How many people know that Benjamin B. Warfield was much more than “just” a theologian and exegete of first rank?
He also wrote at least four hymns and a small grouping of religious verse. Among these, the following example was composed for the occasion of the installation of his close friend, the Rev. Dr. Robert Dick Wilson, as professor of semitic philology at Princeton Theological Seminary, on 21 September 1900:
HOW GLORIOUS ART THOU, O OUR GOD!
Opening Hymn for the Service of Installation (to the tune of St. Anne, composed by William Croft, 1708)
How glorious art thou, O our God!
’Tis Thou and Thou alone
Who dwellest in Thy people’s praise,
On Thine eternal throne.
From Charran and Chaldean Ur,
The River’s banks along,
From Canaan’s heights and Egypt’s sands,
Arose the constant song,—
From all the towns that stud the hills
Of teeming Galilee,
From marts of Greece and misty lands
Beyond the Western Sea.
How many voices, diff’ring tongues,
Harmonious, join to raise
To Thee, O Rock of Israel,
Fain would we catch the accents strange,
Fain train our ears to hear
The notes that hymn Thee, through the years,
O Israel’s Hope and Fear!
’Twas thou didst teach thy sons of old
Thy varied laud to sing,
School Thou our hearts that we may too
Our hallelujahs bring.
How glorious art Thou, O our God!
How mighty past compare!
Thou dwellest in Thy people’s praise,—
Accept the praise we bear.