Friday, July 11, 2014

The Story Behind All People That on Earth Do Dwell

William Kethe (, the author of the words to the hymn "All People That on Earth Do Dwell, was a Scottish clergyman forced to flee during the reign of "Bloody Mary", the Catholic queen who persecuted Protestants. His travels took him first to Germany and then to Geneva, Switzerland, where John Calvin was teaching and preaching.

John Calvin promoted the use of Psalms and other Scripture songs for worship. The Genevan Psalter, which he initiated, was published in 1562. Among the 150 Psalms were 25 by William Kethe, including Psalm 100. When he returned to Scotland in 1561, he took the Psalter with him. All of his Psalms were included in the 1564 version of the English Psalter.

The front piece to the 1618 Genevan Psalter
Louis Bourgeois (c.1510-1560), the composer of the tune The Old Hundredth,was a French composer who was the lead tune collector for the Genevan Psalter.

Monday, July 7, 2014

All People That on Earth Do Dwell

This stirring hymn is the first one in our church's hymnal. It was also played at Westminster Abbey for the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's ascension to the throne. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Children of the Heavenly Father

This is a beautiful hymn about God's tender care for us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. What a comfort as we walk through this life.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Story behind From All That Dwell Below the Skies

From All That Dwell below the Skies is Isaac Watt's paraphrase of Psalm 117.
O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.

The Psalms were originally written to be sung. Many of them include musical notations. While the music has long since been lost, the words, as all of the Lord's words, have endured.

Watts believed that King David was divinely inspired to write many of the Psalms but also argued that David didn't fully understand the truths about which he wrote. We now, after Christ, can see the Psalms in all of the fullness of their meanings. He believed that the Psalms should be "imitated in the language of the New Testament." (from his 1719 metrical psalter).