Brethren Archive


Praise We To The Father Give

by James Montgomery (1771-1854)

Tune: Mozart 7s

1 PRAISE we to the Father give,
God in whom we move and live;
Children's praise He loves to hear;
Children's songs delight His ear.

2 Praise we to the First-born bring,
Christ the Prophet, Priest and King;
Glad we raise our sweetest strain
To the Lamb that once was slain.

3 Praises for the Holy Ghost
Sent from heaven at Pentecost;
'Tis through Him alone we live,
And the precious truth receive.

4 Blest our portion, thus to be
Glorying in the Trinity;
For the Gospel from above,
For the word that God is love.

Paul Allison said ...
The third verse should read, "Praises to (not for) the Holy Ghost"
He is God and equally worth of worship as the Father and the Son.
Friday, Aug 20, 2021 : 06:54
Mark said ...
James Montgomery is quite correct in what he wrote. The concept of directing worship, thanksgiving, and praise to the Holy Ghost is not found in the Bible, despite what has been made of "singing to the well" in Numbers 21 verse 17.

It is based on the translation of the Hebrew word 'anah' as "to sing," but which has the basic meaning of "to answer" or "to respond," a common enough word in the Hebrew Bible.

I suggest this is the proper lesson of any typical teaching that might be drawn from it.

There are no examples of worship being directed to the Spirit in the New Testament, but, to quote another, that the Holy Spirit is the "source, the power, and inspirer of all true Christian worship" (J N Darby).
Friday, Aug 20, 2021 : 17:55
Tom said ...

What James Montgomery actually wrote was, "Glory to the Holy Ghost" .. see

Of course the hymn was heavily edited for the Brethren hymn books. It was only in the Taylor edition of 1951 that the wording to which Paul alludes to, first appears.


Saturday, Aug 21, 2021 : 06:11
Mark said ...
Thank you for this response, Tom. I had tried to find the original wording by James Montgomery on the Internet, but unsuccessfully, having had doubts regarding my opening sentence after posting it.

In the various editions of "The Little Flock Hymnbook" his hymn therefore seems to have been "brethrenised" with the intention of bringing it more into line with Scripture, but it is to be wondered whether this would have been acceptable to Mr Montgomery, the original author, as with others whose hymns have had their wording changed.

At least the 1973 edition indicates that his hymn has been "adapted."
Saturday, Aug 21, 2021 : 17:55
Syd said ...
According to Dr. Julian’s Hymnology, “Montgomery wrote 400 hymns (including his version of the Psalms) and more than 100 are still in common use. In common with most poets and hymn writers, Montgomery strongly objected to any correction or rearrangement of his compositions. At the same time he did not hesitate to alter, rearrange, and amend the production of others.” But it’s true that many words, lines and stanzas of Montgomery’s hymns were altered, to “align" them with Scripture.

But I agree with Mark, that direct praise, worship or adoration to the Holy Spirit is not found in Scripture; but then, some disagree. Nevertheless, we should agree that the Holy Spirit was sent to testify of the things (and Person) of Christ.
Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 : 03:40
Nick Fleet said ...
This hymn first appeared in the 'Little Flock' series in Wigram's 'Hymns for the Poor of the Flock' (1838) as #212, retaining Montgomery's original "Glory" as the first word of the first 3 stanzas. However, he changed "to" to "in" in the third verse. Further changes were made in the first "Little Flock" book of 1856, where it was #131, including "Praise" instead of "Glory". These changes were largely retained in 1881, 1894, 1903, 1928, and 1932. It's interesting that Montgomery originally intended it as a children's hymn. The words "children's" being dropped only in 1951 as well as "Trinity" changed to "blessèd God". It is a pity that the quotation marks around "God is love." in the last verse (no doubt a quotation from 1 John 4), have been dropped in the 1978 edition.
Sunday, Aug 22, 2021 : 21:23

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