The Story of the Doxology

July 13, 2014

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17

In 1674, an Anglican priest wrote a simple song of praise for his students at England’s Winchester College. Although the understated lyrics expressed praise to God for His wonderful blessings, he was careful to warn the boys to only sing the hymn in the privacy of their dorm rooms during their personal devotions. Why all the secrecy? At that time, the church believed hymns should only include words directly from the Bible. Using your own lyrics was like adding words to scripture itself.
Blasphemy? No. Praise should be words consistent with scripture. But what beautiful and simple words they were! The hymn shouted its praise to the source of all our blessings, announced with a joy and passion for all God’s glory. Fortunately, this hymn, which is today referred to as the “Doxology,” was soon taken from the shadows and its popularity quickly spread. Do you catch the irony here? This hymn, first used in secret, quickly became the most frequently sung piece of music used in public worship!
Just before you begin your day, in your quiet time, consider singing these joyful words of praise: Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him, above ye Heavenly Host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.