FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH
Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1835–1917
Whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
One of the delights that we as adults have in being around children is to hear their squeals of pleasure as they observe and discover some ordinary object about them. No doubt our heavenly Father is also pleased when His children take time to observe and appreciate His creation and then to simply express joyous gratitude to Him for His countless blessings. Today’s hymn reminds us of the common blessings of life that many of us often take for granted—the beauties of nature, our parents, family, friends, church. The lyrics then direct our “grateful praise” to God Himself, the giver of every good and perfect gift.
Not much is known about Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, author of this lovely text. He was born in the intriguing old town of Bath, England. Even today Bath is most interesting and lovely, nestled in the hills surrounding this ancient city. Here one can still view the large pools of natural mineral baths for which the town was named. The inspiration for this hymn text is said to have come to this young author as he was strolling about his native town one day in the late spring, entranced by the beautiful countryside with the winding Avon River in the distance. His heart no doubt swelled up within him as he enjoyed the beauties of God’s creation—the sun, the flowers, the shining stars. Pierpoint also recalled his social blessings—friends and home—those relationships that bring such enriching dimensions to our lives. Above all, however, were the spiritual blessings as represented by the Church—God’s chosen agency for accomplishing His divine purposes in the world. Each of these blessings is then directed to God with a “hymn of grateful praise.”
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies: CHRIST OUR GOD, TO THEE WE RAISE THIS OUR HYMN OF GRATEFUL PRAISE!
For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child, friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild: CHRIST OUR GOD, TO THEE WE RAISE THIS OUR HYMN OF GRATEFUL PRAISE!
For Thy Church that evermore lifteth holy hands above, off’ring up on ev’ry shore her pure sacrifice of love: CHRIST OUR GOD, TO THEE WE RAISE THIS OUR HYMN OF GRATEFUL PRAISE!
For Today: Psalm 9:1, 2; 69:30, 31; 107:21, 22; John 1:3; James 1:17
Determine to fill your mind with things that are pure … Sing this musical prayer to the One who has made it all possible—