Posted by: rcottrill | October 13, 2014

We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer

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Words: Julia Bulkley Cady Cory (b. Nov. 9, 1882; d. May 1, 1963)
Music: Kremser, by Eduard Kremser (b. Apr. 10, 1838; d. Nov. 27, 1914)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: A little about Julia Cory is found in the Wordwise link, as well as the account of how she came to add a Christmas stanza to this hymn, later. It alludes to the truth of John 3:16, stating that God sent His Son in love for us, and Christ died to saved us. The stanza says:

Thy love Thou didst show us, Thine only Son sending,
Who came as a babe and whose bed was a stall,
His blest life He gave us and then died to save us;
We praise Thee, O Lord, for Thy gift to us all.

The hymn is certainly not exceptional poetry, but it does fit the tune, for which it was written at the request of Arthur Gibson, the organist at Mrs. Cory’s church. Some have supposed it was another English translation of the Dutch Thanksgiving hymn We Gather Together, but that is not the case. It’s a completely different song, created to be used with the tune of the latter hymn.

This simple hymn can be analyzed in terms of eight activities of the saints (chiefly praise and thanksgiving), and eight activities of the Saviour–though some of them may well overlap.

CH-1) We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator,
In grateful devotion our tribute we bring;
We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee,
We bless Thy holy name, glad praises we sing.

Activities of the Saints:
1) Praise (CH-1), and eternal praise–“to Thee…forever be praise” (CH-3, cf. Rev. 19:5-6)
2) “Grateful devotion” (CH-1), or wholehearted thanksgiving
3) Bringing tributes to the Lord (CH-1), presumably our offerings, but perhaps covering time and talents, as well as treasures (cf. Matt. 2:11)
4) Kneeling (CH-1) which recognizes the sovereign majesty of God, and expresses submission to Him (cf. Ps. 95:6)
5) Adoration (CH-1) which the dictionary defines as “deep love or esteem”
6) Worship (CH-1) an expression of the worth-ship of God
7) United (CH-3), which would suggest the activity of a group
8) Singing (“anthems”) (CH-3), praising God in song (Ps. 9:2)

CH-2) We worship Thee, God of our fathers, we bless Thee;
Through life’s storm and tempest our Guide hast Thou been;
When perils o’ertake us, escape Thou will make us,
And with Thy help, O Lord, our battles we win.

Activities of the Saviour:
1) He is the Redeemer (CH-1). “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25)
2) He is the Creator of all (CH-1)
3) He is the “God of our fathers” (CH-2), suggesting His faithfulness in the past. “Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them” (Ps. 22:4; cf. Acts 13:32-33)
4) He is our Guide through the storms of life (CH-2)
5) He is our Deliverer, enabling us to “escape” temptation (CH-2, cf. I Cor. 10:13)
6) He is our Defender in the “battles” with the evil one (CH-2)
7) He is our great Jehovah (CH-3). Jehovah or Yahweh (usually rendered “LORD” in capital letters, in the King James Version) connotes a number of things: that He is self-existent, that He is the Redeemer of man, and that He is the covenant-making, covenant-keeping God (cf. Jer. 31:31-32).
8) He is the ever Present One (CH-3)–“our God is beside us” (Matt. 28:20).

CH-3) With voices united our praises we offer,
To Thee, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise.
Thy strong arm will guide us, our God is beside us,
To Thee, our great Redeemer, forever be praise.

Questions:
1) Which of the above activities of the saints have you specifically engaged in this week?

2) Which of the above activities of the Saviour has been especially meaningful to you this week?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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