Sometimes when you gather for worship you are struck by one word, or one small phrase. Today it was the last line, "The hand that made us is divine." Too many times we look around at the world, and at each other and fail to see the creator's hand. We are so satisfied with the explanations of science and reason for the phenomena about us that we may have lost the ability to use terms such as "great," "wondrous," or "glorious." I wonder if Addison's words are a challenge to the Age of Reason when he writes, "In reason’s ear they all rejoice."
1. The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.
2. Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings as they roll
and spread the truth from pole to pole.
3. What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is divine."
Words: Joseph Addison (1672-1719); para of Psalm 19:1-6 Music: Creation, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809); adapt. Dulcimer, or New York Collection ofsacred Music, 1850, alt.