Maker of all things, God most high

Author: St. Ambrose

Ambrose (b. Treves, Germany, 340; d. Milan, Italy, 397), one of the great Latin church fathers, is remembered best for his preaching, his struggle against the Arian heresy, and his introduction of metrical and antiphonal singing into the Western church. Ambrose was trained in legal studies and distinguished himself in a civic career, becoming a consul in Northern Italy. When the bishop of Milan, an Arian, died in 374, the people demanded that Ambrose, who was not ordained or even baptized, become the bishop. He was promptly baptized and ordained, and he remained bishop of Milan until his death. Ambrose successfully resisted the Arian heresy and the attempts of the Roman emperors to dominate the church. His most famous convert and disciple w… Go to person page >

Translator: John David Chambers

Chambers, John David, M.A., F.S.A., son of Captain Chambers of the R. N., was born in London in 1805, and educated at Oriel College, Oxford, graduating with honours, in 1827 (M.A. 1831). He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1831. In 1842 he published an elaborate treatise on the Jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery over the persons and property of Infants, and was appointed Recorder of New Sarum the same year. At Salisbury his attention was specially attracted to the Liturgical and other Ecclesiastical lore appertaining to the Cathedral, and to St. Osmund, its Bishop, 1078. St. Osmund compiled from different sources a series of Divine Offices, and Rules for their celebration within his diocese. These Rules were in two parts, t… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Maker of all things, God most high
Latin Title: Deus Creator omnium
Author: St. Ambrose
Translator: John David Chambers
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Deus Creator omnium Polique Sector. St. Ambrose. [Saturday Evening.] St. Augustine in his Confessions, Bk. ix., refers thus to this hymn:—

" And behold, the corpse [of his mother] was carried to the burial; we went and returned without tears . .. It seemed also good to me to go and bathe, having heard that the bath had its name (balneum) from the Greek Bakavelov, for that it drives sadness from the mind. And this also I confess unto Thy mercy, Father of the fatherless, that I bathed, and was the same as before I bathed. For the bitterness of sorrow could not exude out of my heart. Then I slept, and woke up again, and found my grief not a little softened; and as I was alone in my bed, I remembered those true verses of Tby Ambrose. For Thou art the

"Maker of all, the Lord,
And Ruler of the height,
Who, robing day in light, hast poured
Soft slumbers oer the night,
That to our limbs the power
Of toil may be renew'd,
And hearts be rais'd that sink and cower
And sorrow be subdu'd."
[The Confessions of St. Augustine. Oxford: J. Parker. New edition 1871, p. 195.]

[Rev. W. A. Shouts, B.D.]

Translation in common use:—
Maker of all things, God most high. By J. D. Chambers. First published in his Order for Household Devotion, 1854, and again in his Lauda Syon, 1857, p. 55, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. In 1862 it was included in the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted, No. 115; in 1867 in the People's Hymnal; in Dr. Martineau's Hymns of Praise & Prayer (abbreviated), 1873; and in other hymnbooks. In the Hymnary, 1872, it is altered to "0 blest Creator, God Host High."

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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