Sunday, May 12, 2019

Joy in Heaven over a Repenting Sinner

“Joy in Heaven over a Repenting Sinner,” by Isaac Watts, is a 3-stanza Long Meter hymn related to the biblical texts of Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:7-10. I found it in William Gadsdy’s Selection, No. 422. According to, it has been published with the tunes Effingham, Stanfield, and others. I was impressed by the text and used it with my tune Archibald (see below), written in memory of Archibald Newton Whitten, compiler of the Harp of Ages.

1. Who can describe the joys that rise
Through all the courts of Paradise,
To see a prodigal return,
To see an heir of glory born?

2. With joy the Father does approve
The fruit of his eternal love;
The Son with joy looks down and sees
The purchase of his agonies.

3. The Spirit takes delight to view
The holy soul he formed anew;
And saints and angels join to sing,
The growing empire of their King.

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