Scripture Verse

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O Thou most High. Psalm 56:1–2


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719. De­li­ver­ance from op­press­ion and false­hood; or, God’s care of His peo­ple in an­swer to faith and pray­er.

Music: Caith­ness Scot­tish Psal­ter, 1635 (🔊 pdf nwc).


O Thou whose jus­tice reigns on high,
And makes th’op­press­or cease,
Behold how en­vi­ous sin­ners try
To vex and break my peace!

The sons of vio­lence and lies
Join to de­vour me, Lord;
But as my hour­ly dang­ers rise,
My re­fuge is Thy Word.

In God most ho­ly, just, and true
I have re­posed my trust;
Nor will I fear what flesh can do,
The off­spring of the dust.

They wrest my words to mis­chief still,
Charge me with un­known faults;
Mischief doth all their coun­sels fill,
And ma­lice all their thoughts.

Shall they es­cape with­out Thy frown?
Must their de­vic­es stand?
O cast the haugh­ty sin­ner down,
And let him know Thy hand.

God counts the sor­rows of His saints,
Their groans af­fect His ears;
Thou hast a book for my com­plaints,
A bot­tle for my tears.

When to Thy throne I raise my cry,
The wick­ed fear and flee;
So swift is pray­er to reach the sky,
So near is God to me.

In Thee, most ho­ly, just, and true,
I have re­posed my trust;
Nor will I fear what man can do,
The off­spring of the dust.

Thy so­lemn vows are on me, Lord,
Thou shalt re­ceive my praise;
I’ll sing how faith­ful is Thy Word,
How right­eous all Thy ways!

Thou hast se­cured my soul from death,
O set Thy pri­son­er free,
That heart and hand, and life and breath,
May be em­ployed for Thee.