hymnal: Praise to the Holiest in the height

January sky 3

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise;
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways!

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive, and should prevail;

and that the highest gift of grace
should flesh and blood refine:
God’s presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.

O generous love! that he who smote
in man for ma the foe,
the double agony in Man
for man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
to suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise;
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways!

Words: John Henry Newman (1801-1890), 1866

MIDI: Gerontius (John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-1876)

http://youtu.be/Snf1FiBSLvY (Praise to the holiest in the height)

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

“Newman, John Henry , D.D. The hymnological side of Cardinal Newman’s life and work is so small when compared with the causes which have ruled, and the events which have accompanied his life as a whole, that the barest outline of biographical facts and summary of poetical works comprise all that properly belongs to this work. Cardinal Newman was the eldest son of John Newman, and was born in London, Feb. 21, 1801. He was educated at Ealing under Dr. John Nicholas, and at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated in honours in 1820, and became a Fellow of Oriel in 1822. Taking Holy Orders in 1824, he was for a short time Vice-Principal of St. Alban’s Hall, and then Tutor of Oriel. His appointment to St. Mary’s, Oxford, was in the spring of 1828. In 1827 he was Public Examiner, and in 1830 one of the Select University Preachers. His association with Keble, Pusey, and others, in what is known as “The Oxford Movement,” together with the periodical publication of the Tracts for the Times, are matters of history.

Cardinal Newman’s poetical work began with poems and lyrical pieces which he contributed to the British Magazine, in 1832-4 (with other pieces by Keble and others), under the title of Lyra Apostolica. In 1836 these poems were collected and published under the same title, and Greek letters were added to distinguish the authorship of each piece, his being δ. Only a few of his poems from this work have come into use as hymns. The most notable is, “Lead, kindly Light”.

His Dream of Gerontius, a poem from which his fine hymn, “Praise to the Holiest in the height,” is taken, appeared in his Verses on Various Occasions, in 1868.

–John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Excerpts quoted from: http://www.hymnary.org/person/Newman_JH