Monday, January 15, 2007

Grace and Providence

Hymn by William Cowper; The Olney Hymns Hymn 81
[as researched and posted by Will Fitzgerald on the fasola listserve 23 Nov 2006]

Almighty King! whose wondrous hand
Supports the weight of sea and land;
Whose grace is such a boundless store,
No heart shall break that sighs for more.

Thy providence supplies my food,
And 'tis Thy blessing makes it good;
My soul is nourish'd by Thy Word,
Let soul and body praise the Lord!

My streams of outward comfort came
From Him who built this earthly frame;
Whate'er I want His bounty gives,
By whom my soul forever lives.

Either His hand preserves from pain,
Or, if I feel it, heals again;
From Satan's malice shields my breast,
Or overrules it for the best.

Forgive the song that falls so low
Beneath the gratitude I owe!
It means Thy praise: however poor,
An angel's song can do no more.

"My song is a marvel of tuneless wretchedness compared to an angel's epitome of musical expression, but the praise I mean to express is equal to the angel's praise, thus the angel's song can do no more." -- Paul T. Robinson [fasola listserve 25 Nov 2006]

Added to the fifth stanza of Cowper's hymn on p. 168 in the Denson Sacred Harp book is:
Great God, and wilt thou condescend
To my my Father and my Friend?--
I a poor child, and thou so high,
The Lord of earth, and air, and sky?
-- Ann Taylor Gilbert in Hymns for Infant Minds

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