f The Wittenberg Door: America and a Dutch Hymn

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Friday, February 12, 2010

America and a Dutch Hymn

A large part of the early immigrants to America were Dutch Calvinists escaping persecution. They brought with them a passion for the things of God and a desire to build a godly society. It was from this breading ground that magnificent hymns such as We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing (circa 1597) came to our shores.

We gather together
to ask the Lord's blessing;
he chastens and hastens
his will to make known.
The wicked oppressing
now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to his name,
he forgets not his own.

(Hymn 286 in the Trinity Hymnal, first stanza)

Although originally penned across the seas, We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing captures the essence of these early settlers’ faith and devotion. This hymn has since grown to become part of America’s heritage, especially our Day of Thanksgiving.

I commend to you an Opinion Journal article, A Hymn's Long Journey Home, that recalls for us this great heritage, while informing us of the history of this truly stirring hymn. As you read the article, rejoice in the magnificent grace God has shown us.

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