Johann J. Schutz, 1640-1690
Translated by Frances E. Cox, 1812-1897
The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
Psalm 97:1

In the 17th Century, there was an important renewal movement within the Lutheran Church known as Pietism. The leader of this spiritual movement was a pastor in Frankfurt, Germany, Philip J. Spener (1635-1705). Mainly through small cell prayer and Bible study groups, he sought to influence nominal church people who had become accustomed to the dead orthodoxy that had overtaken the church. Spener taught them the meaning of personal faith in Christ and the demands that such faith makes upon the believer for holy Christian living.

One of the important characteristics of the 17th Century Pietistic Movement was the involvement of laymen in the church. Many of the hymn writers and important voices in the church at this time were the lay people from all walks of life. Such was the case with Johann J. Schutz, an authority in civil and canon law, living in Frankfort, Germany. He was closely allied with Philip Spener and the practice of the Pietists in establishing small groups of accountability within the larger church body. Schutz wrote a number of religious publications as well as five hymns. This is his only hymn still in use.

As is true with any spiritual renewal, the Pietist Movement gave birth to a great revival of hymnody throughout Germany as well.

Sing praise to God Who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
The God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul is filled
and every faithless murmur stilled:
To God all praise and glory.

What Godís almighty power hath made
His gracious mercy keepeth,
By morning glow or evening shade
His watchful eye neíer sleepeth;
Within the kingdom of His might,
Lo! all is just and all is right:
To God all praise and glory.

The Lord is never far away,
but through all grief distressing,
An ever present help and stay,
our peace and joy and blessing.
As with a motherís tender hand,
God gently leads the chosen band:
To God all praise and glory.

Thus, all my toilsome way along,
I sing aloud Thy praises,
That earth may hear the grateful song
my voice unwearied raises.
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart,
both soul and body bear your part:
To God all praise and glory.

Let all who name Christís holy Name
give God all praise and glory;
Let all who own His power proclaim
aloud the wondrous story!
Cast each false idol from its throne,
for Christ is Lord, and Christ alone:
To God all praise and glory.

*For Today*: I Chronicles 16:25-36; Psalm 97:1 & 6, 139:7; Isaiah 12:2-5; Hebrews 13:15

Raise your voice in praise to the omnipotent God of all creation; yet He is the One Who has promised never to leave us or forsake us, to be our "ever present help and stay".

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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