“All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord”: An Assembly of Eternal Believers
There are many praise hymns in many hymnals and “All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord” is one of them. Like many hymns and praise hymns, this song puts a spotlight on a believer’s personal relationship and faith in God.
The hymn has six stanzas, with four lines each. Charles Wesley (1707-1788) wrote this hymn as part of his prolific work. The hymn was set to music by Sylvanus B. Pond (1836)’s “Armenia.” The harmony was made by Austin C. Lovelace (1963). The hymn with the “Armenia” tune was published in The Musical Miscellany (1836).
Many hymnists are aware of Charles Wesley, who is a prolific British hymn writer. A contrast to Wesley, the composer for this hymn, Sylvanus B. Pond (1792-1871), was a prominent American musician. In his life. He became the conductor of N.Y. Sacred Musical Society and N.Y. Academy of Sacred Music. Apart from this work, he also wrote songs for Sunday school with editorial and publishing work (Union Melodies (1838), The U.S. Psalmody (1841), and The Book of Praise, for the Reformed Dutch Church in America (1866). He is also the composer behind Armenia (1835), Henry, Madison, Siberia, and Franklin Square (1850).
Unlike many hymns, the perspective of this hymn is more collective than personal. There is the use of the word “us” to represent believers is divergent to the more used “you.”
The first stanza is a call for an assembly of believers. These believers are joined in “His grace” and to “seek His face.” The second stanza emphasizes support for every believer in the group and becomes one as people. Meanwhile, the third stanza mentions a “gift,” which contains “purest streams of love” from God. The fourth stanza puts back the focus to the believers, who are in agreement and coordinated by Jesus. In this group, peace and joy are over bound (fifth stanza). The last stanza puts a mirror between a church in our temporal life and the Church in Heaven. It says here is an existing bond between believers and their faith in Christ whatever happens, and even though they are in two different places.