Sunday, July 12, 2020

Bitter Sweet

A hymn called “Resignation,” by Benjamin Beddome, 1787. Oliver Holden wrote the tune Bitter Sweet in 1800, for the fourth stanza of this hymn. This song was first published in 1787 in A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, by John Rippon. However, “Resignation” was actually composed earlier by Beddome, to be sung at his church (Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, 1740-1795) on Sunday, January 14, 1778. On this day also, “by a singular coincidence...his son died, most unexpectedly, in Edinburgh.” (From John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology)

1.  My times of sorrow and of joy,
Great God, are in thy hand;
My chief enjoyments come from thee,
And go at thy command.

2.  Oh Lord, should thou withhold them all,
Yet would I not repine;
Before they were by me possessed,
They were entirely thine.

3.  Nor would I drop a murmuring word,
If all the world were gone,
But seek substantial happiness,
In thee and thee alone.

4.  What is the world with all its store?
’Tis but a bitter sweet;
When I attempt to pluck the rose,
A pricking thorn I meet.

5.  Here perfect bliss can ne’er be found,
The honey’s mixed with gall;
Midst changing scenes and dying friends,
Be thou my all in all.

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