Friday, October 8, 2010

For the Beauty of the Earth – Folliot S. Pierpoint

I think a trip to Bath, England (see the picture here) might be in order. It must be a beautiful place, the inspiration for the hymn that Folliot Sandford Pierpoint wrote to proclaim its splendor, and even more the artistry of its Creator. Green grass, singing birds, blossoming flowers, a bubbling brook. ‘Ahhh’, you might sigh as you stroll along in Bath. Some might describe it as heaven on earth, because of its peaceful, healing influence. Pierpoint was a Bath native, who must have observed the bucolic scenery as a child and young man, but it was perhaps time away from his birthplace that helped motivate his words. Bath is in southwest England on the Avon River, almost 100 miles west of London. It’s a resort, well-known for the only natural hot springs in the British nation. Pierpoint left there to attend Cambridge University and obtain his training in classical scholarship. When he was 29, he returned to Bath, where one might say he rediscovered the scholarship and accomplishments of God. Maybe it was the time away that helped him appreciate more what he found one day. It was a spring day in 1864, and Pierpoint’s spirit was bursting as he took in his surroundings and considered the blessings of his life. And, he did more than sigh with contentment. He composed words that endure over 150 years later, so it wasn’t a ho-hum, accidental episode, huh? The nature Pierpoint recognized is still here. And, the composer saw other elements of his world that made him pause, reflect, and give thanks. Pierpoint saw beauties that included his own body’s design and his human relationships. When’s the last time you thanked Him for the divine gifts of the church and His messengers? Pierpoint did. In short, all that I can sense is because of Him. The beauty of a springtime scene is just one visible, flamboyant way for God to tell me I’m blessed. Pierpoint’s experience tells me what can happen if I slow my pace long enough to look around and dwell on what I’ve been given. It’s as if the song’s saying ‘Stop and smell the roses’. When you’re walking through the park some spring day, give yourself an hour just to spectate. Yes, I have so much already. And, it’s only gonna get better one day, a day when the spectacle will never stop. Thanks to Him for the preview… Information on the song was obtained from the books “Amazing Grace – 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions”, by Kenneth W. Osbeck, 1990; and “The Complete Book of Hymns – Inspiring Stories About 600 Hymns and Praise Songs”, by William J. and Ardythe Petersen, 2006. Also see the following link for the original eight verses of the song: See the following site for information on Pierpoint’s birthplace:,_Somerset

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