The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.@Deuteronomy 33:27

Thomas H. Gill, Golden Chain 1868.

The birthday of this hymn, November 22nd, 1868 (St. Cecelia’s Day), was almost the most delightful day of my life. Its production employed the whole day and was a prolonged rapture…It was produced while the Golden Chain was being printed, just in time to be a link therein, and was the latest, as ‘How, Lord, shall vows of ours be sweet?’ was the earliest song included therein.

Nun Freut Euch Martin Luther, in Geistliche Lieder, by Joseph Klug (Wittenberg, Germany: 1535) (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Martin Luther (1483-1546)

We come unto our fathers’ God,
Their rock is our salvation;
Th’eternal arms, their dear abode,
We make our habitation.
We bring Thee, Lord, the praise they brought,
We seek Thee as Thy saints have sought
In every generation.

The fire divine their steps that led
Still goeth bright before us;
The heavenly shield around them spread
Is still high holden o’er us;
The grace those sinners that subdued,
The strength those weaklings that renewed,
Doth vanquish, doth restore us.

The cleaving sins that brought them low
Are still our souls oppressing.
The tears that from their eyes did flow
Fall fast, our shame confessing;
As with Thee, Lord, prevailed their cry,
So our strong prayer ascends on high
And bringeth down Thy blessing.

Their joy unto their Lord we bring,
Their song to us descendeth;
The Spirit who in them did sing
To us His music lendeth;
His song in them, in us, is one;
We raise it high, we send it on—
The song that never endeth.

Ye saints to come, take up the strain,
The same sweet theme endeavor;
Unbroken be the golden chain!
Keep on the song forever!
Safe in the same dear dwelling place,
Rich with the same eternal grace,
Bless the same boundless giver.