Words: Joseph Addison, in The Spectator, London, issue 453, August 9, 1712.
In the Spectator, the hymn followed an essay on gratitude, with this introduction:
I have already obliged the public with some pieces of divine poetry which have fallen into my hands, and as they have met with the reception they deserve, I shall, from time to time, communicate any work of the same nature which has not appeared in print, and may be acceptable to my readers.
When all Thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.
O, how shall words with equal warmth
The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravished heart!
But Thou canst read it there.
Thy providence my life sustained,
And all my wants redressed,
While in the silent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
To form themselves in prayer.
Unnumbered comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestowed,
Before my infant heart conceived
From whom those comforts flowed.
When in the slippery paths of youth
With heedless steps I ran,
Thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
And led me up to man.
Through hidden dangers, toils, and death,
It gently cleared my way;
And through the pleasing snares of vice,
More to be feared than they.
When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou
With health renewed my face;
And when in sins and sorrows sunk,
Revived my soul with grace.
Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Hath made my cup run o’er;
And, in a kind and faithful friend,
Hath doubled all my store.
Ten thousand, thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the least a cheerful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.
Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I’ll pursue
And after death, in distant worlds,
The glorious theme renew.
When nature fails, and day and night
Divide Thy works no more,
My ever grateful heart, O Lord,
Thy mercy shall adore.
Through all eternity to Thee
A joyful song I’ll raise;
For, oh, eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise!