I still remember clearly my very first hymn book, from infants’ school – as it was then called. It
contained about half a dozen simple hymns and had a grey sugar-paper cover which we each
decorated. The simplicity and directness of these hymns give a depth of meaning, a truthfulness, and
convey a sense of the closeness to God which many of us look and long for as adults. Their words –
and tunes – have stayed with me and still bring me joy almost sixty years later. This is one of them:
To God who makes all lovely things
How happy must our praises be!
Each day a new surprise he brings
To make us glad his world to see.
How plentiful must be the mines
From which he gives his gold away;
In March he gives us celandines,
He gives us buttercups in May.
He grows the wheat and never stops;
There’s none can count the blades of green;
And up among the elm-tree tops
As many thousand leaves are seen.
And when the wheat is bound in sheaves
He sends his wind among the trees,
And down come all the merry leaves
In yellow-twinkling companies.
On winter nights his quiet flakes
Come falling, falling all the night,
And when the world next morning wakes
It finds itself all shining white.
He makes the sea that shines afar
With waves that dance unceasingly’
And every single little star
That twinkles in the evening sky.
He made the people that I meet,
The many people, great and small,
In home and school, and down the street,
And he made me to love them all.
J.M.C. Crum 1872-1958