Louis Bourgeois – Old 100th Tune Writer

Here is another history lesson on the music wars in the church, of the 1500’s style. This poor man, Louis Bourgeois, gave us the tune to the Old 100th but was essentially run out of town because he dared change the tunes to some familiar Psalms.

Technically though the tune we call the Old 100th was actually written by Bourgeois for Psalm 134. It wasn’t until “All People That on Earth Do Dwell,” taken from Psalm 100, was written by William Kethe that the tune became known as the Old 100th.

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.

Later that same tune was used for the song, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow,” which we often call it “The Doxology”. It was written by Thomas Ken.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

As commonly as we know this tune, writing music tunes wasn’t so easy back in the 1500’s. You actually had to have a license to write a tune!

“Louis Bourgeois is the one most responsible for the tunes in the Genevan Psalter, the source for the hymns of both the Reformed Church in England and the Pilgrims in America. In the original versions by Bourgeois, the music is monophonic, in accordance with the dictates of John Calvin, who disapproved not only of counterpoint but of any multiple parts; Bourgeois though did also provide four-part harmonizations, but they were reserved for singing and playing at home. Many of the four-part settings are syllabic and chordal, a style which has survived in many Protestant church services to the present day.

Of the tunes in the Genevan Psalter, some are reminiscent of secular chansons, others are directly borrowed from the Strasbourg Psalter; The remainder were composed by successively Guillaume Franc, Louis Bourgeois and Pierre Davantès. By far the most famous of Bourgeois’ compositions is the tune known as the Old 100th.Unfortunately, he fell foul of local musical authorities and was sent to prison on December 3, 1551 for changing the tunes for some well-known psalms “without a license.” He was released on the personal intervention of John Calvin, but the controversy continued: those who had already learned the tunes had no desire to learn new versions, and the town council ordered the burning of Bourgeois’s instructions to the singers, claiming they were confusing. Shortly after this incident, Bourgeois left Geneva never to return: … “


My Lord, I Did Not Choose You

My Lord, I did not choose you,
for that could never be;
my heart would still refuse you,
had you not chosen me.

You took the sin that stained me,
you cleansed me, made me new;
of old you have ordained me,
that I should live in you.

Unless your grace had called me
and taught my opening mind,
the world would have enthralled me,
tho heavenly glories blind.

My heart knows none above you;
for your rich grace I thirst.
I know that if I love you,
you must have loved me first.

Jo­si­ah Con­der, 1836



“How Can I Keep From Singing” by Thomas Clay

This is another favorite song from the True Church Conference.

How Can I Keep From Singing

My soul was dead, fast-bound and cold
With no desire to serve Him
But to my prison cell He came
In no way to deserve Him
I saw His wounds, His cross, His love
With full salvation bringing
And now His blood flows through my veins
How can I keep from singing?

I’m now an heir secure in Him
In covenantal favor
In debt to grace which pardoned me
Through Christ my Kingly Savior
Each day is fresh with newness filled
While to the cross I’m clinging
To spend my only life for Him
How can I keep from singing?

What if my joys and comforts die
I know that Truth is living
What though the darkness ‘round me close?
Still Truth its light is giving!
The peace from love makes fresh my heart
A song of hope is springing
All things are mine, since Truth I’ve found
How can I keep from singing?

One day I’ll stand before His throne
My life on earth completed
No need to fear, alive in Christ
No condemnation needed
And then for age and age to come
His praises will be ringing
To know He’s waiting there for me
How can I keep from singing?

Music and 3rd Verse—Traditional Shaker Hymn
Text to 1st, 2nd, and 4th Verses—Thomas G. Clay
© 2006 GraceAnne Music

Video of Song


“God of Grace God of Love” by Thomas Clay

This was one of my favorite hymns sung at the True Church Conference.


Show pity, Lord, O Lord, forgive,
Let a repenting rebel live:
Are not Thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in Thee?

My crimes are great, but don’t surpass
The power and glory of Thy grace:
Great God, Thy nature hath no bound,
So let Thy pardoning love be found.

God of grace! God of love!
O have mercy on a wand’ring heart like mine
Son of Man! Son of God!
Keep me turning to Thy finished work divine

Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
I must pronounce Thee just in death;
And if my soul were sent to hell,
Thy righteous law approves it well.

My lips with shame my sins confess
Against Thy law, against Thy grace:
Lord, should Thy judgment grow severe,
I am condemned, but Thou art clear.

O depth of mercy!
Can it be that mercy’s still reserved for me?
Ah, can my God His wrath forbear
And me the chief of sinners spare?

Written and Arranged by Thomas G. Clay © 2009 GraceAnne Music

Video of Song


Abide With Me

Friday night, during an Orchestra Concert, one arraignment played contained the tune Abide With Me by Henry F. Lyte (1793-1847).


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


More Favorite God Honoring Hymns

Mrs. Janie sent these as a couple of her favorites.

Be Thou My Vision


“Lamb of God”


Lamb of God

Your only Son, no sin to hide
but you have sent Him
from your side;
to walk upon this guilty sod
and to become the Lamb of God.

Your gift of love they crucified
they laughed and scorned Him
as He died;
the Humble King they named a fraud
and sacrificed the Lamb of God.

O Lamb of God sweet Lamb of God
I love the holy Lamb of God;
O wash me in your precious blood
my Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.

I was so lost I should have died
but you have brought me to
your side;
to be lead by your staff and rod
and to be called a lamb of God.

O Lamb of God sweet Lamb of God
I love the holy Lamb of God;
O wash me in your precious blood
’til I am just a lamb of God.


God Honoring Hymns

Mark asked about God Honoring Hymns.

In your humble opinion, what are the top 10 most God honoring songs that you are aware of?

I have to give a few disclaimers.

First of all, I’m not musically inclined (I gave it all to my daughter) nor a theologian.

Second, and probably of more importance, I have really limited exposure to songs beyond The Baptist Hymnal. These aren’t in any particular order.

He Giveth More Grace – not in my Baptist Hymnal ???
Worthy of Worship
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Thought
When I Survey the Wonderous Cross
Amazing Grace
The Church’s One Foundation
It Is Well With My Soul
Sweet Hour Of Prayer

My Lord, I Did Not Choose You (Although in The Baptist Hymnal, I don’t think it is ever sung.)

I’m sure I might would change some of these after thinking longer on it.


He Giveth More Grace – Hymn

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

~~ By Annie J. Flint (1866-1932) ~~

He Giveth More Grace – Tune


It Is Well With My Soul – Hymn

Are you familiar with the story behind the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford (1828 – 1888)? If not this is a short version of the story.

Mr. Spafford suffered several serious loses in his lifetime just before writing this song.

• His only son died in 1871.

• He lost his business and money in the Chicago Fire of 1871.

• His four daughters drowned at sea in 1873.

Mr. Spafford wrote this hymn when he passed the spot in the ocean where he had lost his daughters.

To see a picture of the original document click here.
To hear the tune click here or click here to hear the song sung.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Horatio Spafford

A person without the blessed Hope of Christ’s salvation would be utterly devastated and become depressed with such tragedy.

For more information about the stories behind the hymns read
Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

by Kenneth Osbeck