Father, in Whom we live, in Whom we are and move,
The glory, power and praise receive for Thy creating love.
Let all the angel throng give thanks to God on high,
While earth repeats the joyful song and echoes to the sky.
Incarnate Deity, let all the ransomed race
Render in thanks their lives to Thee for Thy redeeming grace.
The grace to sinners showed ye heavenly choirs proclaim,
And cry “Salvation to our God, salvation to the Lamb!”
Spirit of Holiness, let all Thy saints adore
Thy sacred energy, and bless Thine heart renewing power.
Not angel tongues can tell Thy love’s ecstatic height,
The glorious joy unspeakable the beatific sight.
Eternal, Triune God, let all the hosts above,
Let all on earth below record and dwell upon Thy love.
When heaven and earth are fled before Thy glorious face,
Sing all the saints Thy love hath made Thine everlasting praise.
—Charles Wesley (1747) (can be sung to the tune of “Crown Him with Many Crowns”)
So it may be said that the chief purpose of life, for any one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. And to do as we say in the GLORIA IN EXCELSIS: Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnum gloriam tuam. We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendour.
—J.R.R. Tolkien, quoted in Joseph Pearce, Tolkien: Man and Myth, 211-12
How shall I sing that majesty
Which angels do admire?
Let dust, in dust and silence lie:
sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?
They sing because Thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
For where heaven is but once begun
There alleluyas be.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
With all my fore and light;
Yet when Thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.
Enlighten with faith’s light my heart,
Inflame it with love’s fire;
Than shall I sing and bear a part
With the celestial choir.
—John Mason (17th-century hymnwriter)
Come, Messiah, King of glory,
Tune this world to sing Thy praise.
Ancient mercies, new each morning,
Call all nations to Thy grace.
May each culture and each language
Bring its richness to Thy throne.
In the chorus of creation
We are Thine and Thine alone.
Finish then Thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation
perfectly restored in Thee:
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Nations cast their crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
–verse 1, author unknown; verse 2 adapted from “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by Charles Wesley
Of all the creatures both in sea and land
Only to Man Thou hast made known Thy ways,
And put the pen alone into his hand,
And made him Secretary of Thy praise.
–George Herbert (1593-1633), “Providence”
Heard at a worship conference in Uganda:
“O for a thousand drums to beat
My great Redeemers’ praise.”
We do exhort men to worship God neither in a frigid nor a careless manner; and while we point out the mode, we neither lose sight of the end, nor omit any thing which bears upon the point. We proclaim the glory of God in terms far loftier than it was wont to be proclaimed before, and we earnestly labor to make the perfections in which His glory shines better and better known. His benefits towards ourselves we extol as eloquently as we can, while we call upon others to reverence His Majesty, render due homage to His greatness, feel due gratitude for His mercies, and unite in showing forth His praise. In this way there is infused into their hearts that solid confidence which afterwards gives birth to prayer.
–John Calvin, “On the Necessity of Reforming the Church” (http://www.lgmarshall.org/Calvin/calvin_necessityreform.html)