"Sing to the Lord, you saints of His; praise His holy Name." Psalm 30:4. We should never forget that we need to sing hymns of glory and honor in which we tell our Maker, "We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer." Unfortunately, I don't think that we are naturally thankful people. At an early age we need to train our children to say "thank you" because it isn't natural for them to do that. Often we need to set aside special times to force us to be thankful. I think it is great that today many make October a month where we are to do things to thank our clergy. N ow that is great, but why do we not do this regularly throughout the year. And then there is Thanksgiving, a time when we are reminded to give thanks for all that we have, even though giving thanks should be our normal reaction throughout each day. Sometimes our hymns help us to remember to do so. A hymn which gives praise to our Redeemer whose name is the Lord of Hosts is "We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer." The text was written by Julia Bulkley Cady Cory (1882 - 1963), the daughter of architect J. Cleveland Cady. Her father was also a Sunday school superintendent and, partly because of his influence, Julia began to write hymns at an early age. She and her family belonged to the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. Due to the popularity of the 1626 hymn "We Gather Together" which was often sung at Thanksgiving services, J. Archer Gibson, the music director at the Brick Presbyterian Church, asked Julia in 1882 to compose some new lyrics for the tune which is used with that song. After struggling for two weeks, Julia produced three stanzas. "Kremser," a Dutch melody arranged by Edward Kremser in 1877, was used as the music for both hymns. The first public performance of her new hymn was the next Thanksgiving Day. A month later, the author's father wished to use the hymn for a service on Christmas at the Church of the Covenant, also in New York City, so he asked his daughter to add a fourth stanza. She married Robert Haskell Cory in 1911 and raised 3 sons and they had 15 grandchildren. Some still erroneously say that her hymn was written by an unknown author and was just translated by Julia Cory, but evidence disproves this theory. In her three stanzas she praises God as our Creator, as the God of our Fathers, and as our Guide. She concludes the third verse with the powerful proclamation "To Thee, our great Redeemer, forever be praise." May this be the song and proclamation of our heart, not only during this season, but throughout the year ahead. We serve a great God who deserves our daily adoration and thanksgiving.
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.
2. We worship Thee, God of our fathers, we bless Thee;
Through life's storm and tempest our guide have Thou been;
When perils overtake us, escape Thou will make us,
And with Thy help, O Lord, our battles we win.
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.
Cory later added this stanza for use at Christmas:
4. 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.
You can listen to it here. LISTEN