God, That Madest Earth and Heaven

Representative Text

1 God, who made the earth and heaven,
darkness and light:
you the day for work have given,
for rest the night.
May your angel guards defend us,
slumber sweet your mercy send us,
holy dreams and hopes attend us
all through the night.

2 And when morn again shall call us
to run life's way,
may we still, whate'er befall us,
your will obey.
From the pow'r of evil hide us,
in the narrow pathway guide us,
never be your smile denied us
all through the day.

3 Guard us waking, guard us sleeping,
and, when we die,
may we in your mighty keeping
all peaceful lie.
When the last dread call shall wake us,
then, O Lord, do not forsake us,
but to reign in glory take us
with you on high.

4 Holy Father, throned in heaven,
all-holy Son,
Holy Spirit, freely given,
blest Three in One:
grant us grace, we now implore you,
till we lay our crowns before you
and in worthier strains adore you
while ages run.

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #787

Author: Reginald Heber

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: God that madest earth and heaven, Darkness and light!
Title: God, That Madest Earth and Heaven
Author: Reginald Heber (1827)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


God that [Who] madest earth and heaven. [Evening.] This hymn is given in the collections in various forms as follows:—
1. The original in one stanza. This was first published in Bp. Heber's posthumous Hymns, &c, 182t, p. 147.
2. The same with the addition of the stanza, "Guard us waking, guard us sleeping." This stanza is by Archbishop Whately, and is a free rendering of the ancient Compline Antiphon, "Salva nos, Domine, vigilantes, custodi nos dormientes, ut vigilemus in Christo, et requiescamus in pace." It is found in T. Darling's Hymns, &c, 1855, No. 8, as stanza ii. of the hymn, and was appended to the Archbishop's Lectures on Prayer, 1860. These two stanzas constitute the hymn in its most popular form, and are in use in all English speaking countries, sometimes as, "God who madest," &c, as in Hymns Ancient & Modern 1861-75. A rendering of these stanzas into Latin, as "Deus, terras qui polosque," is given in R. Bingham's Hymnologia Christanza Latina, 1871, p. 175.
3. These two stanzas and a doxology by T. Darling in his Hymns, &c, 1855, No. 8. This was repeated with alterations in the doxology in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857; in the Rev. F. Pott's Hymns, &c, 1861, and other hymn-books.
4. In the Oxford editionof Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book, 1864, No. 18, there is the following arrangement: i. “God, that madest," &c. (Heber); ii. “And when morn again shall call us" (Mercer); iii. "Guard us waking," &c. (Whately); iv. "Holy Father, throned in heaven" (Mercer). This is repeated in Brown-Borthwick's Select Hymns for Church & Home, 1871-85, with a transposition of stanzas ii. and iii., much to the advantage of the hymn.
6. In Major's Book of Praise, 1868, No. 281, is Mercer's arrangement without the doxology.
All these centos are in common use in Great Britain America, and the colonies .

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


God, Who madest earth and heaven, p. 440, i. The Hymns Ancient & Modern form of this hymn is rendered into Latin by “P” in the Guardian, Oct. l, 1879, as:— "Qui coulmn et terras, lucem tenebrasquc creasti." See p. 1595, i.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)


God that [Who] madest earth and heaven, pp. 440, i.; 1567, i. The two-stanza form of this hymn we find appeared in a volume of Sacred Poetry adapted to the Understanding of Children and Youth. For the Use of Schools. Dublin. Published by Direction of the Commissioners of National Education . . . 1838. It is given on p. 16 as an "Evening Hymn,"
Probably [the second stanza] was written by Dr. Whately for this collection of Sacred Poetry, &c. He was Archbishop of Dublin at the time.
The two stanzas were repeated in the Archbishop's Lectures on Prayer, London: John W. Parker & Son, 1860, p. 185. Previous to this, the hymn in this two-stanza form had come into general use through the Marylebone Psalms & Hymns, 1851, as detailed on p. 440, i.
i. The added stanzas given in W. Mercer's Hymn Book, 1864, are:—
2. "And when morn again shall call us
To run life's way,
May we still, whate'er befall us,
Thy will obey.
From the power of evil hide us,
In the narrow pathway guide us,
Nor Thy smile be e'er denied us
The livelong day."
4. "Holy Father, throned in heaven,
All holy Son, Holy Spirit, freely given,
Blest Three in One
Grant Thy grace, we now implore Thee,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
And in worthier strains adore Thee,
Whilst ages run."

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



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