Brethren, We Have Met To Worship, by George Atkins 19th Century


George Atkins, 19th century

 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name. Bring an offering and come before Him; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. (1 Chronicles 16:31)

The apostle Paul’s favorite name for fellow believers was “brethren.” He used this term at least 60 times throughout his various epistles. Paul’s concept of the local church was a worshiping family—the family of God. Of course, we need to worship God daily in our individual devotional lives. But every believer also needs the enriching experience of worshiping and serving God with other family members on a weekly basis. Only a church of faithful worshiping members is adequately prepared to do its work and fulfill its witness in the world.

Our worship of God, both personally and corporately, should share with the young prophet these five elements depicted in Isaiah 6:
    •       Recognition: “I saw the Lord …” (v. 1)
    •       Praise: “Holy, Holy, Holy …” (v. 3)
    •       Confession: “Woe is me …” (v. 5)
    •       Assurance of Pardon: “This has touched your lips … forgiven” (v. 7)
    •       Dedication: “Here am I …” (v. 8)

This interesting hymn has been a favorite, especially in the South, since it first appeared in 1825. Nothing is known of George Atkins, the author of the text.

  Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God.
  Will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?
  All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down.
  Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.
  Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumb’ring on the brink of woe.
  Death is coming, hell is moving—Can you bear to let them go?
  See our fathers and our mothers and our children sinking down.
  Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.
  Sisters, will you join and help us? Moses’ sister aided him.
  Will you help the trembling mourners who are struggling hard with sin?
  Tell them all about the Savior—Tell them that He will be found.
  Sisters, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.
  Let us love our God supremely. Let us love each other too.
  Let us love and pray for sinners till our God makes all things new.
  Then He’ll call us home to heaven; at His table we’ll sit down;
  Christ will gird Himself and serve us with sweet manna all around.

For Today: Isaiah 6:l–9; Psalm 96:4, 9; 107:32; John 4:24; Hebrews 10:25

Make a list of the various activities that you think would improve your church worship service. Share these ideas with your pastor and other concerned leaders. Reflect on the purpose of group worship as you sing this hymn—

Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 269). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.


  • In the year of the death of king Uzziah, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a high throne, and I lifted up, and the lower parts thereof filled the Temple. The Seraphims stood upon it, everyone had six wings: with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, with twain he did fly. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole world is full of his glory. And the lintels of the door cheeks moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said, Woe is me: for I am undone, because I am a man of polluted lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of polluted lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, and Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the Seraphims unto me with an hot coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with the tongs: And he touched my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity shall be taken away, and thy sin shall be purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? Then I said, Here am I, send me. And he said, Go, and say unto this people, Ye shall hear indeed, but ye shall not understand: ye shall plainly see, and not perceive. Isaiah 6:l–9
  • For the Lord is great and much to be praised: for he is to be feared above all gods. Worship the Lord in the glorious Sanctuary: tremble before him all the earth.  Psalm 96:4, 9
  • And let them exalt him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the Elders. Psalm 107:32
  • God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. John 4:24
  • Not forsaking the fellowship that we have among ourselves, as the manner of some is: but let us exhort one another, and that so much the more, because ye see that the day draweth near. Hebrews 10:25


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