Saturday, November 30, 2013

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book of 1912 and "What Our Father Does Is Well" by B. Schmolk

The ELHB was the Synod's first English hymnal. I own a very worn out copy that was a gift to my grandparents from their pastor. You can read a brief history on Missouri Synod hymnals by Dr. Carl Schalk here. The pertinent paragraph concerning the ELHB:
The first major effort toward an English hymn book was the work, once again, of August Crull. It was presented to the English Lutheran Conference of Missouri and published in Baltimore as the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book (1889). A music edition of this collection was prepared and appeared as the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1912). It became the first official English hymnal of the Synod. This music edition was later often referred to as the "old green hymnal" after the color of its binding.

You can see some of it at Project Wittenberg. And if you really want an in-depth history of Crull and the ELHB, go here to purchase August Crull and the Story of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1912) by Rev. Jon Vieker.

Need To Get Level: 7/10
If you can find it, get it. Whether pastor or layman, this is an important piece of our heritage. It is definitely worth it for the many excellent hymns which we no longer sing.

In honor of Thanksgiving Day, and the increasing anti-Christian fervor in America, here is a hymn from the ELHB section "National and Day of Humiliation and Prayer."

What Our Father Does Is Well (listen to it here)
Benjamin Schmolk, 1720 (go here as well for more on Schmolk)
H.W. Baker Trans. 1861

Tune: Coburg by F. Enckhausen, 1868; other suggestions are Dix and Morgenglanz

1. What our Father does is well:
Blessèd truth His children tell!
Tho' He send for, for plenty, want,
Tho' the harveststore be scant,
Yet we rest upon His love,
Seeking better things above.

2. What our Father does is well;
Shall the willful heart rebel?
If a blessing He withhold
In the field, or in the fold,
Is it not Himself to be
All our store eternally?

3. What our Father does is well;
Though He sadden hill and dell,
Upward yet our praises rise
For the strength His Word supplies;
He has called us sons of God,
Can we murmur at His rod?

4. What our Father does is well;
May the thought within us dwell;
Though nor milk nor honey flow
In our barren Canaan now,
God can save us in our need,
God can bless us, God can feed.

5. Therefore unto Him we raise
Hymns of glory, songs of praise;
To the Father, and the Son,
And the Spirit, Three in One,
Honor, might, and glory be
Now, and through eternity.

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