Scripture Verse

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719. The book of na­ture and Scrip­ture.

Music: Ado­ro Te (Barn­by) Jo­seph Barn­by, 1872 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Joseph Barnby (1838–1896)


Great God, the heav’ns’ well or­dered frame
Declares the glo­ries of Thy name;
There Thy rich works of won­der shine;
A thou­sand star­ry beau­ties there,
A thou­sand ra­di­ant marks ap­pear
Of bound­less pow­er and skill di­vine.

From night to day, from day to night,
The dawn­ing and the dy­ing light
Lectures of heav’n­ly wis­dom read;
With si­lent elo­quence they raise
Our thoughts to our cre­at­or’s praise,
And nei­ther sound nor lang­uage need.

Yet their di­vine in­struct­ions run
Far as the jour­neys of the sun,
And ev­ery nation knows their voice:
The sun like some young bride­groom dressed
Breaks from the cham­bers of the east,
Rolls round, and makes the earth re­joice.

Where’er he spreads his beams abroad
He smiles and speaks his mak­er God;
All na­ture joins to show Thy praise:
Thus God in ev­ery crea­ture shines;
Fair is the book of na­ture’s lines,
But fair­er is Thy book of grace.

I love the vol­umes of Thy Word;
What light and joy the leaves af­ford
To souls be­night­ed and dis­tressed!
Thy pre­cepts guide my doubt­ful way,
Thy fear for­bids my feet to stray,
Thy pro­mise leads my heart to rest.

From the dis­co­ve­ries of Thy law
The per­fect rules of life I draw;
These are my stu­dy and de­light;
Not honey so in­vites the taste,
Nor gold that hath the fur­nace passed
Appears so pleas­ing to the sight.

Thy threat­en­ings wake my slum­ber­ing eyes,
And warn me where my dan­ger lies;
But ’tis thy bless­èd Gos­pel, Lord,
That makes my guil­ty con­science clean,
Converts my soul, sub­dues my sin,
And gives a free but large re­ward.

Who knows the er­rors of his thoughts?
My God, for­give my sec­ret faults,
And from pre­sump­tu­ous sins re­strain;
Accept my poor at­tempts of praise
That I have read Thy book of grace
And book of na­ture not in vain.