Scripture Verse

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11


William Cowper (1731–1800)

Words: Will­iam Cow­per, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 2, num­ber 8.

Music: I See Thee Stand­ing, ano­ny­mous (🔊 pdf nwc).


Bestow, dear Lord, up­on our youth
The gift of sav­ing grace;
And let the seed of sacr­ed truth
Fall in a fruit­ful place.
Grace is a plant, wher­e’er it grows
Of pure and heav’n­ly root;
But fair­est in the young­est shows,
And yields the sweet­est fruit.

Ye care­less ones, O hear be­times,
The voice of so­ve­reign love!
Your youth is stained with ma­ny crimes,
But mer­cy reigns above.
True, you are young, but there’s a stone
Within the young­est breast,
Or half the crimes which you have done
Would rob you of your rest.

For you the pub­lic pray­er is made,
Oh! join the pub­lic pray­er!
For you the secr­et tear is shed,
O shed your­selves a tear!
We pray that you may ear­ly prove
The Spi­rit’s pow­er to teach;
You can­not be too young to love
That Je­sus, whom we preach.