Scripture Verse

Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee. Psalm 86:5


John Donne (1573–1631)

Words: John Donne (1573–1631).

Music: So giebst du Jo­hann S. Bach (🔊 pdf nwc).

Johann S. Bach (1685–1750)

I have ra­ther the men­tioned this hymn for that he caused it to be set to a most grave and so­lemn tune, and to be oft­en sung to the or­gan by the Chor­is­ters of St. Paul’s [Ca­thed­ral] Church in his own hear­ing, es­pe­cial­ly at the ev­en­ing service, and at his re­turn from his cus­to­ma­ry de­vo­tions in that place, did oc­ca­sion­al­ly say to a friend, the words of this hymn have re­stored to me the same thoughts of joy that pos­sessed my soul in my sick­ness, when I com­posed it.

And, O the power of Church-music! That har­mo­ny add­ed to this hymn has raised the af­fec­tions of my heart, and quick­ened my grace of zeal and gra­ti­tude; and I ob­serve that I al­ways re­turn from pay­ing this pub­lic du­ty of pray­er and praise with an un­ex­pres­si­ble tran­qui­li­ty of mind, and will­ing­ness to leave the world.

Izaak Wa­lton, Lives, 1670


Wilt Thou for­give that sin, by man be­gun,
Which was my sin though it were done be­fore?
Wilt Thou for­give that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do de­plore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou for­give that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou for­give that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wal­lowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I’ve spun
My last thread, I shall per­ish on the shore;
But swear by Thy­self, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine, as He shines now and here­to­fore:
And, hav­ing done that, Thou hast done:
I fear no more.