Almighty God, Thy Word is Cast

Representative Text

1 Almighty God, Thy word is cast
Like seed upon the ground;
O may it grow in humble hearts,
And righteous fruits abound.

2 Let not the foe of Christ and man
This holy seed remove,
But give it root in praying souls
To bring forth fruits of love.

3 Let not the world's deceitful cares
The rising plant destroy,
But may it, in converted minds,
Produce the fruits of joy.

4 Let not Thy word, so kindly sent
To raise us to Thy throne,
Return to Thee, and sadly tell
That we reject Thy Son.

The Hymnal: Published by the authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895

Author: John Cawood

John Cawood was born in 1775, at Matlock, Derbyshire, where his father carried on a small farm. He enjoyed very limited educational advantages. At the age of eighteen he occupied a menial position. But seeking every opportunity of self improvement, and aided by those who interested themselves in his behalf, he was enabled in 1797 to enter S. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and obtained his B.A. in 1801, and his M.A. in 1807. He was ordained in 1801, and most of his life in the ministry was spent as perpetual Curate of S. Ann's Chapel of Ease, Bewdley, Worcestershire. He died in 1852. He published several prose works, but no volume of hymns or poems. His son says, "My father composed about thirteen hymns, which have one by one got into print, th… Go to person page >


Almighty God, Thy word is cast. J. Cawood. [After Sermon.] Written about 1815, and first published in Cotterill's Selection, 8th ed. 1819, No. 268, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and given for use "After a Sermon" [S. MSS.]. It was reprinted in Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 252. From that date it grew in importance as a congregational hymn, until its use has become extensive in all English-speaking countries, in some cases with the omission of one or more stanzas, and in others, with the addition of a doxology. Two texts, purporting to be the original, are extant. The first is that of Cotterill as above, from which the hymn has been taken in a more or less correct form until 1862, when the second was given from the original manuscript in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862, p. 470, and Lyra Britannica 1867, p. 131. One of the best arrangements of the hymn is a slightly altered form of the latter in Taring's Collection, 1882, No. 151. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


BELMONT (Gardiner)

This tune has been mis-attributed to various other composers, but is clearly the work of the above-named composer.

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The Cyber Hymnal #83
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