Scripture Verse

I am…the bright and morning Star. Revelation 22:16

Introduction

portrait
Thomas Haweis
(1734–1820)

Words: Is­aac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, Book 1, 1707, num­ber 54. God’s pre­sence is light in dark­ness.

Music: Rich­mond (Ha­weis) Tho­mas Ha­weis, Car­mi­na Chris­to 1792 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

portrait
Isaac Watts
(1674–1748)

Background

Montgomery speaks of this as ‘a hymn which would not have dis­cred­it­ed Gray him­self’ (Chris­tian Psalm­ist). Mil­ner des­cribes the hymn in his Life of Watts as ‘al­most with­out spot or ble­mish.’ A writ­er in the Wes­ley­an Me­thod­ist Ma­ga­zine calls it the ve­ry best Watts wrote, a hymn which breathes the ‘in­tense ea­rnest­ness, and pas­sion­ate, kind­ling fer­vour of Wes­ley him­self. It is an ef­fusion of ir­re­pres­si­ble joy and triu­mph­ant faith.’

George Smith, of Coal­ville, the friend of the ca­nal child­ren, found peace as he sang this hymn in 1848, when he lay pros­trate with chol­e­ra, face to face with death. When the light came in­to his soul, he sang, ‘In dark­est shades, if Thou ap­pear.’

Telford, p. 237

Lyrics

My God, the Spring of all my joys,
The Life of my delights,
The Glory of my brightest days,
And Comfort of my nights!

In darkest shades, if He appear,
My dawning is begun,
He is my soul’s bright morning star,
And He my rising sun.

The opening heav’ns around me shine,
With beams of sacred bliss,
While Jesus shows His heart is mine,
And whispers, I am His.

My soul would leave this heavy clay,
At that transporting word,
Run up with joy the shining way,
T’embrace my dearest Lord.

Fearless of hell and ghastly death,
I’d break through every foe;
The wings of love and arms of faith
Would bear me conqueror through.