Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord… Psalm 33:12
This popular patriotic hymn was written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831. It was during Samuel’s first year at Andover Seminary that a hymn publisher sought his help. Lowell Mason had a stack of German songs and materials needing translation and young Samuel was proficient in German.
On a cold Boston February, Samuel sat in his room pouring over the materials. He was struck by the words of “Gott segne Sachsenland” (“God Bless our Saxon Land”), set to the tune we know as “America.” “I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own adapted to this tune,” Samuel later said. “Picking up a scrap of paper which lay near me, I wrote at once…”
It was first sung by the Juvenile Choir at a Sunday School Rally in Boston on July 4, 1831. In the following years Samuel grew into a powerful Baptist preacher, college professor, hymnist and missionary advocate. He traveled the world in support of evangelism and rejoiced when his own son became a missionary.
Although Samuel died in his late-eighties after many notable achievements, he has always been most revered for the patriotic hymn he wrote as a 23-year-old student.
As proud American’s let’s sing in unison a song for the brave and the free – My Country, ‘Tis of Thee…Sweet land of liberty…