Let children hear the mighty deeds

Representative Text

1 Let children hear the mighty deeds
which God performed of old,
which in our younger years we saw
and which our fathers told.
He bids us make his glories known,
the works of pow'r and grace,
that we convey his wonders down
through ev'ry rising race.

2 Our lips shall tell them to our sons,
and they again to theirs,
and generations yet unborn
must teach them to their heirs.
Thus shall they learn, in God alone
their hope securely stands,
that they may ne'er forget his works,
but practice his commands.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #550

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Let children hear the mighty deeds
Author: Isaac Watts (1719)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 78:1-4
st. 2 = Ps. 78:5-7

This versification of Psalm 78:1-8 is a modernized form of Isaac Watts' (PHH 155) version, published in his Psalms of David Imitated (1719). Psalm 78 is a didactic psalm of history. It teaches all of God's people to remember God's merciful dealings with them, to refrain from repeating the sins Israel committed in olden days, and to obey the word of the Lord (see PHH 78 for further comments on the psalm).

The text emphasizes the joyful covenant responsibility of parents to teach diligently the ways of the Lord to their children. Its theme comes from verses 4-5; there the biblical text combines a stress on God's savings deeds, which lead to faith, and God's commandments, which demand obedience. The command to "tell your children" runs throughout the Pentateuch (Ex. 10:2; Deut. 4:9).

Liturgical Use:
Baptism; other occasions of worship that stress the covenant responsibility of one generation to teach the next generation not to forget God's deeds but to keep his commands (see Ps. 78:6-7); family life emphases; beginning of church school season.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


ST. MARTIN'S (Tansur 11215)

DUNDEE (Ravenscroft)

DUNDEE first appeared in the 1615 edition of the Scottish Psalter published in Edinburgh by Andro Hart. Called a "French" tune (thus it also goes by the name of FRENCH), DUNDEE was one of that hymnal's twelve "common tunes"; that is, it was not associated with a specific psalm. In the Psalter Hymnal…

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NUN DANKET ALL (Crüger 16512)

Composed by Johann Crüger (PHH 42) as a setting for Paul Gerhardt's "Nun danket all’ und bringet Ehr," GRÄFENBERG was first published in the 1647 edition of Crüger's Praxis Pietatis Melica. The tune is arbitrarily named after a water-cure spa in Silesia, Austria, which became famous in the 1820…

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The Cyber Hymnal #3649
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Instances (1 - 9 of 9)

Christian Worship (1993) #512

Christian Worship #758

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #180


Lutheran Service Book #867


Lutheran Worship #472

Text InfoTune InfoTextAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #585


The Cyber Hymnal #3649

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #364


Trinity Psalter Hymnal #550

Include 170 pre-1979 instances
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