Appears in 56 hymnals Scripture: Psalm 119 Lyrics: Aleph:
1 How bless'd are they who always keep
the pure and perfect Way!
Who never from the sacred Paths
of God's Commandments stray!
2 Thrice bless'd! who to his righteous Laws
have still obedient been!
And have with fervent humble Zeal
his Favour sought to win!
3 Such Men their utmost Caution use
to shun each wicked Deed;
But in the Path which he directs
with constant Care proceed.
4 Thou strictly hast enjoin'd us, Lord,
to learn thy sacred Will;
And all our Diligence employ
thy Statutes to fulfil.
5 O then that thy most holy Will
might o'er my Ways preside!
And I the Course of all my Life
by thy Direction guide!
6 Then with Assurance should I walk,
from all Confusion free;
Convinc'd with Joy, that all my ways
with thy Commands agree.
7 My upright Heart shall my glad Mouth
with chearful Praises fill;
when by thy righteous Judgments taught,
I shall have learnt thy Will.
8 So to thy sacred Law shall I
all due Observance pay:
O then forsake me not, my God,
nor cast me quite away.
9 How shall the Young preserve their Ways
from all Pollution free?
By making still their Course of Life
with thy Commands agree.
10 With hearty Zeal for thee I seek,
to thee for Succour pray;
O suffer not thy careless Steps
from thy right Paths to stray.
11 Safe in my Heart, and closely hid,
thy Word, my Treasure, lies;
To succour me with timely Aid,
when sinful Thoughts arise.
12 Secur'd by that, my grateful Soul
shall ever bless thy Name:
O teach me then by thy just Laws
my future Life to frame.
13 My Lips, unlock'd by pious Zeal,
to others have declar'd;
How well the Judgments of thy Mouth
deserve our best Regard.
14 Whilst in the Way of thy Commands
more solid Joy I found,
Than had I been with vast Increase
of envy'd Riches crown'd.
15 Therefore thy just and upright Laws
shall always fill my Mind,
And those sound Rules which thou prescrib'st,
all due Respect shall find.
16 To keep thy Statues undefac'd
shall be my constant Joy;
The strict Remembrance of thy Word
shall all my thoughts employ.
17 Be gracious to thy Servant, Lord,
do thou my Life defend,
That I according to thy word
my Time to come may spend.
18 Enlighten both my Eyes and Mind,
that so I may discern
The wondrous Things which they behold,
who thy just Precepts learn.
19 Tho' like a Stranger in the land,
from Place to Place I stray,
Thy righteous Judgments from my Sight,
remove not thou away.
20 My fainting Soul is almost pin'd,
with earnest Longing spent;
Whilst always on the eager Search
of thy just Will intent.
21 The sharp Rebuke shall crush the Proud,
whom still thy Curse pursues;
Since they to walk in thy right Ways
22 But far from me do thou, O Lord,
Contempt and Shame remove;
For I thy sacred Laws affect
with undissembled Love.
23 Tho' Princes oft, in Council met,
against thy Servant spake;
Yet I thy Statutes to observe,
my constant Bus'ness make.
24 For Thy Commands have always been
my Comfort and Delight;
By them I learn with prudent Care,
to guide my Steps aright.
25 My Soul oppress'd with deadly Care,
close to the Dust does cleave;
Revive me, Lord, and let me now
thy promis'd Aid receive.
26 To Thee I still declar'd my Ways,
and thou inclin'dst thine Ear;
O teach me then my future Life
by thy just Laws to steer.
27 If thou wilt make me know thy Laws,
and by thy guidance walk,
The wond'rous Works which thou hast done,
shall be my constant Talk.
28 But see, my soul within me sinks,
Press'd down with weighty Care;
Do thou, according to thy word,
my wasted Strength repair.
29 Far, far from me be all false Ways,
and lying Arts remov'd!
But kindly grant I still may keep
the Path by thee approv'd.
30 Thy faithful Ways, thou God of Truth,
my happy Choice I've made;
Thy Judgments, as my Rule of Life,
before me always laid.
31 My Care has been to make my Life
with thy Commands agree;
O then preserve thy Servant, Lord,
from Shame and Ruin free.
32 So in the Way of thy Commands
shall I with Pleasure run,
And with a Heart enlarg'd with Joy,
successfully go on.
33 Instruct me in thy Statutes, Lord,
thy righteous Paths display;
And I from them, through all my Life,
will never go astray.
34 If thou true Wisdom from above
wilt graciously impart,
To keep thy perfect Laws I will
devote my zealous Heart.
35 Direct me in the sacred Ways
to which thy Precepts lead;
Because my chief Delight has been
thy righteous Paths to tread.
36 Do thou to thy most just Commands
incline my willing Heart;
Let no Desire of worldly Wealth
from Thee my Thoughts divert.
37 From those vain Objects turn my Eyes
which this false World displays;
But give me lively Power and Strength
to keep thy righteous Ways.
38 Confirm the Promise which thou mad'st,
and give thy Servant Aid,
Who to transgress thy sacred laws
is awfully afraid.
39 The foul Disgrace I justly fear,
in Mercy Lord remove;
For all the Judgments thou ordain'st
are full of Grace and Love.
40 Thou know'st how, after thy Commands,
my longing Heart does pant;
O then make haste to raise me up,
and promis'd Succour grant.
41 Thy constant Blessing, Lord, bestow
to chear my drooping Heart;
To me, according to thy word,
thy saving Health empart.
42 So shall I, when my Foes upbraid,
this ready Answer make;
"In God I trust, who never will
"his faithful Promise break."
43 Then let not quite the Word of Truth
be from my Mouth remov'd;
Since still my Ground of stedfast Hope
thy just Decrees have prov'd.
44 So I to keep thy righteous Laws,
will all my Study bend;
From Age to Age, my Time to come
in their Observance spend.
45 E'er long I trust to walk at large,
from all Incumbrance free;
Since I resolve to make my Life
with thy Commands agree.
46 Thy Laws shall be my constant Talk;
and Princes shall attend,
Whilst I the Justice of thy Ways
with Confidence defend.
47 My longing Heart and ravish'd Soul
shall both o'erflow with Joy,
When in thy lov'd Commandments I
my happy Hours employ,
48 Then will I to thy just Decrees
lift up my willing Hands;
My Care and Bus'ness then shall be
to study thy Commands.
49 According to thy promis'd Grace,
thy Favour, Lord, extend;
Make good to me the Word, on which
thy Servant's Hopes depend.
50 That only Comfort in Distress
did all my Griefs controul;
Thy Word when Troubles hemm'd me round,
reviv'd my fainting Soul.
51 Insulting foes did proudly mock,
and all my Hopes deride;
Yet, from thy Law, not all their Scoffs
could make me turn aside.
52 Thy Judgments then, of ancient Date,
I quickly call to mind,
'Till ravish'd with such Thoughts, my soul
did speedy Comfort find.
53 Sometimes I stand amaz'd, like one
with deadly Horror struck,
To think how all my sinful foes
have thy just Laws forsook.
54 But I thy Statutes and Decrees
my chearful Anthems made;
whilst thro' strange Lands and Desarts wild
I like a Pilgrim stray'd.
55 Thy Name, that chear'd my Heart by Day,
has fill'd my Thoughts by Night;
I then resolv'd by thy just Laws,
to guide my Steps aright.
56 That Peace of Mind, which has my Soul
in deep Distress sustain'd.
By strict Obedience to thy Will
I happily obtain'd.
57 O Lord, my God, my Portion thou
and sure Possession art;
Thy Words I stedfastly resolve
to treasure in my Heart.
58 With all the Strength of warm Desires
I did thy Grace implore;
Disclose, according to thy word,
thy Mercies boundless Store.
59 With due Reflection and strict Care
on all my Ways I thought;
And so, reclaim'd to thy just Paths,
my wand'ring Steps I brought.
60 I lost no time, but made great haste,
resolv'd, without Delay,
To watch that I might never more
from thy Commandments stray.
61 Tho' num'rous Troops of sinful Men
to rob me have combin'd;
Yet I thy pure and righteous Laws
have ever kept in mind.
62 In dead of Night I will arise
to sing thy solemn Praise;
Convinc'd how much I always ought
to love thy righteous Ways.
63 To such as fear thy holy Name,
myself I closely join;
To all who their obedient Wills
to thy Commands resign.
64 O'er all the Earth thy Mercy, Lord,
abundantly is shed;
O make me then exactly learn,
thy sacred Paths to tread.
65 With me, thy Servant, thou hast dealt
most graciously, O Lord,
Repeated Benefits bestow'd,
according to thy word.
66 Teach me the sacred Skill by which
right Judgment is attain'd,
Who in Belief of thy Commands
have stedfastly remain'd.
67 Before Affliction stopp'd my Course,
my Footsteps went astray;
But I have since been disciplin'd,
thy Precepts to obey.
68 Thou art, O Lord, supremely good,
and all thou dost is so;
On me, thy Statutes to discern,
thy saving Skill bestow.
69 The Proud have forg'd malicious Lies,
my spotless Fame to stain;
But my fix'd Heart, without Reserve,
thy Precepts shall retain.
70 While pamper'd they, with prosp'rous Ills,
in sensual Pleasures live,
My soul can relish no Delight,
but what thy Precepts gave.
71 'Tis good for me that I have felt
Affliction's chast'ning Rod,
That I might duly learn and keep
the Statues of my God.
72 The Law that from thy Mouth proceeds
of more Esteem I hold,
Than untouch'd Mines, than thousand Mines
of Silver and of Gold.
73 To me, who am the Workmanship
of thy Almighty Hands,
The heav'nly Understanding give
to learn thy just Commands.
74 My Preservation to thy Saints
strong Comfort will afford,
To see Success attend my Hopes,
who trusted in thy Word.
75 That right thy Judgments are, I now
by sure Experience see;
And in that Faithfulness, O Lord,
thou hast afflicted me.
76 O let thy tender Mercy now
afford me needful Aid;
According to thy Promise, Lord,
to me, thy Servant, made.
77 To me thy saving Grace restore,
that I again may live;
Whose Soul can relish no Delight,
but what thy Precepts give.
78 Defeat the Proud, who unprovok'd,
to ruin me have sought,
Who only on thy sacred Laws
employ my harmless Thought.
79 Let those that fear thy name espouse
my Cause,and those alone
Who have by strict and pious Search
thy sacred Precepts known.
80 In thy blest Statutes let my Heart
continue always sound,
That Guilt and Shame, the Sinner's Lot,
may never me confound.
81 My Soul with long Expectance faints
to see thy saving Grace:
Yet still on thy unerring word
my confidence I place.
82 My very Eyes consume and fail
with waiting for thy Word;
O! when wilt thou thy kind Relief
and prromis'd Aid afford.
83 My Skin like shrivel'd Parchment shows,
that long in Smoak is set;
Yet no Affliction me can force
thy Statutes to forget.
84 How many Days must I endure
of Sorrow and Distress?
When wilt thou Judgment execute
on them who me oppress?
85 The Proud have digg'd a Pit for me,
who have no other foes,
But such as are averse to thee,
and thy just Laws oppose.
86 With Right and Truth's eternal Laws
all thy Commands agree;
Men persecute me without Cause,
thou, Lord, my Helper be.
87 With close Designs against my Life
they had almost prevail'd;
But in Obedience to thy Will
my Duty never fail'd:
88 Thy wonted Kindness, Lord, restore,
my drooping Heart to chear;
That by thy righteous Statutes, I
my Life's whole Course may steer.
89 For ever and for ever, Lord,
unchang'd thou dost remain;
Thy Word, establish'd in the Heav'ns,
does all their Orbs sustain.
90 Thro' circling Ages, Lord, thy Truth
immoveable shall stand,
As does the Earth which thou uphold'st
by thy Almighty Hand.
91 All Things the Course by thee ordain'd,
ev'n to this Day fulfill;
They are thy faithful Subjects all,
and Servants of thy Will.
92 Unless thy sacred Law had been
my Comfort and Delight,
I must have fainted and expir'd
in dark Affliction's Night.
93 Thy Precepts therefore from my Tho'ts
shall never, Lord, depart;
For thou by them hast to new Life
restor'd my dying Heart.
94 As I am thine, entirely thine,
protect me, Lord, from Harm;
Who have thy Precepts sought to know,
and carefully perform.
95 The Wicked have their Ambush laid
my guiltless Life to take;
But in the midst of Danger I
thy Word my Study make.
96 I've seen an End, of what we call
Perfection here below:
But thy commandments, like Thyself,
no Change or Period know.
97 The Love that to thy Laws I bear,
no Language can display;
they with fresh Wonders entertain
my ravish'd Thoughts all Day.
98 Thro' thy Commands I wiser grow
than all my subtle Foes;
For thy sure Word doth me direct,
and all my Ways dispose.
99 From me my former Teachers now
may abler Counsel take;
Because thy sacred precepts I
my constant Study make.
100 In Understanding I excel
the Sages of our Days;
Because by thy unerring Rules
I order all my Ways.
101 My Feet with Care I have refrain'd
from ev'ry sinful Way,
That to thy sacred Word I might
entire Obedience pay.
102 I have not from thy Judgments stray'd,
by vain Desires mislead;
For, Lord, thou hast instructed me
thy righteous Paths to tread.
103 How sweet are all thy Words to me;
O what divine Repast!
How much more grateful to my Soul,
than Honey to my Taste.
104 Taught by thy sacred Precepts, I
with heav'nly Skill am blest,
Thro' which the treach'rous Ways of Sin
I utterly detest.
105 Thy word is to my Feet a Lamp,
the Way of Truth to show;
A Watch-light to point out the Path,
in which I ought to go.
106 I swear (and from my solemn Oath
I'll never start aside)
That in thy righteous Judgments I
will stedfastly abide.
107 Since I with Griefs am so opprest,
that I can bear no more;
According to thy Word, do thou
my fainting Soul restore.
108 Let still my Sacrifice of Praise
with Thee Acceptance find;
And in thy righteous Judgments, Lord,
instruct my willing Mind.
109 Tho' ghastly Dangers me surround,
my Soul they cannot awe,
Nor with continual Terrors keep
from thinking on thy Law.
110 My wicked and invet'rate Foes
for me their Snares have laid;
Yet I have kept the upright Path,
nor from thy Precepts stray'd.
111 Thy Testimonies I have made
my Heritage and Choice;
For they when other Comforts fail,
my drooping Heart rejoice.
112 My Heart with early Zeal began
thy Statutes to obey;
And 'till my Course of Life is done,
shall keep thy upright Way.
113 Deceitful Thoughts and Practices
I utterly detest;
But to thy Law Affection bear
too great to be express'd.
114 My Hiding-place, my Refuge-Tower,
and Shield art thou, O Lord;
I firmly anchor all my Hopes
on thy unerring Word.
115 Hence ye that trade in Wickedness,
approach not my Abode;
For firmly I resolve to keep
the Precepts of my God.
116 According to thy gracious Word,
from Danger set me free;
Nor make me of those Hopes asham'd,
that I repose in Thee.
117 Uphold me, so shall I be safe,
and rescu'd from Distress;
To thy Decrees continually
my just Respect address.
118 The Wicked thou hast trod to Earth,
who from thy Statutes stray'd;
Their vile Deceit the just Reward
of their own Falshood made.
119 The Wicked from thy holy Land
thou dost like Dross remove;
I therefore, with such Justice charm'd,
thy Testimonies love.
120 Yet with that Love they make me dread,
lest I should so offend,
When on Transgressors I behold
thy Judgments thus descend.
121 Judgment and Justice I have lov'd;
O therefore, Lord, engage
In my Defence, nor give me up
to my Oppressors Rage.
122 Do thou be Surety, Lord, for me,
and so shall this Distress
Prove good for me; nor shall the Proud
my guiltless Soul oppress.
123 My Eyes, alas! begin to fail,
in long Expectance held;
'Till thy Salvation they behold,
and righteous Word fulfill'd.
124 To me, thy Servant in Distress,
thy wonted Grace display,
And discipline my willing Heart
thy Statutes to obey.
125 On me, devoted to thy Fear,
thy sacred Skill bestow,
That of thy Testimonies I
the full Extent may know.
126 'Tis time, high time for thee, O Lord,
thy Vengeance to employ,
When Men with open Violence
thy sacred law destroy.
127 Yet their Contempt of thy Commands
but make their Value rise
In my Esteem, who purest Gold
Compar'd with them despise.
128 Thy Precepts therefor I account,
in all respects, divine:
They teach me to discern the right,
and all false Ways decline.
129 Thy Wonders which thy Laws contain,
no Words can represent;
Therefore to learn and practise them,
my zealous Heart is bent.
130 The very Entrance to thy Word
coelestial Light displays,
And Knowledge of true Happiness
to simplest Minds conveys.
131 With eager Hopes I waiting stood,
and fainted with Desire,
That of thy wise Commands I might
the sacred Skill acquire.
132 With Favour, Lord, look down on me
who thy Relief implore;
As thou art wont to visit those
that thy blest Name adore.
133 Directed by thy heav'nly word,
let all my Footsteps be;
Nor Wickedness of any kind
dominion have o'er me.
134 Release, entirely set me free
from persecuting Hands,
That, unmolested, I may learn
and practise thy Commands.
135 On me, devoted to thy Fear,
Lord, make thy Face to shine:
Thy Statutes both to know and keep,
my Heart with Zeal incline.
136 My Eyes to weeping Fountains turn,
whence briny Rivers flow,
To see Mankind against thy Laws
in bold Defiance Go.
137 Thou art the righteous Judge, in whom
wrong'd Innocence may trust;
And, like Thyself, thy Judgments, Lord,
in all respects are just.
138 Most just and true those Statutes were,
which thou didst first decree;
And all with Faithfulness perform'd,
succeeding Times shall see.
139 With Zeal my Flesh consumes away,
my Soul with Anguish frets,
To see my Foes contemn at once
thy Promises and Threats.
140 Yet each neglected Word of thine
(howe'er by them despis'd)
Is pure, and for eternal Truth
by me, thy Servant priz'd.
141 Brought, for thy sake, to low Estate,
Contempt from all I find;
Yet no Affronts or Wrongs can drive
thy Precepts from my Mind.
142 Thy Righteousness shall then endure,
when Time itself is past;
Thy Law is Truth itself, that Truth
which shall forever last.
143 Tho' Trouble, Anguish, Doubts and Dread
to compass me unite,
Beset with Danger, still I make
thy Precepts my Delight.
144 Eternal and unerring Rules
thy Testimonies give:
Teach me the Wisdom that will make
my Soul for ever live.
145 With my whole Heart to God I call'd,
Lord, hear my earnest Cry;
And I, thy Statutes to perform
will all my Care apply.
146 Again more fervently I pray'd,
O save me, that I may
Thy Testimonies throughly know,
and stedfastly obey.
147 My earlier Pray'r the dawning Day
prevented, while I cry'd
To him on whose engaging word
my Hope alone rely'd.
148 With Zeal have I awak'd before
the Midnight Watch was set,
That I of thy mysterious Word
might perfect Knowledge get.
149 Lord, hear my supplicating Voice,
and wonted Favour shew;
O quicken me, and so approve
thy Judgment ever true.
150 My persecuting Foes advance,
and hourly nearer draw;
What Treatment can I hope from them
who violate thy Law?
151 Tho' they draw nigh, my Comfort is
thou, Lord, art yet more near;
Thou, whose Commands are righteous all,
thy Promises sincere.
152 Concerning thy divine Decrees,
my Soul has known of old
That they were true, and shall their Truth
to endless Ages hold.
153 Consider my Affliction, Lord,
and me from Bondage draw;
Think on thy Servant in Distress,
who ne'er forgets thy Law.
154 Plead thou my Cause; to that and me
thy timely Aid afford;
With Beams of Mercy quicken me
according to thy word.
155 From harden'd Sinners thou remov'st
salvation far away:
'Tis just thou should'st withdraw from them,
who from thy Statutes stray.
156 Since great thy tender Mercies are
to all who Thee adore;
According to thy Judgments, Lord,
my fainting Hopes restore.
157 A num'rous Host of spiteful Foes
against my Life combine;
But all too few to force my Soul
thy Statues to decline.
158 Those bold Transgressors I beheld,
and was with Grief oppress'd,
To see with what audacious Pride
thy Cov'nant they transgress'd.
159 Yet while thy slight, consider, Lord,
how I thy Precepts love;
O therefore quicken me with Beams
of Mercy from Above.
160 As from the Birth of Time thy Truth
has held through Ages past,
So shall thy righteous Judgments, firm,
to endless Ages last.
161 Tho' mighty Tyrants, without Cause,
conspire my Blood to shed,
Thy sacred word has Pow'r alone
to fill my Heart with Dread.
162 And yet that Word my joyful Breast
with heav'nly Rapture warms,
Nor Conquest, or the Spoils of War,
have such transporting Charms.
163 Perfidious Practices and Lies
I utterly detest;
But to they Laws Affection bear,
too vast to be exprest.
164 Sev'n times a Day, with grateful Voice,
thy Praises I resound,
Because I find thy Judgments all
with Truth and Justice crown'd.
165 Secure, substantial Peace have they
who truly love thy Law;
No smiling Mischief them can tempt,
nor frowning Danger awe.
166 For thy Salvation I have hop'd,
and though so long delay'd,
With chearful Zeal and strictest Care
all thy Commands obey'd.
167 Thy Testimonies I have kept,
and constantly obey'd;
Because the Love I bore to them,
thy Service easy made.
168 From strict Observance of thy Laws
I never yet withdrew;
Convinc'd that my most secret Ways
are open to thy View.
169 To my Request and earnest Cry
attend, O gracious Lord;
Inspire my Heart with heav'nly Skill,
according to thy word.
170 Let my repeated Pray'r at last
before thy Throne appear;
According to thy plighted Word
for my Relief draw near.
171 Then shall my grateful Lips return
the Tribute of their Praise,
When thou thy Counsels hast reveal'd,
and taught me thy just Ways.
172 My Tongue the Praises of thy word
shall thankfully resound,
Because thy Promises are all
with Truth and Justice crown'd.
173 Let thy Almighty Arm appear,
and bring me timely Aid;
For I the Laws thou hast ordain'd,
my Heart's free Choice have made.
174 My Soul has waited long to see
thy saving Grace restor'd;
Nor Comfort know, but what thy Laws,
thy heav'nly Laws afford.
175 Prolong my Life, that I may sing
my great Restorer's Praise,
Whose Justice from the Depths of woes
my fainting Soul shall raise.
176 Like some lost Sheep I've stray'd, 'till I
despair my Way to find:
Thou therefore, Lord, thy Servant seek,
who keeps thy Laws in Mind.
How bless'd are they who always keep