'We Gather Together...' story of a hymn
0 comment Monday, May 12, 2014 |
On a previous Thanksgiving, I posted a link to this article , A Hymn's Long Journey Home, which tells the story of the song ''We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing.'' Realizing some of you have read it before, I post it because it's an interesting little story which tells us something about the early history of our country, as illustrated by a hymn.
Those of you who are old enough to have gone to school in the 'old America,', before the name of God was banished from our schools, probably remember the hymn, or in fact sang it in school. I know I did.
We gather together to ask the Lord�s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!''
The linked article tells us about the Dutch origins of this hymn, and about how early Dutch colonists (among whom were some of my ancestors, and probably those of some of my readers as well) brought this hymn with them from Holland. Read about the history behind it at the link.
Although our country has an overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon character deriving from the early English colonists in New England and Virginia, it's appropriate to remember our all-but-forgotten Dutch roots and this hymn is one reminder of that.
And the words of the hymn seem to be appropriate to our present situation in troubled 21st century America.

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