1 Lift the strain of high thanksgiving!
Tread with songs the hallowed way!
Praise our father's God, for mercies
New to us their sons to-day;
Here they built for Him a dwelling,
Served Him here in ages past,
Fixed it for His sure possession,
Holy ground, while time shall last.
2 When the years had wrought their changes,
He, our own unchanging God,
Thought on this His habitation,
Looked on His decayed abode;
Heard our prayers, and helped our counsels,
Blessed the silver and the gold,
Till once more His house is standing,
Firm and stately as of old.
3 Entering then Thy gates with praises,
Lord, be ours Thine Israel's prayer:
"Rise into Thy place of resting,
Show Thy promised presence there!"
Let the gracious word be spoken
Here, as once on Sion's height,
"This shall be my rest forever,
This My dwelling of delight."
4 Fill this latter house with glory
Greater than the former knew;
Clothe with righteousness Thy priesthood,
Guide us all to reverence true;
Let Thy Holy One's anointing
Here its sevenfold blessing shed;
Spread for us the heavenly banquet,
Satisfy Thy poor with bread.
5 Praise to Thee, almighty Father,
Praise to Thee, eternal Son,
Praise to Thee, all-quickening Spirit,
Ever blessèd Three in One:
Threefold Power and Grace and Wisdom,
Molding out of sinful clay,
Living stones for that true temple,
Which shall never know decay.
The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892
John Ellerton (b. London, England, 1826; d. Torquay, Devonshire, England, 1893) Educated at King William's College on the Isle of Man and at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1851. He served six parishes, spending the longest time in Crewe Green (1860-1872), a church of steelworkers and farmers. Ellerton wrote and translated about eighty hymns, many of which are still sung today. He helped to compile Church Hymns and wrote its handbook, Notes and Illustrations to Church Hymns (1882). Some of his other hymn texts were published in The London Mission Hymn Book (1884).
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Lift the strain of high thanksgiving. J. Ellerton. Church Restoration.] Written for the reopening of St. Helen's Church, Tarporley, Cheshire, 1869, and published in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871. From Church Hymns it has passed into numerous collections in Great Britain and America. From this hymn, and "In the Name which earth and heaven" (q. v.), Mr. Ellerton compiled a cento for the reopening of the navo of Chester Cathedral, January 25, 1872.
Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed REX GLORIAE for this text; the hymn was published in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern. Stanley L. Osborne (PHH 395) suggests that Smart initially intended REX GLORIAE as a tune for children. Derived from the topic of Wordsworth's text, the tune's name m…