God gives his mercies to be spent

God gives his mercies to be spent

Author: William Cowper
Tune: PENITENCE (Elven)
Published in 5 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. God gives His mercies to be spent;
Your hoard will do your soul no good.
Gold is a blessing only lent,
Repaid by giving others food.

2. The world’s esteem is but a bribe,
To buy their peace you sell your own;
The slave of a vainglorious tribe,
Who hate you while they make you known.

3. The joy that vain amusements give,
O! sad conclusion that it brings!
The honey of a crowded hive,
Defended by a thousand stings.

4. ’Tis thus the world rewards the fools
That live upon her treacherous smiles:
She leads them, blindfold, by her rules,
And ruins all whom she beguiles.

5. God knows the thousands who go down
From pleasure into endless woe;
And with a long despairing groan
Blaspheme their Maker as they go.

6. Oh fearful thought! be timely wise;
Delight but in a Savior’s charms,
And God shall take you to the skies,
Embraced in everlasting arms.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #1885

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: God gives his mercies to be spent
Author: William Cowper

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Media

The Cyber Hymnal #1885
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  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
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The Cyber Hymnal #1885

Include 4 pre-1979 instances
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