Scripture Verse

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17

Introduction

portrait
John Bowring
(1792–1872)
© National Portrait Gallery

Words: John Bow­ring, Ma­tins and Ves­pers (Lon­don: G. & W. B. Whit­ta­ker, 1824), num­ber 244.

Music: Acush­net, in The Mo­dern Harp, by Ed­ward L. White & John E. Gould (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Ol­iv­er Dit­son, 1847), page 88 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

The offerings to Thy throne which rise,
Of mingled praise and prayer;
Are but a worthless sacrifice
Unless the heart is there.

Upon Thy all discerning ear
Let no vain words intrude:
No tribute—but the vow sincere—
The tribute of the good.

My offerings will indeed be blest,
If sanctified by Thee;
If Thy pure Spirit touch my heart
With its own purity.

O may that Spirit warm my heart
To piety and love;
And to life’s lowly vale impart
Some rays from Heaven above.