1 Hear what God the Lord hath spoken
O my people faint and few;
Comfortless, afflicted, broken,
Fair abodes I build for you.
Themes of heartfelt tribulation,
Shall no more perplex your ways;
You shall name your walls, salvation,
And your gates shall all be praise.
2 There like streams that feed the garden
Pleasures without end shall flow;
For the Lord your faith rewarding,
All his bounty shall bestow:
Still in undisturb'd possession,
Peace, and righteousness shall reign;
Never shall you hear oppression,
Or the noise of war again.
3 Ye, no more your suns descended,
Waning moons no more shall see;
But your griefs forever ended,
Find eternal noon in me:
God shall rise, and shining o'er you,
Change to day the gloom of night;
He, the Lord shall be your glory,
God your everlasting light.
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 >
Hear what God the Lord hath spoke. W. Cowper. [The Church in Glory.] First published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book i., No. 65, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed, "The future peace and glory of the Church." It is in somewhat extensive use both in Great Britain and America.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907
Hear what God the Lord hath spoken, p. 502, ii. In the manuscript volume described under Cowper, W., p. 1625, ii., this hymn, given at pp. 211-213, concludes a letter from J. Newton which is dated "Aug. 1773." See Notes and Queries, Sept. 24, 1904.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
Display Title: Hear What God the Lord Hath SpokenFirst Line: Hear what God the Lord hath spokenTune Title: HYMN TO JOYAuthor: William CowperMeter: 87.87 DSource: Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), number 65