O Worship The King All Glorious Above

Text by: Robert Grant 1833

Lyons Adapted by Michael Haydn (1737-1806)  https://youtu.be/j6GgAVlZgak

Hanover: https://youtu.be/suJULriXL7Q

  1. O worship the King, all glorious above,
    O gratefully sing His power and His love;
    our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
    pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

    2. O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
    whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
    His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
    and dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

    3. The earth with its store of wonders untold,
    almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
    established it fast by a changeless decree,
    and round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

    4. Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
    It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
    it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
    and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

    5. Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
    in Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
    Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
    Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

    6. O measureless might! Ineffable love!
    While angels delight to worship Thee above,
    The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
    With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 18:2, Dan. 7:9, 13, 22
st. 2 = Ps. 18:9-12, Ps. 104:1-3
st. 3 = Ps. 104:7-10
st. 5 = Ps. 145:10

Robert Grant’s Life

Robert Grant was born in Bengal, India (1779) where his father was a director of the East India Company. He returned to England for his education at Magdalen College in Cambridge. After being admitted to the Bar he served as a Governor of Bombay and a MP in the British Parliament (aged 29). He died in Dalpoorie, India in 1838.

Grant’s work on the behalf of those marginalized by society began early in his political career, following his father’s example. He worked to emancipate the Jews in England and worked diligently to bring relief to other minorities in England. As a member of the Church of England he strongly supported world missions and was very influential in the evangelical wing of the church.

After accepting a position as director of the East India Company, he was asked to serve as governor of Bombay, taking on his duties in 1834. He was appalled at the condition of the poor in his jurisdiction. He immediately set out to do everything he could to improve the services and condition of the poor in Bombay (now Mumbai). Even though he only lived another 4 years, he made such an impact; Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata (an early member of the industrial Tata family of India), a Zorastrian by faith, built a medical college, the second in India, and he named it after Grant.

O Worship The King All Glorious Above

Grant drew his inspiration for this hymn from William Kethe’s paraphrase of Psalm 104 which first appeared in the Anglo version of the Genevan Psalter (1561). His text has had numerous unauthorized revisions, the above text is the original.

While Kethe’s paraphrase served as an inspiration for Grant, he didn’t write a paraphrase of Psalm 104, but rather used the text as a meditation on the wonders of God’s creation and how they demonstrate His splendor.

From the “ancient of days,” that is all of history, the creation repeated tells of His grace and love. From light to space and then the great thunder clouds His glory unfolds. All of the goodness of creation tell us of his mercy and love.

In the final two verses, he turns to a personal reflection on the glory seen in creation. As utterly feeble and frail children we are completely dependent upon our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and most of all Friend! In our humility and feebleness we sing His praises just as the angels sing theirs.

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