Scripture Verse

The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. Isaiah 38:9–10

Introduction

portrait
Isaac Watts
(1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, Book 1, 1707, num­ber 55, alt. He­ze­ki­ah’s song: or, sick­ness and re­co­ve­ry.

Music: Eag­ley James Walch, 1860 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Walch (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

When we are raised from deep distress,
Our God deserves a song;
We take the pattern of our praise
From Hezekiah’s tongue.

The gates of the devouring grave
Are opened wide in vain,
If He that holds the keys of death
Commands them fast again.

Pains of the flesh are wont t’abuse
Our minds with slavish fears:
Our days are past, and we shall lose
The remnant of our years.

We chatter with a swallow’s voice,
Or like a dove we mourn,
With bitterness instead of joys,
Afflicted and forlorn.

Jehovah speaks the healing word,
And no disease withstands;
See fevers, plagues obey the Lord,
And fly at His commands.

If half the strings of life should break,
He can our frame restore;
He casts our sins behind His back,
And they are found no more.