Hymn Study: For The Beauty of the Earth

Hebrews 13:15-16 – “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” 

 Written by Folliot S. Pierpoint, this is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving and was originally written as a song for the Eucharist (The Lord's Supper).

Pierpoint was the author of several poetry collections, including The Chalice of Nature and Other Poems (1855), Songs of Love, the Chalice of Nature, and Lyra Jesu (2nd Edition, 1858). The words of this hymn appeared in Lyrica Eucharistica, The Hymnal Noted (second edition, 1864).  (source)

Pierpoint was born in Bath, England in 1835.  He was educated at Queens College in Cambridge, and later taught at Somersetshire College, where he was a teacher of classics.

He wrote numerous poems, but For the Beauty of the Earth is the only one he is remembered for today. Not only did he write books of poetry, but also produced two hymnals.   He was 29 years old when he wrote this particular hymn.

 The song was inspired by the beauty of the countryside that surrounded him.  Pierpoint wrote praises of God for the beauties all around him into the lyrics.  Take for instance beauty of the earth and sky, beauty of each hour, and the joy of human love that he incorporates into the lyrics. (source)

The words to the original text can be found here.   The tune Dix was written by Conrad Kocher in 1838, also the tune used for As with Gladness Men of Old. 

Pierpoint died at age 82 having written 7 volumes of poetry. 

 Originally the last two lines of each verse read: 
Christ our God, to thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.


(1) For the beauty of the earth, 
For the glory of the skies; 
For the love which from our birth, 
Over and around us lies; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

(2) For the wonder of each hour,
 Of the day and of the night; 
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
 Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

 (3) For the joy of ear and eye, 
For the heart and mind's delight; 
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise. 

 (4) For the joy of human love, 
Brother, sister, parent, child; 
Friends on Earth and friends above, 
 For all gentle things and mild
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise.
(5) For Thy Church that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above
Offering up on on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’

 We continue our study in Ezekiel, the last time we met was about To What Way Does Your Heart Turn? You can read more in my Ezekiel Studies here and here.

 So here we have Ezekiel, God hasn't been allowing him to speak, and a messenger comes running up from Jerusalem with new “The city has been struck down.”    

Ezekiel, given by God a ready answer, has a response.   You people who count on your numbers as a reason for why you should possess the land (after all Abraham was only one and we are many) this is why you can't.
Thus says the Lord God: You eat flesh with the blood and lift up your eyes to your idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land? 26 You rely on the sword, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor's wife; shall you then possess the land?
 It doesn't work this way.   Abraham was a man who followed after God, but the Israelites are, ergo
As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence. 28 And I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and her proud might shall come to an end, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through. 29 Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.
God won't let sin go unpunished.   He won't.   If you live in a way that God doesn't want you to, then judgement will come.   Judgement comes because God wants people to know this truth.  HE IS THE LORD.  HE IS GOD.

God then points out to Ezekiel why people come to hear him talk.  He's a source of entertainment.   He talks well, they like the sound of his voice, but what he says means nothing to them.  They will not change.