For the Beauty of the Earth
Folliott S Pierpoint
- For the beauty of the earth
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to thee we raise,
this our hymn of grateful praise.
Christ, our God, to Thee we raise,
This our Sacrifice of Praise.
- For the beauty of each hour,
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light. [Refrain]
3. For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight. [Refrain]
4. For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild. [Refrain]
5. For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love. [Refrain]
6. For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy. [Refrain]
7. For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled. [Refrain]
8. For each perfect gift of Thine,
to our race so freely given,
graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven. [Refrain]
At the age of 29, Folliott Pierpoint sat on top of a hill outside of his native Bath, England and penned this hymn drawing inspiration from the vista which opened before him. This view included the wonder of God’s creation as well as the wonder of God’s love and redemption of His creation. He published this hymn in his “Lyra Eucharista” in 1864 it was intended as a hymn of “Sacrifice of Praise.”
The first two stanzas start the focus upon the created world. From the earth and skies directly to the love which surrounds us. God’s creation is an act of love for us! In the second stanza, Pierpoint moves quickly from time; every hour, day, and night; to earth bound creations; then to the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars.
Stanzas three and four deal with our joy in this creation. Starting with our joy in experiencing the creation and then our experience of each other with human love; our family and friends.
The next three stanzas address God’s relationship of mankind. First there is the Church and then the martyrs and prophets. In the last stanza of this group, we move from the incarnation through the virgin to Jesus’ sacrifice, the victim undefiled.
The eighth stanza summarizes all these gifts as perfect and freely given.
Nearly every denomination has made alterations to the original text, omitting verses, and most commonly changing the refrain. “Christ, our God” is the original version but is not nearly as common as “Lord of all.” “Holy God, to thee we raise This our sacrifice of praise”; “God creative, here we raise This our offering of praise”; and “Holy Spirit, all our days, We would offer songs of praise” are three more recently used refrains. While they may not completely change the original text’s implication, they are weaker poetically.
Although this is the only hymn of Pierpoint to still be in use, it has been a beautiful gift from him to us.
Here are my completed Hymnals:
Presbyterian 1955 Hymnbook: http://amzn.to/2zSRdpL
Episcopal 1940 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2DEOl1H
Broadman 1940 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2C1WuwK
Lutheran 1941 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2zUmYi2
Methodist 1939 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2CfJ1Wq
Pilgrim 1935 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2DDvbJC
Here are my new projects:
Choice Hymns of the Faith 1945 http://amzn.to/2Dx97nA
Now Sings My Soul, New Songs for the Lord by: Linda Bonney Olin: http://amzn.to/2DQ6gUy
J S Bach Riemenschneider 371 Harmonized Chorales http://amzn.to/2DSy5f9
Dictionary of Hymnology: http://amzn.to/2BxPabk