Ask What I Shall Give Thee

Representative Text

1 If Solomon for wisdom prayed,
The Lord before had made him wise;
Else he another choice had made,
And asked for what the worldings prize.

2 Thus he invites his people still,
But first instructs them how to choose,
Then bids them ask whate’er they will,
Assured that he will not refuse.

3 And dost thou say, “Ask what thou wilt”?
Lord, I would seize the golden hour;
I pray to be released from guilt,
And freed from sin and Satan’s power.

4 More of thy presence, Lord, impart,
More of thy image let me bear;
Erect thy throne within my heart,
And reign without a rival there.

5 Give me to read my pardon sealed,
And from thy joy to draw my strength;
To have thy matchless love revealed
In all its height, and breadth, and length.

6 Grant these requests, I ask no more,
But to thy care the rest resign;
Sick or in health, or rich or poor,
All will be well if thou art mine.

Source: A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship. In four parts (10th ed.) (Gadsby's Hymns) #692

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: If Solomon for wisdom prayed
Title: Ask What I Shall Give Thee
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


If Solomon for wisdom prayed. J. Newton. [Lent.] First published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. i., No. 32, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, as the second hymn on 1 Kings iii. 5, "Ask what I shall give thee." In its original form it is unknown to the hymnals; but stanzas v.-viii., as "And dost Thou say, Ask what thou wilt," is well known, and in extensive use. It appeared in this form in the Arminian Magazine, 1781, p. 231. It is given in many modern collections in Great Britain and America, and usually with slight alterations, which vary in different hymnals. In the Presbyterian Selection of Hymns, Philadelphia, 1861, it begins, "Lord, dost Thou say," &c.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


QUEBEC (Baker)

Henry Baker (b. Nuneham, Oxfordshire, England, 1835; d. Wimbledon, England, 1910; not to be confused with Henry W. Baker) was educated as a civil engineer at Winchester and Cooper's Hill and was active in railroad building in India. In 1867 he completed a music degree at Exeter College, Oxford, Engl…

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The Cyber Hymnal #10725
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The Cyber Hymnal #10725

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