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296. We Give You But Your Own

1 We give you but your own
in any gifts we bring:
all that we have is yours alone,
a trust from you, our King.

2 May we your bounties thus
as stewards true receive,
and gladly, Lord, as you bless us,
to you our firstfruits give.

3 To comfort and to bless,
to find a balm for woe,
to tend those lost in loneliness
is angels' work below.

4 The captive to release,
the lost to God to bring,
to teach the way of life and peace
it is a Christlike thing.

5 And we believe your Word,
though dim our faith may be.
Whate'er we do for you, O Lord,
we do it gratefully.

Text Information
First Line: We give you but your own
Title: We Give You But Your Own
Author: William Walsham How (1858, alt.)
Meter: SM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ;
Topic: Comfort & Encouragement; Commitment & Dedication; King, God/Christ as (5 more...)
Tune Information
Meter: SM
Key: A♭ Major
Source: Mason and Webb's Cantica Laudis, 1850

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = 1 Chron, 29:14, 1 Peter 4:10
st. 2 = Deut. 26:1-5
st. 3-4 = Matt. 25:35-40

When he wrote this hymn, Bishop William W. How (PHH 279) appended a reference to Proverbs 19:17: "Whoever has pity on the poor lends to the Lord"–a Scripture that characterizes not only this hymn text but also much of How's ministry to the poor in the east side of London, England.

“We Give You But Your Own” is a hymn about stewardship, about bringing our gifts to be used for the church's ministry of word and deed to needy people–in other Words, our ministry for Christ. Like Psalm 50 and Isaiah 1, this text declares that everything in creation already belongs to God and that what we give and what we keep are all to be used gratefully in God's service (st. 5). See also 294.

How wrote the text in six stanzas in 1858; it was first published in Psalms and Hymns (2nd ed., 1864), edited by How and Thomas B. Morrell. The Psalter Hymnal omits How's original stanza 3 and includes many alterations to the text.

Liturgical Use:
As an offertory hymn (st. 1 and 2 also make a fine choral response at the offertory, but do not overuse); as a post-sermon hymn in conjunction with stewardship themes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

SCHUMANN is one of many hymn tunes arranged by Lowell Mason (PHH 96). He first published the arrangement in Cantica Laudis (1850), a collection he edited with George J. Webb (PHH 559). First called WHITE, the tune was marked "Arr. from Schumann" and was thus ascribed to the German composer Robert A. Schumann. Although Clara Schumann doubted that it came from her husband's music, the tune's name derives from that early association with Schumann's name.

SCHUMANN builds to an effective climax in its final line–the first line is unfortunately broken into two short phrases, but sensitive organists and singers will try to tie these into one long line. Try antiphonal singing or a combination of unison and harmony stanzas when singing the entire hymn.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

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