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Great God, whose universal sway

Great God, whose universal sway

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 181 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

Great God, whose universal sway
the known and unknown worlds obey,
entrust the kingdom to your Son,
extend his power, exalt his throne.

Your sceptre well becomes his hands;
all heaven submits to his commands.
His justice shall defend the poor,
and pride and rage prevail no more.

Like rain on meadows newly mown,
so Christ shall send his influence down;
the beauty of his grace distills
like heavenly dew on thirsty hills.

The saints shall flourish in his days,
dressed in the robes of joy and praise;
peace, like a river, from his throne
shall flow to nations yet unknown.

Source: In Melody and Songs: hymns from the Psalm versions of Isaac Watts #31

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 >


Great God, Whose universal sway. I. Watts. [Psalm Ixxii.] First published in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, as the 1st part of his version of Psalm Ixxii., in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Kingdom of Christ." It is followed by pt. ii., "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun " (j.v.), in 8 stanzas of 4 lines. Three hymns, all beginning with the same stanza, "Great God, Whose," &c, are in common use as follows;—
1. The original as above. This is in a few modern collections in Great Britain. In America it is very popular.
2. In E. W. Eddis's Irvingite Hymns for the Use of the Churches, 1864, No. 8 is composed of stanzas i. and vi. of this hymn, and stanzas iv. and v. of "Jesus shall reign," &c.
3. In the same collection, No. 143 is made up of stanza i., as above, and stanzas vi.-viii., of "Jesus shall reign," &c. These centos are limited in their use.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #2039
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
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Instances (1 - 2 of 2)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
In Melody and Songs: hymns from the Psalm versions of Isaac Watts #31Text
The Cyber Hymnal #2039TextScoreAudio
Include 179 pre-1979 instances