The God of Abraham praise
This hymn was written by Thomas Olivers (1725-1799), after hearing Meyer Lyon (d.1797), a chorister in the Great Synagogue, Dukes Place, London, sing the Yigdal or Hebrew Confession of Faith. This is read antiphonally by precentor and congregation at the opening of the morning service, but is sung to traditional tunes on the eve of the Sabbath and on the evenings of the Jewish Festivals. The Yigdal is believed to have been written by Daniel ben Judah, a judge in Rome, in 1404, and is based upon the thirteen creeds of Moses Maimonides (ca.1130-ca.1204), with a concluding verse. Olivers wrote the hymn sometime between 1763 and 1770. He is reported to have told a friend during a conference at Wesleys City Road Chapel: Look at this; I have rendered it from the Hebrew, giving it, as far as I could, a Christian character. It first appeared in John Wesleys Pocket Hymnbook for the use of Christians of all Denominations, 1785, becoming extremely popular in Methodist circles. The hymn is a free paraphrase of the Yigdal; there are twelve verses in total, although most hymn books reproduce only eight or ten. The verses refer extensively to passages of Scripture; Olivers produced references for virtually every line of the text, beginning with Exodus 3:6: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham.
James Montgomery wrote of Olivers hymn:
Tune - Leoni
Leoni was the liturgical name for Meyer Lyon, and was the Synagogue melody used by Lyon for the Yigdal. Thomas Olivers harmonised the melody into a striking eighteenth-century tune in a minor key.