Praise The Lord! Ye Heavens, Adore Him
This anonymous hymn, along with four others, was pasted in the back of a hymnal in the chapel of London’s Foundling Hospital about 1801. The Foundling Hospital was not really a hospital. Established in 1739 by Thomas Corum, a wealthy shipbuilder, it was a home for children abandoned by London’s streets. By 1760 it had become a home for illegitimate children.
George Frederick Handel, a generous friend of the Foundling Hospital, was a frequent visitor. He donated a pipe organ for the chapel. He also conducted performances of his oratorio Messiah for several years to raise funds for the home. Fashionable people from the wealthiest sections of London frequently visited the Foundling Hospital, especially on Sundays to hear the music of the chapel services. A paraphrase of Psalm 148, the hymn praises God for his wonderful works of creation, his laws that govern creation and his promises to humankind for victory over sin and death.