In holy contemplation we sweetly now pursue

Representative Text

1 In holy contemplation
We sweetly now pursue
The theme of God's salvation,
And find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow
Bring with it what it may.

2 It can bring with it nothing,
But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing
Will clothe His people too.
Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens
Will give His children bread.

3 Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit should bear,
Though all the field should wither,
Nor flocks nor herds be there,
God still the same abiding,
His praise shall tune my voice;
For while in Him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.


Source: The Hymnal and Order of Service #179

Author: William Cowper

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 >

Text Information

First Line: In holy contemplation we sweetly now pursue
Author: William Cowper
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)

Now often named ST. THEODULPH because of its association with this text, the tune is also known, especially in organ literature, as VALET WILL ICH DIR GEBEN. It was composed by Melchior Teschner (b. Fraustadt [now Wschowa, Poland], Silesia, 1584; d. Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt, 1635) for "Valet wi…

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BENTLEY (Hullah)



Instances (1 - 20 of 20)
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The Hymnal and Order of Service #179


The Hymnal and Order of Service #179

The Hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. Text ed. #d235

The Hymns for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Congregations #d200

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The Lutheran Hymnary #460

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The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book #378b

The Sabbath Hymn Book. Baptist ed. #d472

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