Great God, We Sing Your Guiding Hand

Representative Text

1 Great God, we sing that mighty hand
by which supported still we stand;
the opening year thy mercy shows;
that mercy crowns it till it close.

2 By day, by night, at home, abroad,
still are we guarded by our God;
by his incessant bounty fed,
by his unerring counsel led.

3 With grateful hearts the past we own;
the future, all to us unknown,
we to thy guardian care commit,
and peaceful leave before thy feet.

4 In scenes exalted or depressed,
thou art our joy, and thou our rest;
thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
adored through all our changing days.

5 When death shall interrupt these songs,
and seal in silence mortal tongues,
our helper God, in whom we trust,
shall keep our souls and guard our dust.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #554

Author: Philip Doddridge

Philip Doddridge (b. London, England, 1702; d. Lisbon, Portugal, 1751) belonged to the Non-conformist Church (not associated with the Church of England). Its members were frequently the focus of discrimination. Offered an education by a rich patron to prepare him for ordination in the Church of England, Doddridge chose instead to remain in the Non-conformist Church. For twenty years he pastored a poor parish in Northampton, where he opened an academy for training Non-conformist ministers and taught most of the subjects himself. Doddridge suffered from tuberculosis, and when Lady Huntington, one of his patrons, offered to finance a trip to Lisbon for his health, he is reputed to have said, "I can as well go to heaven from Lisbon as from Nort… Go to person page >


Great God, we sing that [Thy] mighty hand. P. Doddridge. [New Year.] Published by J. Orton in the posthumous edition of Doddridge's Hymns, &c, 1755, No. 157, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and again with variations in the text, by J. D. Humphreys's edition of the same, 1839, No. 282, the general heading in both being, "Help obtained of God, Acts xxvi. 22. For the New Year. "In some collections it begins, "Great God, we praise Thy mighty hand"; and in others, "Great God, we sing Thy mighty hand." Usually, however, the alterations, both in the English and American hymn-books, are very slight.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



William Knapp (b. Wareham, Dorsetshire, England, 1698; d. Poole, Dorsetshire, 1768) composed WAREHAM, so named for his birthplace. A glover by trade, Knapp served as the parish clerk at St. James's Church in Poole (1729-1768) and was organist in both Wareham and Poole. Known in his time as the "coun…

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First published anonymously in Henry Boyd's Select Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1793), DUKE STREET was credited to John Hatton (b. Warrington, England, c. 1710; d, St. Helen's, Lancaster, England, 1793) in William Dixon's Euphonia (1805). Virtually nothing is known about Hatton, its composer,…

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GERMANY (Gardiner)



The Cyber Hymnal #2038
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Instances (1 - 20 of 20)
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