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Balaam's Wish

How blest the righteous are

Author: John Newton
Tune: LEOMINSTER (Martin)
Published in 26 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 How blest the righteous are!
When they resign their breath!
No wonder Balaam wish'd to share
In such a happy death.

2 "Oh! let me die said he,
"The death the righteous do;
"When life is ended, let me be
"Found with the faithful few."

3 The force of truth how great!
When enemies confess,
None but the righteous, whom they hate,
A solid hope possess,

4 But Balaam's wish was vain,
His heart was insincere:
He thirsted for unrighteous gain,
And sought a portion here.

5 He seem'd the Lord to know,
And to offend him loth;
But Mammon prov'd his overthrow,
For none can serve them both.

6 May you my friends, and I
Warning form hence receive;
If like the righteous we would die,
To choose the life they live.

Source: Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #8

Author: John Newton

John Newton (b. London, England, 1725; d. London, 1807) was born into a Christian home, but his godly mother died when he was seven, and he joined his father at sea when he was eleven. His licentious and tumul­tuous sailing life included a flogging for attempted desertion from the Royal Navy and captivity by a slave trader in West Africa. After his escape he himself became the captain of a slave ship. Several factors contributed to Newton's conversion: a near-drowning in 1748, the piety of his friend Mary Catlett, (whom he married in 1750), and his reading of Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ. In 1754 he gave up the slave trade and, in association with William Wilberforce, eventually became an ardent abolitionist. After becoming a tide… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How blest the righteous are
Title: Balaam's Wish
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



George William Martin (b. London, England, 1825; d. London, 1881) composed LEOMINSTER, named for a town in the county of Hereford and Worcester (formerly Herefordshire), England. The tune was first published in The Journal of Part Music (vol. 2, 1862), in which it was titled THE PILGRIM'S SONG. Mart…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #12172
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #12172

Include 25 pre-1979 instances
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