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View of Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds, circa 1822 Giclee Print

View of Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds by John Constable, 1822

Religious life played a heavy roll in the 19th century . . . well, the image of piety did at least. While devout modesty was most becoming to parishioners of high classes, congregational hymns knew no such strata. The 18th and 19th century saw such a profusion of new songs added to hymnals throughout Britannia and America. According to the book Then Sings My Soul Book 2 by Robert J. Morgan, the hymn To God Be the Glory was first published in 1875 and composed by a one Ms. Fanny J. Crosby. The hymn was contained in a small hymnal that was not widely published or sung during its day.

After eighty years of neglect, the small hymnal made its way into the hands of the music director for Billy Graham during his 1954 spiritual crusade. Mr. Graham presence and motive in England was conflicting with those in power in the British government. This song became almost a rallying cry and was sung every night for three months. It began a Christian revival in Great Britain. Ms. Crosby’s hymn gained world wide recognition from this event and its chorus still sounds throughout Christian churches across the globe:

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice!