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How happy is the pilgrim's lot

How happy is the pilgrim's lot

Author: John Wesley
Published in 169 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

How happy is the pilgrim's lot,
How free from anxious care and thought,
(Repeat previous line)
From worldly hope and fear!
Confined to neither court nor cell,
His soul disdains on earth to dwell,
(Repeat previous line for tune 2--Happy Pilgrim)
He only sojourns here.

The Southern Harmony, 1835

Author: John Wesley

John Wesley, the son of Samuel, and brother of Charles Wesley, was born at Epworth, June 17, 1703. He was educated at the Charterhouse, London, and at Christ Church, Oxford. He became a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and graduated M.A. in 1726. At Oxford, he was one of the small band consisting of George Whitefield, Hames Hervey, Charles Wesley, and a few others, who were even then known for their piety; they were deridingly called "Methodists." After his ordination he went, in 1735, on a mission to Georgia. The mission was not successful, and he returned to England in 1738. From that time, his life was one of great labour, preaching the Gospel, and publishing his commentaries and other theological works. He died in London, in 17… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How happy is the pilgrim's lot
Author: John Wesley
Meter: 8.8.6
Language: English


How happy is the pilgrim's lot. [Desiring Heaven.] Appeared in the Wesley Hymns for those that Seek, and those that Have Redemption, 1747, No. 51, in 9 stanzas of 6 lines. When given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780-1875, the fourth stanza was omitted. (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. iv. p. 278.) Although somewhat unreal as a hymn for general use, it has long been most popular with the Methodist bodies. Stanza v., "No foot of land do I possess," and vii., "There is my house, and portion fair," have gathered around them reminiscences, in many instances of a tenderly sacred character, some of which are noted in detail in Stevenson's Methodist Hymn Book Notes, 1883, p. 77. In Stevenson's Notes this hymn is attributed to John Wesley, and in the Index to the same work to Charles Wesley. The former is also the almost universal ascription in America, the argument usually put forth being that the personal circumstances evidently referred to suited John Wesley rather than Charles. The editors of the Wesleyan Hymn Book are in doubt, and have left the authorship an open question. As there is no direct evidence either way, we must follow their example.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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Include 168 pre-1979 instances