Children of the Heavenly Father

Representative Text

1 Children of the heav’nly Father
safely in his bosom gather.
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e’er was given.

2 God his own doth tend and nourish,
in his holy courts they flourish.
From all evil things he spares them,
in his mighty arms he bears them.

3 Neither life nor death shall ever
from the Lord his children sever.
Unto them his grace he showeth,
and their sorrows all he knoweth.

4 Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne’er forsaketh.
His the loving purpose solely
to preserve them safe and holy.

Source: Voices Together #517

Translator: Ernst W. Olson

Ernst W. Olson (b. Skane, Sweden, 1870; d. Chicago, IL, 1958) prepared the English translation for the 1925 Hymnal of the Lutheran Augustana Synod. As editor, writer, poet, and translator, Olson made a valuable contribution to Swedish-American culture and to church music. His family immigrated to Nebraska when he was five years old, but he spent much of his life in the Chicago area. Educated at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, he was editor of several Swedish-American newspapers and spent most of his professional career as an editor for the Augustana Book Concern (1911-1949). Olson wrote History of the Swedes in Illinois (1908). He also contributed four original hymns and twenty-eight translations to The Hymnal (1925) of the Evang… Go to person page >

Author: Carolina Sandell

Caroline W. Sandell Berg (b. Froderyd, Sweden, 1832; d. Stockholm, Sweden, 1903), is better known as Lina Sandell, the "Fanny Crosby of Sweden." "Lina" Wilhelmina Sandell Berg was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor to whom she was very close; she wrote hymns partly to cope with the fact that she witnessed his tragic death by drowning. Many of her 650 hymns were used in the revival services of Carl O. Rosenius, and a number of them gained popularity particularly because of the musical settings written by gospel singer Oskar Ahnfelt. Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish soprano, underwrote the cost of publishing a collection of Ahnfelt's music, Andeliga Sänger (1850), which consisted mainly of Berg's hymn texts. Bert Polman  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Children of the heavenly Father
Title: Children of the Heavenly Father
Swedish Title: Tryggare kan ingen vara
Author: Carolina Sandell (1855)
Translator: Ernst W. Olson
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Scripture Songs

Notes

Scripture References:
st. 1-2 = Psalm 84
st. 3 = Rom. 8:38-39
st. 4 = Job 1:21

The author of this text, Caroline W. Sandell Berg (b. Froderyd, Sweden, 1832; d. Stockholm, Sweden, 1903), is better known as Lina Sandell, the "Fanny Crosby of Sweden." Originally in Swedish ("Tryggare kan ingen vara"), the text was first published in Sandell-Berg's Andeliga daggdroppar (1855). Ernst W. Olson (b. Skane, Sweden, 1870; d. Chicago, IL, 1958) prepared the English translation for the 1925 Hymnal of the Lutheran Augustana Synod.

The four-stanza text is a confession of humble but confident trust in God's providence in the lives of his people. It reflects Lord's Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism¬–“in life and in death I belong to my faithful Savior.”

"Lina" Wilhelmina Sandell Berg was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor to whom she was very close; she wrote hymns partly to cope with the fact that she witnessed his tragic death by drowning. Many of her 650 hymns were used in the revival services of Carl O. Rosenius, and a number of them gained popularity particularly because of the musical settings written by gospel singer Oskar Ahnfelt. Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish soprano, underwrote the cost of publishing a collection of Ahnfelt's music, Andeliga Sänger (1850), which consisted mainly of Berg's hymn texts.

As editor, writer, poet, and translator, Olson made a valuable contribution to Swedish-American culture and to church music. His family immigrated to Nebraska when he was five years old, but he spent much of his life in the Chicago area. Educated at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, he was editor of several Swedish-American newspapers and spent most of his professional career as an editor for the Augustana , Book Concern (1911-1949). Olson wrote A History of the Swedes in Illinois (1908). He also contributed four original hymns and twenty-eight translations to The Hymnal (1925) of the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod and served on the committee that produced the Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal (1958).

Liturgical Use:
As a confession of faith in God's providence; for many other occasions, including baptisms or funerals.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

TRYGGARE KAN INGEN VARA

First associated with this text in Fredrik Engelke's Loftangeroch andeliga wisor (1873), TRYGGARE KAN INGEN VARA is probably a Swedish folk song, but versions of the tune were also sung in Germany in the early 1800s. This charmingly simple tune needs light accompaniment, perhaps just recorders 1 and…

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