We Plow the Fields and Scatter Hymn – Matthias Claudius, 1740-1815

We Plow the Fields and Scatter Lyrics

1 We plow the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered
by God’s almighty hand;
he sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine
and soft refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above,
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
for all his love.

2 He only is the maker
of all things near and far;
he paints the wayside flower,
he lights the evening star;
the wind and waves obey him,
by him the birds are fed;
much more to us his children,
he gives our daily bread.
All good gifts…

3 We thank you, then, O Father,
for all things bright and good,
the seed-time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food:
accept the gifts we offer
for all your love imparts;
and that which you most welcome,
our humble, thankful hearts.

All good gifts…

The History of We Plow the Fields and Scatter Hymn

FROM the German have been translated many of our richest hymns. Most of John Wesley’s hymns in use among Methodists are those he has translated from German hymns, and chiefly those expressing the mystical faith of the Moravians.

This harvest hymn of thanksgiving, “We plow the fields, and scatter,” was translated from the German hymn of Matthias Claudius by Miss Jane Montgomery Campbell in 1861.

She was the daughter of an English clergyman, and he was the son of a German clergyman.

Claudius lived to be seventy-four years old and died in 1815, two years before Miss Campbell was born.

This hymn was freely translated from a portion of a longer poem of seventeen verses with chorus.

It appeared first in a sketch called Paul Erdmann’s Feast.

It was represented as the song that was sung at Paul’s home by the peasants after the harvest was over.

As may be inferred from this hymn, there was a wholesome cheer in the author’s writings as well as in his life, and this although he was accustomed to hardships.

Menzel has said of him that his genius never reached its fullest development because he was constantly harassed by his poverty.

But he was a man of great piety, and his influence for good was very considerable. He chose to dwell upon the blessings with which God enriches us, and from his very heart he sang:

“We thank Thee, then, O Father,
For all things bright and good.”

We Plow the Fields and Scatter YouTube video

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