30/04/2007

Hymn on Christ

This strong hymn perhaps echoes lines found in Phyllis Wheatley and Mather Byles. It would be interesting to know what Beddome had read of that sort. The fifth line (In work so pleasant, so divine) is the second line of Isaac Watts' 1719 hymn 'Praise ye the Lord, my heart shall join'. 'Lofty praise' is also from Watts. The hymn seems to arise from a meditation on the Book of Hebrews.

272 Excellence and Love of Christ

CHRIST is the subject of my song,
Awake my heart, awake my tongue,
His honours high to raise.
’Tis fit that heart and tongue should join,
In work so pleasant, so divine,
And give him lofty praise.

2 No angel can with him compare,
There’s none so great and none so fair,
So lovely and divine;
In heaven above, on earth below,
None can such love and pity show,
And conduct so benign.

3 Of all my joys he is the spring,
My Advocate and ruling King,
My safety when I call;
My fears he soothes, my foes restrains,
My want supplies, my cause maintains,
He is my all in all.

4 In deepest characters impressed,
He bears my name upon his breast
Though mean and vile am I;
Nor on his throne will he forget
The meanest suppliant at his feet,
But notice every sigh.

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