1 As the dew from Heaven distilling,
Gently on the grass descends,
And revives it, thus fulfilling
What Thy providence intends;
Let thy doctrine, Lord! so gracious,
Thus descending from above,
Blest by Thee, prove efficacious
To fulfill Thy work of love.
2 Lord! Behold Thy congregation,
Precious promises fulfill,
From Thy holy habitation
Let the dew of life distill;
Let our cry come up before Thee,
Sweetest influence shed around;
So Thy people shall adore Thee,
And confess the joyful sound.
Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. H… Go to person page >
As the dew from heaven distilling. T. Kelly. [Divine Worship.] This hymn is given in the collections in two forms:—(1.) The original, which was published by Kelly in the first edition of his Hymns, &c, 1804, p. 98, hy. xci., in 2 stanzas of 8 lines, and based upon Deut. xxxii. 2. For some reason, not accounted for, Kelly omitted it from all subsequent editions of his Hymns, &c. The original text, however, is retained in the Baptist Psalms & Hymns 1858 and 1880, No. 812. In P. Maurice's Choral Hymn Book, 1861, it is attributed to "Gwyther," in error. (2.) The second form is that given to it by J. Bulmer, in his Hymns Original and Select, 1835, Bk. iii., No. 176. It is found in modem editions of Rippon's Selection in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, and others, and can be detected at once by the third line of stanza i., reading "Richly unto all fulfilling," for the original "And revives it, thus fulfilling." In this form the ascription is "T. Kelly, 1804, J. Bulmer, 1835." [William T. Brooke]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Thomas Kelly's poem was first published in "Collection of Sacred Hymns" by Parley Parker Pratt, Brigham Young and John Taylor, and has been part of LDS hymnals since then.