Christopher Columbus, as mentioned in the previous post, had sailed in quest of a new route to India. When he landed in San Salvador, he naturally imagined that he had reached his goal. But in the years that followed it became clear that what Columbus had discovered was not India, but a new continent.
This New World was named America, after Amerigo Vespucci, the first explorer to publish his discoveries. The exploration of America would continue for many centuries. Even after the eastern coast had become well-known, discovery continued across the forests and prairies, over the Rocky Mountains, around the horn of South America, and through Hudson’s Bay in search of a Northwest Passage to India.
Today, we are focusing on the 1500’s—the first century of American exploration. Although Spain established a colony in Florida (1565), and Sir Walter Raleigh planted an unsuccessful settlement in North Carolina (1584), European immigration to America did not really flourish until the 1600’s. It is the explorers, not the settlers, who dominate this century.
Today’s featured hymn appeared 1561. It is believed to have been written by William Kethe. Published in a collection of Psalms, it became widely known as the “Old 100th,” in commemoration of the Psalm on which it was based.
All People That on Earth Do Dwell
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.
O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His name always,
For it is seemly so to do.
For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.
A few other hymns dating from the 1500s are:
“O God And Father, Thee We Bless,” by Leonard Clock (Ausbund) (c. 1590).
“Let All Together Praise Our God,” by Nicolaus Herman (1554).
“Almighty God, Our Lord , On Heaven’s Throne,” Hans Büchel (Ausbund) (mid 1500s).
For the next chapter of Hymns of American History please see the following:
More Hymns of American History:
- A Sweet Singer – Book Review