Hymns of the Faith

O Worship the King

O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, Whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Established it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.

Penned by: Sir Robert Grant
Born: 1778, Mal­da, Ben­gal, India.
Died: Ju­ly 9, 1838, Da­poo­ree (now Da­po­di), Ma­ha­rash­tra, In­dia.
Buried: St. Ma­ry’s Church, Poo­na (now Pune), Ma­ha­rash­tra, In­dia.

Grant’s fa­ther was Charles Grant, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for In­ver­ness, and East In­dia Com­pa­ny di­rect­or. His fam­i­ly moved from In­dia to Eng­land when Ro­bert was six years old. He at­tend­ed Mag­da­lene Coll­ege, Cam­bridge (BA 1801, MA 1804), and be­came a law­yer in 1807. In 1826, he be­came a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for In­ver­ness. He be­came Pri­vy Coun­cil­or in 1831, Judge Ad­vo­cate Gen­er­al in 1832, and was knight­ed in 1834. He then re­turned to In­dia to be Gov­er­nor of Bom­bay in 1834. His work ap­peared in the Christ­ian Ob­serv­er (1806-1815), El­li­ott’s Psalms and Hymns (1835), and Sac­red Po­ems, pub­lished post­hu­mous­ly by his bro­ther in 1839, and re­print­ed in 1844 and 1868. (information found @ www.cyberhymnal.com)

Born in the colonies Robert may have been, but it was in Magdalen College at the University of Oxford that he completed his higher education. He was admitted to the bar in 1807–which meant he could practice law. The following year, the 29-year-old won a seat in Parliament.He remained in Parliament for many years. Like his father, he was deeply concerned with social issues. Through his persistent efforts a bill was eventually passed which emancipated England’s Jews. He fought for other minority groups, too. In the meantime, he was a strong supporter of world missions and influential among evangelicals in the Church of England. He sketched a history of the East India Company. Yet somehow, he found time to write hymns.

In fact, he wrote a hymn which is considered one of the greatest in the English language. Reading William Kethe’s translation of Psalm 104 in a 1561 psalm book prompted Robert to write his own version of the psalm, familiar to millions of church-goers.

Robert accepted a high position in the East India company. One thing led to another. He was asked to be governor of Bombay and accepted. He took over his new duties in 1834. As governor, he had opportunity to put his social concerns into practice, for the poverty and spiritual condition of the common people were appalling. Among his accomplishments were the opening of several new roads, an inducement to commerce.

He held the governorship only four years, dying at the young age of 59. In that time, the people came to love him. When Sir Jamshedji a well-known Parsi (person of the Zoroastrian faith), built a medical college, he gave it Robert Grant’s name. It is the second oldest medical college in India.

The year after Robert’s death in 1838, his brother Charles printed his twelve hymns in a slender volume called Sacred Poems. The only one which is still sung by many people is “O Worship the King.” (information found @ www.chi.gospelcom.net)

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