Hymnary Friends,

Please pardon this brief interruption, and please consider a gift today to support the work of Hymnary.org. Here's why.

Each month half a million people visit this website for free access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet. But this project does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. Twice a year we hold a fund drive, and these drives are critical to our future.

So if you benefit from Hymnary.org, would you consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Click the Donate button below to be taken to a secure giving site. Or you can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary.org team, our thanks.
Harry Plantinga

The Love of God Shed Abroad in the Heart

Representative Text

1 Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell
by faith and love in every breast;
then shall we know and taste and feel
the joys that cannot be expressed.

2 Come, fill our hearts with inward strength,
make our enlargèd souls possess
and learn the height and breadth and length
of thine immeasurable grace.

3 Now to the God whose power can do
more than our thoughts or wishes know,
be everlasting honours done
by all the church, through Christ his Son.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #438

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell
Title: The Love of God Shed Abroad in the Heart
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Communion Songs


Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell. I. Watts. [Whitsuntide.] Given in the enlarged edition of his Hymns and Sacred Songs, 1709, Bk. i., No. 135, in 3 stanzas of 4 lines in 1753 G. Whitefield included it in his Collection. This was followed by R. Conyers in his Collection, 1774, and others, until its use has become extensive both in Great Britain and America. In many cases, especially in America, the term "dearest” so objectionable to many, is changed to, ”Come, gracious Lord," &c. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Acade…

Go to tune page >



TALLIS CANON is one of nine tunes Thomas Tallis (PHH 62) contributed to Matthew Parker's Psalter (around 1561). There it was used as a setting for Psalm 67. In the original tune the melody began in the tenor, followed by the soprano, and featured repeated phrases. Thomas Ravenscroft (PHH 59) publish…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #776
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 14 of 14)

The Baptist Hymnal #368

Hymns and Psalms #765


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #113


The Cyber Hymnal #776


Ancient and Modern #438

Common Praise #291a

Common Praise #291b

Hymns and Psalms #725a

Hymns and Psalms #725b


Rejoice in the Lord #501


Together in Song #443

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #340

Hymns of the Saints #492

Welsh and English Hymns and Anthems #56b

Include 251 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us