Text from The Psalter 1912

Fanconia by: Johnn Konig 1738  https://youtu.be/O3XRy7VlW1Y

Source: Presbyterian 1955 Hymnbook #94

1 The Lord Almighty reigns (original: Jehovah sits enthroned,)
In majesty most bright,
Appareled in omnipotence,
And girded round with might.

2 The world established stands
On its foundations broad;
His throne is fixed, He reigns supreme,
The everlasting God.

3 The floods have lifted up
Their voice in majesty,
But mighty is the Lord our God
Above the raging sea.

4 Thy testimonies, Lord,
In faithfulness excel.
And holy must Thy servants be
Who in Thy temple dwell.

Psalm 93 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

4 The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever.

As we saw a couple of days ago in “Hail, the Lord’s Anointed” by James Montgomery and Isaac Watt’s “Great God, Whose Universal Sway” metrical re-settings of Psalm 72, these resetting can depart quite a bit from the original Psalm, being greatly influenced by the social milieu surrounding the writer. However, this was not the intent with the original Psalter written by the Calvinist in Geneva, nor the early English translations of the Genevan Psalter.

Some say the primary inspiration (outside of a couple of comments from the apostles about singing the Psalms such as: Matthew 26:30. Mark 14:26, and Acts 16:25) came from Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, generally just known simply as Erasmus. He was a Dutch Catholic priest and scholar contemporaneous with Luther and Calvin. He worked to reform the Roman church from within, attempting to stop the abuses by clergy. He was a world renowned scholar of Greek and Latin and had helped prepare new editions of the New Testament in those languages. In the preface to his Greek New Testament he wrote: “I would have the weakest woman read the Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul. I would have those words translated into all languages, so that not only Scots and Irishmen, but Turks and Saracens might read them. I long for the ploughboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow, the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle, the traveler to beguile with them the dullness of his journey.”

Prior to the Reformation, direct access to the Scriptures was limited to only those with a classical education in Greek and Latin and singing during worship was limited to professional musicians and singers.

The use of a Psalter was primarily part of the Reformed tradition. Starting in Geneva with a French translation. Dutch and English translations soon followed along with other translations of languages native to the British Isles. The 1912 Psalter, which this hymn came from, was undertaken by The United Presbyterian Church along with several other Presbyterian denominations and Reformed denominations, during the early part of the 20th century. (While the denomination may bear the name associated with the main line denomination which eventually became the PCUSA, the denomination at this time was much more conservative and orthodox in its theology (by a very large margin) than the later iterations of the UPC.)

The singing of the Psalms has now become a rare activity found almost exclusively in the Reformed churches. I cannot imagine a more biblical source for texts for hymns than the Psalms. The psalms, taken in their entirety, cover every aspect of the human experience and our relationship to God.

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