O Lord, God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Israel.@1 Chronicles 29:18
portrait
Thomas Olivers
(1725–1799)
© National Portrait Gallery

From The Yig­dal of Dan­i­el ben Ju­dah, a Jew­ish judge in Rome, cir­ca 1400. Par­a­phrased by Tho­mas Ol­iv­ers, cir­ca 1765. First pub­lished in The Gos­pel Ma­ga­zine, Ap­ril 1775. The lyr­ics are based on the 13 creeds of Mo­ses Mai­mon­i­des (cir­ca 1130–1204).

Le­o­ni He­brew me­lo­dy, Sac­red Har­mo­ny, 1780 (🔊 pdf nwc).

One night in Lon­don, [Ol­iv­ers] was at­tract­ed to a ser­vice in a Jew­ish syn­a­gogue, where he heard a great sing­er, Le­o­ni, sing an an­cient He­brew me­lo­dy in the sol­emn, plaint­ive mode, and he be­came im­pressed with a de­sire to write a hymn to that tune. The result was our hymn, The God of Ab­ra­ham Praise, which in a sense is a par­a­phrase of the an­cient He­brew Yig­dal, or dox­ol­o­gy, though Ol­iv­ers gave to it a dis­tinct­ly Chris­tian fla­vor.

The sto­ry is told of a young Jew­ess who had been bap­tized in­to the Chris­tian faith, and in con­se­quence was aban­doned by her fa­mi­ly. She fled to the home of the min­is­ter, poured out her heart to him, and as if to show that, af­ter all, her joy in her new-found Sav­iour was great­er than all her loss of home and fa­mi­ly, she sang, The God of Ab­ra­ham Praise.

Price, p. 105

The God of Abraham praise,
Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
And God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM!
By earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred name
Forever blessed.

The God of Abraham praise,
At whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys
At His right hand;
I all on earth forsake,
Its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only portion make,
My shield and tower.

The God of Abraham praise,
Whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days,
In all my ways.
He calls a worm His friend,
He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end,
Thro’ Jesus’ blood.

He by Himself has sworn;
I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
To Heav’n ascend.
I shall behold His face;
I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace
Forevermore.

Tho’ nature’s strength decay,
And earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds I urge my way,
At His command.
The watery deep I pass,
With Jesus in my view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness
My way pursue.

The goodly land I see,
With peace and plenty blessed;
A land of sacred liberty,
And endless rest.
There milk and honey flow,
And oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow
With mercy crowned.

There dwells the Lord our king,
The Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin
Tthe Prince of peace;
On Sion’s sacred height
His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light
Forever reigns.

He keeps His own secure,
He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure,
His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss,
With groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of paradise
He still supplies.

Before the great Three-One
They all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done,
Through all their land:
The listening spheres attend,
And swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end,
The wondrous name.

The God who reigns on high
The great archangels sing,
And Holy, holy, holy! cry,
Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same,
And evermore shall be:
Jehovah—Father—great I AM,
We worship Thee!

Before the Savior’s face
The ransomed nations bow;
O’erwhelmed at His almighty grace,
Forever new:
He shows His prints of love—
They kindle to a flame!
And sound thro’ all the worlds above
The slaughtered Lamb.

The whole triumphant host
Give thanks to God on high;
Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
They ever cry.
Hail, Abraham’s God, and mine!
(I join the heav’nly lays)
All might and majesty are Thine,
And endless praise.