God of my life! through all its days

God of my life! through all its days

Author: Philip Doddridge
Published in 226 hymnals

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1 God of my life! through all my days
I'll tune the grateful notes of praise;
The song shall wake with opening light,
And warble to the silent night.

2 When anxious cares would break my rest,
And griefs would tear my throbbing breast,
The notes of praise ascending high
Shall check the murmur and the sigh.

3 When death o'er nature shall prevail,
And all the powers of language fail,
Joy through my swimming eyes shall break,
And mean the thanks I can not speak.

4 But oh! when that last conflict's o'er,
And I am chained to earth no more,
With what glad accents shall I rise
To join the music of the skies!

5 Then shall I learn the exalted strains
That echo through the heavenly plains:
And emulate with joy unknown
The glowing seraphs round thy throne.

Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #318

Author: Philip Doddridge

Doddridge, Philip, D.D., was born in London, June 26, 1702. His grandfather was one of the ministers under the Commonwealth, who were ejected in 1662. His father was a London oilman. He was offered by the Duchess of Bedford an University training for ordination in the Church of England, but declined it. He entered Mr. Jennings's non-conformist seminary at Kibworth instead; preached his first sermon at Hinckley, to which Mr. Jennings had removed his academy. In 1723 he was chosen pastor at Kibworth. In 1725 he changed his residence to Market Harborough, still ministering at Kibworth. The settled work of his life as a preceptor and divine began in 1729, with his appointment to the Castle Hill Meeting at Northampton, and continued till in the… Go to person page >

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God of my life, through all its [my] days. P. Doddridge. [Praise for unfailing mercies.] This hymn is dated in the Baptist Psalm & Hymns, revised edition 1871 and 1880, " 1751," the year of Doddridge's death, but upon what authority it is not stated. Miller Singers and Songs, 1869, p. 172) evidently took this date as the foundation of his note which reads:—

"This hymn may be read autobiographically, especially verse 3, in reference to the peaceful thankfulness in his heart when the last wave of his life was ebbing out at Lisbon. The words are:—
“When death o'er nature shall prevail,
And all its powers of language fail,
Joy through my swimming eyes shall break,
And mean the thanks I cannot speak.'"

No evidence beyond these unauthorised statements is forthcoming to show that this was the author's death-bed hymn, as this date, and Miller's note would imply. It was published in Doddridge's (posthumous) Hymns, &c, by J. Orton, 1755, No. 71, in 6 st! of 4 line, and headed, "Praising God through the whole of our existence, Psalm cxlvi. 2." In 1839 it was reprinted by J. D. Humphreys in his edition of Doddridge's Hymns, &c, and accompanied by the following note:—

"It is interesting to remember, that, when pressed iown by the hand of disease and tottering on the brink of eternity, the pious author of this hymn realized the divine consolations its perusal may inspire," p. 61.

This note seems to imply that the hymn was written before the author's illness at Lisbon, in 1751, and probably the date of 1740, given to it by Dr. Hatfield in his Church Hymn Book, N. Y., 1872, No. 182, is correct. In a few collections it is given as "God of my life, through all my days." Its use in all English-speaking countries is extensive.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #1961
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Small Church Music #6643
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Small Church Music #6644
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