Scripture Verse

In His love and in His pity He redeemed them. Isaiah 63:9

Introduction

portrait
François H. Barthélémon
(1741–1808)

Words: Is­aac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs 1707–09, Book 2, num­ber 79. Praise to the Re­deem­er.

Music: Bal­ler­ma Fran­çois H. Bar­thé­lé­mon (1741–1808). Adapt­ed by Ro­bert Simp­son in A Se­lect­ion of Or­ig­in­al Sac­red Mu­sic, 1833 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a bet­ter pic­ture of Bar­thé­lé­mon, would you ?

portrait
Isaac Watts
(1674–1748)

No hymn in the en­tire range of Chris­tian lyr­ic po­et­ry fur­nish­es a fin­er stu­dy in lit­er­ary cli­max than this.

The be­gin­ning of the hymn in the gulf of dark des­pair furn­ish­es the po­et with an op­por­tun­i­ty to as­cend through the suc­ceed­ing stan­zas to the lof­ty cli­max of grace and glo­ry with which the last stan­za clos­es the hymn.

It is a fine spe­ci­men of lyr­ic po­et­ry, whe­ther viewed from the stand­point of lit­er­ary art or of spir­it­u­al de­vo­tion.

Nutter, p. 129

Lyrics

Plunged in a gulf of dark despair
We wretched sinners lay,
Without one cheerful beam of hope,
Or spark of glimmering day.

With pitying eyes the Prince of grace
Beheld our helpless grief;
He saw, and, O amazing love!
He ran to our relief.

Down from the shining seats above
With joyful haste He fled,
Entered the grave in mortal flesh,
And dwelt among the dead.

He spoiled the powers of darkness thus,
And brake our iron chains;
Jesus hath freed our captive souls
From everlasting pains.

In vain the baffled prince of hell
His cursèd projects tries
We that were doomed his endless slaves
Are raised above the skies.

O for this love let rocks and hills
Their lasting silence break,
And all harmonious human tongues
The Savior’s praises speak.

Yes, we will praise Thee, dearest Lord,
Our souls are all on flame;
Hosannah round the spacious earth
To Thine adored name.

Angels, assist our mighty joys,
Strike all your harps of gold;
But when you raise your highest notes,
His love can ne’er be told.