Hymn #26: We Worship You, God

Robert Grant (1779-1838) wrote the words to this hymn in 1833, one year before he was knighted and made governor of Bombay, India. Scholars believe that Grant’s words were inspired by William Kethe’s paraphrase of Psalm 104.

Robert Grant graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, England, and became a lawyer in 1807. As a member of Parliament he authored a bill of emancipation for Jews I England, which was eventually voted into law, an early example of tolerance for other religions by a nation.

Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806), younger brother of Franz Joseph Haydn, is believed to be the composer of this tune, named LYONS. However, it has never been found in any of his tunebooks. The tune was introduced in the United States by Lowell Mason, who discovered it in William Gardiner’s Sacred Melodies.

William Gardiner (1770-1853), born in the same year as Beethoven, was a hosiery manufacturer who deeply loved church music. This tune was among those in his Sacred Melodies from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven (1812-1815). Gardiner was a strong admirer of Beethoven and did much to promote that composer’s music in England.