God of Our Fathers

Happy 4th of July!

I’m thankful for God’s grace to all who are blessed to experience the freedom and liberty of the United States.

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

-Daniel C. Roberts, 1876

“The hymn was written in 1876 for a cel­e­bra­tion of the Cen­ten­n­i­al Fourth of July, and sung at Bran­don, Ver­mont, to the tune called Russ­ian Hymn! When our Gen­er­al Con­ven­tion ap­point­ed a Com­miss­ion to re­vise the Hymn­al, I sent it, with­out my name, prom­is­ing to send the name if the hymn were ac­cept­ed. It was ac­cept­ed and print­ed anon­y­mous­ly in the re­port of the Com­mis­sion. Be­fore the Hymn­al was print­ed, the Rev­er­end Dr. Tuck­er, late of Troy, ed­it­or of our best mu­sic­al Hymn­al, and Mr. George Will­iam War­ren, or­gan­ist of St. Thom­as’ Church, New York, were ap­point­ed to choose a hymn for the cen­ten­ni­al cel­e­bra­tion of the adopt­ion of the Con­sti­tu­tion. They se­lect­ed this hymn, then anon­y­mous, and want­ing a tune, Mr. War­ren com­posed a tune to which it has since been set in the Tuck­er Hymn­al.” (http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/f/gfathers.htm)

Though I significantly disagree with the Latter Day Saints on many theological issues, including the eternal nature of the Father and of the Son, and would argue that they have perverted the gospel to the extent of losing it completely, nevertheless I highly respect their excellent musicianship.

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