Thursday 27 October 2011

Sweet is the Work, My God, My King

Funny how the mind works some times – well, my mind anyway. I’m currently thinking about ‘shalom’, preparing for a talk I have to do in November on that topic. That got me thinking about ‘harmony’, which led me remember the tune ‘Deep Harmony’ which most often goes with the words to the Isaac Watts’ hymn, ‘Sweet is the work, My God, my King’ – one of my favourites – which we used to sing in the church where I enjoyed my formative years as a young Christian.

I looked up the hymn and saw it has a few more verses than we used to sing, including the strongly-worded fourth stanza below, which (it would appear) not even Strict Baptists could bring themselves to sing.

Sweet is the work, my God, my King,

To praise Thy Name, give thanks and sing,

To show Thy love by morning light

And talk of all Thy truth at night.

Sweet is the day of sacred rest,

No mortal cares shall seize my breast.

O may my heart in tune be found,

Like David’s harp of solemn sound!

My heart shall triumph in my Lord

And bless His works and bless His Word.

Thy works of grace, how bright they shine!

How deep Thy counsels, how divine!

Fools never raise their thoughts so high;

Like brutes they live, like brutes they die;

Like grass they flourish, till Thy breath

Blast them in everlasting death.

But I shall share a glorious part,

When grace has well refined my heart;

And fresh supplies of joy are shed,

Like holy oil, to cheer my head.

Sin (my worst enemy before)

Shall vex my eyes and ears no more;

My inward foes shall all be slain,

Nor Satan break my peace again.

Then shall I see, and hear, and know

All I desired and wished below;

And every power find sweet employ

In that eternal world of joy.

And then what triumphs shall I raise

To Thy dear Name through endless days,

For in the realms of joy I’ll see

Thy face in full felicity

Isaac Watts (1719), author of last stanza unknown.

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