O God of Earth and Altar

Representative Text

1 O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

2 From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honour and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

3 Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #582

Author: G. K. Chesterton

Chesterton, Gilbert Keith, son of Edward Chesterton, was b. May 29, 1874, at Campden Hill, Kensington. London; and is a well-known journalist and author, now (1906) residing at Battersea Park, London. He contributed to The English Hymnal, 1906, a vigorous lyric beginning, "O God of earth and altar"(Prayer for the Nation). [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)… Go to person page >





Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed the tune in 1835 for use at a missions festival at Blackburn, Lancashire, England. For that festival, which celebrated the three-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation in England, the tune was set to Reginald Heber's (PHH 249) “From Greenland's Icy Mountains.”…

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The Cyber Hymnal #4881
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Instances (1 - 17 of 17)

Ancient and Modern #582

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #546


Chalice Hymnal #724


Common Praise #358


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #492a


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #492b

TextPage Scan

CPWI Hymnal #338

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #434

Hymns and Psalms #426

Hymns Old and New #365

Rejoice in the Lord #80


The Cyber Hymnal #4881

The Hymnal 1982 #591

The New Century Hymnal #582


The New English Hymnal #492

The Presbyterian Hymnal #291


Worship in Song #290

Include 58 pre-1979 instances
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