Words by Anna L. Barbauld (1743-1825)

(Also included in the Broadman Hymnal, 1940 ed., Broadman Press, Nashville – #251.)

This hymn, appearing in only two of my available hymnbooks, is edited in two different forms. One containing four six-line stanzas (Baptist Hymnal) and using the melody “DIX” arranged by Conrad Kocher (1780-1872), while the other has three four-line stanzas (Broadman Hymnal) and is sung to “PLEYEL’S HYMN” by I. Pleyel.

The Hymn

  1. Praise to God, immortal praise,
    For the love that crowns our days;
    Bounteous Source of every joy,
    Let Thy praise our tongues employ,

    All to Thee, our God, we owe,
    Source whence all our blessings flow.
  2. All the plenty summer pours;
    Autumn’s rich, o’erflowing stores;
    Flocks that whiten all the plain;
    Yellow sheaves of ripened grain, —
    Lord, for these our souls shall raise
    Grateful vows and solemn praise.
  3. Peace, prosperity, and health,
    Private bliss, and public wealth,
    Knowledge with its gladdening streams,
    True religion’s holier beams,
    Lord, for these our souls shall raise
    Grateful vows and solemn praise.
  4. As Thy prospering hand hath blest,
    May we give Thee all our best
    And by deeds of kindly love
    For Thy mercies grateful prove,

    Singing thus through all our days
    Praise to God, immortal praise.

(Hymn words accessed at Lutheran Hymnal Online) (Italics indicates Broadman Hymnal verses—the second verse in this version reads “For the blessings of the field,/For the stores the gardens yield,/For the joy which harvests bring,/Grateful praises now we sing.”)

Just for fun we will post a shorter-lined verse version from CyberHymnal.

  1. Praise to God, immortal praise,
    For the love that crowns our days;
    Bounteous Source of every joy,
    Let Thy praise our tongues employ.
  2. Flocks that whiten all the plain;
    Yellow sheaves of ripened grain;
    Clouds that drop their fattening dews,
    Suns that temperate warmth diffuse.
  3. All that Spring with bounteous hand
    Scatters o’er the smiling land;
    All that liberal Autumn pours
    From her rich o’erflowing stores.
  4. These to Thee, my God, we owe,
    Source whence all our blessings flow;
    And for these my soul shall raise
    Grateful vows and solemn praise.
  5. Yet, should rising whirlwinds tear
    From its stem the ripening ear;
    Should the fig tree’s blasted shoot
    Drop her green untimely fruit,
  6. Should the vine put forth no more,
    Nor the olive yield her store;
    Though the sickening flocks should fall,
    And the herds desert the stall,
  7. Yet to Thee my soul shall raise
    Grateful vows and solemn praise;
    And, when every blessing’s flown
    Love Thee for Thyself alone.

Scriptural Connection

Psalm 67 provides a good backdrop in which to see this hymn of praise and thanksgiving.

What does it mean?

Assuming that we have no difficulty with understanding praise, I will address the concept of “immortal praise.” By this the writer is referring not to “immortals” giving praise to the only One who is immortal, and though we are praising the immortal God, the modifier “immortal” refers to the praise. This means that we should allow our praise of the Immortal One to be ever-living as well. There is no end to the praise we lift.

We praise and thank Him for his love, joy, and blessings. It is He who has the right to such praise and thanksgiving. While our praise begins on this earth and is initiated by the things and blessings that we can see and feel. Our praise is to be modified by its thanksgiving and be lifted up into infinity (and beyond as Buzz Lightyear would say).

*Hymn numbers for this series’ titles are from the Baptist Hymnal, 1956 edition, Nashville, Convention Press.

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