Scripture Verse

He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:18–21

Introduction

Words: Joseph H. Clinch, in Church­man’s Trea­su­ry of Song (Lon­don: Me­thu­en, 1907), pag­es 264–65.

Music: Long Beach Dan­i­el B. Tow­ner, 1912. Pub­lished in Life Songs, ed­it­ed by John D. Brunk & Sam­u­el F. Coff­man (Scott­dale, Penn­syl­van­ia: Men­non­ite Pub­lish­ing House, 1916), num­ber 71 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Clinch (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

portrait
Daniel B. Towner
(1850–1919)

Lyrics

Thousands completely fed
With a few loaves of bread
Such as would barely form
One household’s fare,
And, when the feast was o’er,
The fragments were a store
Enough for needy hundreds
Still to share.

What was the power that wrought
This wonder passing thought?
What but that Word divine,
Which called of yore
Systems and suns to grace
The mighty realms of space,
And then with life and beauty
Spread them o’er?

God only can create;
None less could arrogate
The power to sway all
Nature with a nod!
O Christ! be Thou adored,
For that creative word
Which blessed the bread was God’s,
And Thou art God!