1 Father of mercies, God of love!
Oh! hear a humble suppliant's cry:
Bend from thy lofty seat above,
Thy throne of glorious majesty:
O! deign to listen to my voice,
And bid this drooping heart rejoice.
2 I urge no merits of my own,
For I, alas! as all that's vile:
No--when I bow before thy throne,
Dare to converse with God alone,
Thy name, blest Jesus, is my plea,
That dearest, sweetest name to me!
3 Within this heart of mine, I feel
The weight of sin's oppressive load:
Oh! help! or else I sink to hell,
Crush'd by thine arm, avenging God!
Entomb'd within that dread abyss,
And exil'd from the realms of bliss!
Thomas Raffles was born in London in 1788. He studied at Homerton College, and in 1809 became pastor of a Congregational society at Hammersmith. In 1812, he removed to Liverpool, where he was minister in the Great George Street chapel. This position he held for forty-nine years. He died at Liverpool, in 1863. He published several sermons, letters of travel, poems, and hymns for the use of his congregation.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >
Father of mercies, God of love; O hear a suppliant's cry. T. Raffles. [The Penitent's Prayer.] Published in Dr. Collyer's Hymns, &c, 1812, No. 909, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, and headed "The Penitent's Prayer." It was repeated in several of the older collections, and at the present time it is in somewhat extensive use. In America it is often ascribed to O. Heginbothom in error.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)