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The heavens cannot thee embrace

Full Text

1 The heavens cannot Thee embrace,
Thou God of earth and sky and sea;
And yet, a Bethel is this place,
Though built by human hands for Thee.

2 Here Thou hast dwelt in all these years,
Here hath Thy presence been confessed;
Here Thou hast calmed our doubts and fear,
Here have our souls found peace and rest.

3 We thank Thee for the days of yore,
So rich in truth and love and grace;
And for the future we implore
Thy bounteous blessing on this place.

4 Here feed us with the bread of life
And let our prayers to Thee ascend;
Here armor us for every strife
And for each task new courage lend.

5 Thy holy Word and Sacrament,
Those sacred channels of Thy grace,
Preserve to us till life is spent
And we shall see Thee face to face.


Source: American Lutheran Hymnal #520

Author: Herman H. Brueckner

Born: March 11, 1866, Grundy County, Iowa (birth name: Herman Heinrich Moritz Brueckner). Died: January 25, 1942, Hebron, Nebraska (funeral held in Beatrice, Nebraska). Buried: St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Waverly, Iowa. After ordination in 1888, Brueckner pastored in Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. He later moved to Iowa City, Iowa, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University in 1917. In 1926, he joined the faculty of Hebron College in Nebraska. In 1938, Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on him. He retired as professor emeritus from Hebron College in 1941. Sources: Erickson, p. 254 Findagrave, accessed 14 Nov 2016 Hustad, p. 213 Stulken, p.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The heavens cannot thee embrace
Author: Herman H. Brueckner



This tune is likely the work of the composer named here, but has also been attributed to others as shown in the instances list below. According to the Handbook to the Baptist Hymnal (1992), Old 100th first appeared in the Genevan Psalter, and "the first half of the tune contains phrases which may ha…

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