Sunday, March 10, 2019

Thy way is in the sea

The following hymn by Baptist minister John Fawcett appears in Hymns Adapted to the Circumstances of Public Worship and Private Devotion (Leeds: G. Wright and Son, 1782). In his hymn book Fawcett connects the thoughts of the hymn to 1 Corinthians 13:9. The opening line is also connected to Psalm 77:19.

Hymn LXVI. C. M.

I Cor. xiii. 9. We know in part.

1. Thy way, O God, is in the sea,
Thy paths I cannot trace;
Nor comprehend the mystery
Of thy unbounded grace.

2. ’Tis but in part, I know thy will:
I bless thee for the sight;
When will thy love the rest reveal
In glory’s clearer light?

3. Here the dark veils of flesh and sense
My captive soul surround;
Mysterious deeps of providence
My wond’ring thoughts confound.

4. When I behold thy awful hand,
My earthly hopes destroy;
In deep astonishment I stand,
And ask the reason, why?

5. As thro’ a glass I dimly see,
The wonders of thy love,
How little do I know of thee,
Or of the joys above!

6. When will the day of perfect light,
The happy morn arise,
That shall remove the shades of night
From my beclouded eyes?

5. With rapture shall I then survey
Thy providence, and grace;
And spend an everlasting day
In wonder, love and praise.

This hymn appears in The Shenandoah Harmony with the tune Stroudwater by Amzi Chapin. In the Old-Line Primitive Baptist Hymn and Tune Book it is paired with Aaron Williams’s Mear. From what I have seen, this hymn does not seem to have a strong connection with one tune more than others.

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