The hymn was written in 1876 for a celebration of the Centennial Fourth of July, and sung at Brandon, Vermont, to the tune called Russian Hymn! When our General Convention appointed a Commission to revise the Hymnal, I sent it, without my name, promising to send the name if the hymn were accepted. It was accepted and printed anonymously in the report of the Commission. Before the Hymnal was printed, the Reverend Dr. Tucker, late of Troy, editor of our best musical Hymnal, and Mr. George William Warren, organist of St. Thomas’ Church, New York, were appointed to choose a hymn for the centennial celebration of the adoption of the Constitution. They selected this hymn, then anonymous, and wanting a tune, Mr. Warren composed a tune to which it has since been set in the Tucker Hymnal.
God Of Our Fathers ~ words by Daniel C. Roberts
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
3 thoughts on “God of Our Fathers ~ Hymn ~ Daniel C. Roberts”
I have always loved this song — in fact, I first learned it in grade school back in the early 60s (when we still had prayer in school).
I think its a shame kids don’t learn this song in school.
Hi Fred, It’s great that you have a history with this hymn. Have a great 4th! blessings…
Do you have any more information on this Daniel C. Roberts who wrote the lyrics? He may be related to a cousin of mine. Thanks for your help. It’s a beautiful song for church.
Thanks for posting Daniel Roberts’ fine national hymn. The basic sentiments fit us north of the border as well. And today is the 102nd anniversary of Roberts’ death.