1 Holy God, we praise your name;
Lord of all, we bow before you.
Saints on earth your rule acclaim;
all in heaven above adore you.
Infinite your vast domain;
everlasting is your reign.
2 Hark, the glad celestial hymn
angel choirs above are raising;
cherubim and seraphim,
in unceasing chorus praising,
fill the heavens with sweet accord:
“Holy, holy, holy Lord!”
3 Lo, the apostolic train
joins your sacred name to hallow;
prophets swell the glad refrain,
and the white-robed martyrs follow;
and from morn to set of sun,
through the church the song goes on.
4 Holy Father, holy Son,
Holy Spirit, three we name you,
though in essence only one;
undivided God, we claim you,
and, adoring, bend the knee
while we own the mystery.
The Psalter Hymnal includes Walworth's stanzas 1-4, which cover only the first half of the "Te Deum." We and all creation praise our God and Lord (st. 1); all the angels sing their praise to God (st. 2); saints in heaven and the church on earth praise God (st. 3); we praise the triune God (st. 4). The two halves of this part of the "Te Deum" are carefully balanced: stanza 2 ends with the angels' threefold Sanctus; stanza 4 concludes with a Gloria Patri.
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook
What we know as the attributes of God reveal his character and being. For these, he is worthy of praise and adoration. Even before he says or does anything, he is praise-worthy. The opening words of Belgic Confession, Article 1 declare that God is “eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.”
The Lord’s Prayer ends with a doxology, and Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52, Question and Answer 128 extrapolates: “Your holy name…should receive all the praise, forever.” After expressing our trust in the total care of God for all things, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 declares, “God is able to do this because he is Almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.” And so we express our praise and adoration to God for who he is.