Just are Thy ways, and true Thy word,
Great Rock of my secure abode:
Who is a God beside the Lord?
Or where’s a refuge like our God?
‘Tis He that girds me with His might,
Gives me His holy sword to wield,
And while with sin and hell I fight,
Spreads His salvation for my shield.
He lives, and blessed be my Rock!
The God of my salvation lives:
The dark designs of hell are broke;
Sweet is the peace my Father gives.
Before the scoffers of the age
I will exalt my Father’s name,
Nor tremble at their mighty rage,
But meet reproach, and bear the shame.
To David and his royal seed
Thy grace forever shall extend;
Thy love to saints in Christ their Head
Knows not a limit, nor an end.
—Isaac Watts, paraphrase of Psalm 18
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Almighty God, to Thee
Be endless Honours done;
The undivided Three,
And the Mysterious One:
Where Reason Fails
With all her Pow’rs,
There Faith prevails,
And Love adores.
PSALM 100 (ISAAC WATTS)
A plain translation. Praise to our Creator.
[You may sing this to DUKE STREET, “Jesus Shall Reign”.]
Ye nations round the earth, rejoice
Before the Lord, your sovereign King;
Serve Him with cheerful heart and voice,
With all your tongues His glory sing.
The Lord is God; ‘tis He alone
Doth life, and breath, and being give;
We are his work, and not our own,
The sheep that on His pastures live.
Enter His gates with songs of joy,
With praises to His courts repair;
And make it your divine employ
To pay your thanks and honors there.
The Lord is good, the Lord is kind,
Great is His grace, His mercy sure;
And the whole race of man shall find
His truth from age to age endure.
—Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Psalms of David, 1719
Praise ye the Lord! ‘Tis good to raise
Your hearts and voices in His praise:
His nature and His works invite
To make this duty our delight.
Duty and delight combine in this anticipatory attainment of “man’s chief end,” “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” and it is God’s being, character, and acts—“His nature and His works”—which evoke our praise.
—Geoffrey Wainwright, Worship with One Accord: Where Liturgy and Ecumenism Embrace, 22
“There are several reasons for opposing it. One, it’s too new. Two, its often worldly, even blasphemous. The new Christian music is not as pleasant as the more established style because there are so many new songs, you can’t learn them all. It also puts too much emphasis on instrumental music rather than on Godly lyrics. This new music creates disturbances, making people act indecently and disorderly. The preceding generation got along without it.”
William Romaine, an Anglican Calvinist, wrote this quote in 1775 . . . critiquing Isaac Watts’ hymns. Yes, that’s right, he wrote this critique entitled, “An Essay on Psalmody” against the hymns that Isaac Watts had written: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, O God Our Help in Ages Past, Give to Our God Immortal Praise, and the other hymns that they had begun using in their “contemporary worship” of the day.
—C. Matthew McMahon
TODAY IS ASCENSION DAY!
1 Hosanna to the prince of light,
That cloth’d himself in clay;
Enter’d the iron gates of death,
And tore the bars away.
2 Death is no more the king of dread,
Since our Immanuel rose;
He took the tyrant’s sting away,
And spoil’d our hellish foes.
3 See how the conqu’ror mounts aloft,
And to his Father flies,
With scars of honour in his flesh,
And triumph in his eyes.
4 There our exalted Saviour reigns,
And scatters blessings down;
Our Jesus fills the middle seat
Of the celestial throne.
5 Raise your devotion, mortal tongues,
To reach his bless’d abode,
Sweet be the accents of your songs
To our incarnate God.
6 Bright angels, strike your loudest strings,
Your sweetest voices raise;
Let heav’n, and all created things,
Sound our Immanuel’s praise.