Scripture Verse

The Lord created me at the beginning of His work, the first of His acts of old. Proverbs 8:22

Introduction

portrait
William Cowper
1731–1800

Words: Will­iam Cow­per, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), num­ber 52.

Music: Che­nies Ti­mo­thy R. Mat­thews, 1855 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Timothy R. Matthews
1826–1910

Lyrics

Ere God had built the moun­tains,
Or raised the fruitful hills;
Before He filled the foun­tains
That feed the running rills;
In me from ev­er­last­ing,
The wonderful I Am,
Found pleasures ne­ver wast­ing,
And Wisdom is my name.

When, like a tent to dwell in,
He spread the skies abroad,
And swathed about the swell­ing
Of Ocean’s mighty flood;
He wrought by weight and mea­sure,
And I was with Him then:
Myself the Fa­ther’s plea­sure,
And mine, the sons of men.

Thus Wisdom’s words dis­co­ver
Thy glo­ry and Thy grace,
Thou ev­er­last­ing Lov­er
Of our unworthy race!
Thy gracious eye sur­veyed us
Ere stars were seen above;
In wisdom Thou hast made us,
And died for us in love.

And couldst Thou be de­light­ed
With creatures such as we,
Who, when we saw Thee, slight­ed,
And nailed Thee to a tree?
Unfathomable won­der,
And mystery di­vine!
The voice that speaks in thun­der,
Says, Sinner, I am thine!