Separatist Pilgrim & Puritan Hymns
If there is one thing, above all else, that the Pilgrims endeavored to live by, it is the scriptures. They also held a deep appreciation of music and singing.
We Gather Together
We Gather Together is believed to have originated during the time of the Dutch persecution in Holland. It is thought that Dutch Calvinists brought the song to America in the 1620’s.
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader in battle,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
The Old One Hundredth
There are various versions of this song. The lyrics below are from The Book of Psalmes : Englished both in Prose and Meter (Amsterdam 1612) by Henry Ainsworth, carried to New England on the Mayflower.
Leader: Shout to Jehovah all the earth (Congregation Repeats)
Leader: Serve ye Jehovah with gladness (Congregation Repeats)
Leader: Enter His gates with singing mirth (Congregation Repeats)
Leader: Know that Jehovah He God is (Congregation Repeats)
It’s he that made us, and not we;
his folk, and sheep of his feeding.
O with confession enter ye
his gates, his courtyards with praising:
Confess to him, bless ye his name.
Because Jehovah he good is:
his mercy ever is the same
and his faith, unto all ages.
I lift my soul to thee O Lord
My God I trust in thee
let me not be ashamed nor let
my foes joy me.
Yea, all that wait on thee shall not,
be filled with shamefulness:
but they shall be ashamed all,
who without cause transgress.
Thy ways, Jehovah, make me know,
thy paths make me discern.
Cause me my steps to order well,
in thy truth, and me learn,
For thou God of my saving health
on thee I wait all day.
Thy bowels, Lord, and thy mercies
mind, for they are for aye.
Sins of my youth remember not,
neither my trespasses:
after thy mercy mind thou me
O Lord for thy goodness.
Good and upright God is, therefore
will sinners teach the way.
The meek he’ll guide in judgement and
will teach the meek his way.
Jehovah’s paths they mercy are,
all of them truth also
to them that keep his covenant,
and testimonies do.
For thy names sake, O Jehovah,
freely do thou remit
mine own perverse iniquities
because that great is it.
Who fears the Lord, him he will teach
the way that he will chose.
His soul shall dwell at ease, his feed
as heirs the earth shall be.
The secret of God is with those
that do him reverence:
and of his covenant he them
will give intelligence.
Mine eyes continually are
upon Jehovah set
for it is he that will bring forth
my feet out of the net.
Unto me wards turn thou thy face,
and on me mercy show:
because I solitary am
afflicted poor also.
My hearts troubles enlarged are:
from my distress me bring.
See mine affliction and my pain
and pardon all my sin.
Mark my foes, for they many are,
and cruelly me hate,
My soul keep, free me, nor let me
be ashamed, who on thee wait.
Let soundness and uprightness keep
me for I trust in thee.
Israel from his troubles all,
o God, do thou set free.
A psalm of David