Monday, November 16, 2009

Oh, That I Had a Thousand Voices

I recently rediscovered a hymn that spoke to my writer's heart.

When our lives are transformed through Christ's relationship with us, there aren't enough ways to express the wonders, challenges, and new discoveries.

Artists search for ways to convey something that often seems to transcend normal communication--to utter the un-utterable. This hymn captures that longing and is the song of heart these days:

"Oh, that I Had a Thousand Voices"
by Johann Mentzer, 1658-1734
Text From:
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1942)

1. Oh that I had a thousand voices
To praise my God with thousand tongues!
My heart, which in the Lord rejoices,
Would then proclaim in grateful songs
To all, wherever I might be,
What great things God hath done for me.

2. O all ye powers that He implanted,
Arise, and silence keep no more;
Put forth the strength that He hath granted,
Your noblest work is to adore.
O soul and body, be ye meet
With heartfelt praise your Lord to greet!

3. Ye forest leaves so green and tender,
That dance for joy in summer air;
Ye meadow grasses, bright and slender;
Ye flowers so wondrous sweet and fair;
Ye live to show His praise alone,
With me now make His glory known.

4. All creatures that have breath and motion,
That throng the earth, the sea, the sky,
Now join me in my heart's devotion,
Help me to raise His praises high,
My utmost powers can ne'er aright
Declare the wonders of His might.

5. Lord, I will tell, while I am living,
Thy goodness forth with every breath
And greet each morning with thanksgiving
Until my heart is still in death;
Yea, when at last my lips grow cold,
Thy praise shall in my sighs be told.

6. O Father, deign Thou, I beseech Thee,
To listen to my earthly lays;
A nobler strain in heaven shall reach Thee,
When I with angels hymn Thy praise
And learn amid their choirs to sing
Loud hallelujahs to my King.

Sharon Hinck


everlastingscribe said...

:-D it's amazing when you connect with a writer from bygone times. Almost as if they left signposts tacked with encouragements for those that would walk along the same way.

Seminarista said...

Oi meu nome é Clériston. Sou protestante, evangélico; calvinista.

Adorei teu blog. vc é muito simpática.

Fica na Paz do Senhor!

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like the power of the words of an old hymn. So many of them were written under great duress, which gives them even greater depth. (That's why I love Kenneth Osbeck's books...)
Thanks for posting!

Jodee said...

As we prepare to perform our Christmas Cantata tonight, I FEEL the words to this hymn. There is such joy in praising God and all He is and all He does and has done, but it never seems adequate (b/c it isn't!) and you wish you could sing better, sing louder, sing longer..... This hymn (which I had never heard before) kind of sums it all up.
Thank you for posting it!