young and old, Thy praise ex­press­ing,
In glad hom­age bend the knee.
All the saints in Hea­ven adore Thee;
We would bow be­fore Thy throne.
As Thine an­gels serve be­fore Thee,
So on earth Thy will be done.