As Men of Old Their First Fruits Brought

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Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #712

Author: Frank von Christierson

Frank von Christierson (1900-1996) was born near Helsinki, Finland. He attended San Jose (California) High School, Stanford University (BA, Psychology, 1923), and San Francisco Theological Seminary (BD 1929). In 1983 he was awarded the citation of distinguished alumnus, and became a Fellow of The Hymn Society. He has served as youth director at First Presbyterian Church, San Luis Obispo, and pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church, Citrus Heights, California. He has published a hymnal collection entitled Make a Joyful Noise (1987) and is represented in many hymnals. Three of his hymn texts have been included in the new Hope hymnal Worship & Rejoice (2001).… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Duet. 26:1-15
st. 2 = 1 John 3:18, James 1:22

Frank von Christierson (b. Lovisa, near Helsinki, Finland, 1900) stated the following about this hymn:

As pastor of two new churches, with small memberships and great financial needs, I have been deeply concerned with stewardship, also because I am deeply concerned about missions and the outreach of the church to "all the world," [and] also because stewardship is a very important phase of the Christian life. No one is deeply Christian until he is a "good steward."

This hymn text (more explicitly than 296) puts our human stewardship of money and other prized resources (st. 1) into the larger context of the worldwide mission of the church, in view of the coming of Christ's kingdom (st. 2). We must always integrate our giving of gifts with our giving of ourselves for Christian service (st. 3).

Christierson wrote the text in 1960 and submitted it to a hymn search conducted jointly by the Department of Stewardship & Benevolence of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and the Hymn Society of America (HSA). It was accepted and was first published in the HSA booklet Ten New Stewardship Hymns (1961). Altered (especially in st. 2) for publication in the Psalter Hymnal, the song originally began with the words "As men of old. . ."

Christierson's family immigrated to the United States in 1905. He received his education at Stanford University and San Francisco Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1929. A moderator of regional presbyteries, he served several Presbyterian churches in California and was founding pastor of the Trinity Community Presbyterian Church in North Hollywood (1944-1961). He wrote some 140 hymns, a number of which have been published by the Hymn Society of America as well as in his Make a Joyful Noise (1987). In 1982 Christierson was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.

Liturgical Use:
As an offertory hymn; stewardship themes; emphasis on missions.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987



FOREST GREEN is an English folk tune associated with the ballad "The Ploughboy's Dream." Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) turned FOREST GREEN into a hymn tune for The English Hymnal (1906), using it as a setting for "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Shaped in rounded bar form (AABA), FOREST GREEN has th…

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REGWAL was published with von Christierson's text in 1963 in an anthem setting composed by Leland B. Sateren (b. Everett, WA, 1913). The tune consists of four lines, the first of which reminds us of GENEVAN 124's opening phrase (see also TOULON, 52). The final line rises to an impressive climax. Sin…

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Worship and Rejoice #570
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Instances (1 - 17 of 17)

A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #73

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #639

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Catholic Book of Worship III #502

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Celebrating Grace Hymnal #667

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Common Praise (1998) #260

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Evangelical Lutheran Worship #695

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Glory to God #712

Hymnal #386

Hymns of the Saints #405

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Moravian Book of Worship #650

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #294


The Hymnal 1982 #705

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The Presbyterian Hymnal #414


Voices United #518

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Voices United #544

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Worship and Rejoice #570


Worship in Song #41

Include 11 pre-1979 instances
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