Forgive, O Lord, our wanderings past

Forgive, O Lord, our wanderings past

Author: John Kempthorne
Tune: ST. WERBURGH (Bridge)
Published in 5 hymnals

Author: John Kempthorne

Born: June 24, 1775, Plymouth, England. Died: November 6, 1838, Gloucester, England. Kempthorne, John, B.D., s. of Admiral Kempthorne, was born at Plymouth, June 24, 1775, and educated at St. John's, Cambridge (B.A. 1796, B.D. 1807), of which he subsequently became a Fellow. On taking Holy Orders, he became Vicar of Northleach, Gloucestershire, in 1816; Vicar of Wedmore, Somersetshire, 1827, and the same year Rector of St. Michael's, and Chaplain of St. Mary de Grace, Gloucester. He was also a Prebendary in Lichfield Cathedral from 1826, and sometime Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of that diocese. He died at Gloucester, Nov. 6, 1838. His hymnological work is:— Select Portions of Psalms from Various Translations, and Hymns,from Va… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Forgive, O Lord, our wanderings past
Author: John Kempthorne
Language: English


Forgive, O Lord, our frailties [wanderings] past. [Before Holy Communion.] This hymn first appeared as a leaflet, and was then included in the Foundling Collection, 1796 (but without music), in the following form:—

"Before the Sacrament. Dr. Cook.

"Forgive, O Lord, our frailties past,
Henceforth we will obey thy call;
Our sins far from us let us cast,
And turn to thee, devoutly all.

"Then with archangels, we shall sing,
Praises to heav'n's eternal King.

"Hear us, O Lord, in mercy hear,
Our guilt with sorrow we deplore;
Pity our anguish, calm our fear,
And give us grace to sin no more.

"Then with archangels we shall sing,
Praises to heav'n's eternal King,

"While at yon altar's foot we kneel,
And of the holy rite partake,
Our pardon, Lord, vouchsafe to seal,
For Jesus, our Redeemer's sake.

“Then with archangels we shall sing,
Praises to heav'n's eternal King."

In the following year, 1797, it was retained in the Foundling Collection in the same form. The last stanza, however, was omitted in the edition of 1801, but restored again in 1809. In 1810 it was given in the Rev. J. Kempthorne's Psalms and Hymns, as, "Forgive, O Lord, our wanderings past," No. clxviii, and the alteration of stanza ii., line 2, to "With sorrow we our guilt deplore." From Kempthorne's Psalms & Hymns it has passed into a few collections, but usually in an altered form as in the Irish Church Hymnal, 1873, and others. The scarcity of the Foundling Collection musical editions of 1796 and 1809, and of the book of words only, editions of 1797 and 1801, led most writers into the error of concluding that it was first printed in 1809, and that, having been included in J. Kempthorne's Psalms & Hymns, 1810, and thence passed into other collections, it was an ordinal hymn by Kempthorne. All the evidence which we possess is against Kempthorne's claims, and we must designate it as "Anon. Foundlinq Collection, 1796." [William T. Brooke]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 5 of 5)

A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Every Sunday ... Diocese of Quebec #d29

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A Selection of Psalms and Hymns #100f

Church Hymnal, Third Edition #203

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The Westminster Abbey Hymn-Book #238

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