Longing for the House of God

Representative Text

1 Lord of the worlds above,
how pleasant and how fair
the dwellings of thy love,
thine earthly temples, are:
to thine abode my heart aspires,
with warm desires to see my God.

2 O happy souls that pray
where God appoints to hear!
O happy men that pay
their constant service there!
They praise thee still; and happy they
that love the way to Zion's hill.

3 They go from strength to strength,
through this dark vale of tears,
till each arrives at length,
till each in heav'n appears:
O glorious seat, when God, our King,
shall thither bring our willing feet!

4 God is our sun and shield,
our light and our defense;
with gifts his hands are filled;
we draw our blessings thence.
Thrice happy he, O God of hosts,
whose spirit trusts alone in thee.

Source: Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #375

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >


Lord of the worlds above. J. Watts. [Psalms lxxxiv.] First published in his Psalms of David, &c., 1719, in 7 stanzas of 8 lines, as the third version of the 84th Psalm. In addition to its use in its full form, there are also several arrangements of the text, the more important being:—
1. That in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1875, and many others derived from the same source. This appeared in the Wesley Psalms & Hymns, 1738 ; the enlarged ed. of the same, 1743; and the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780. It is very popular.
2. A cento composed of stanza i., iii., iv., and vii. This was given with alterations in Whitefield's Collection, 1753; Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760; Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, and thus into the hymn-books of the Church of England. In some modern collections, as Sarum, 1868, and Thring's Collection, 1882, some of these alterations are still retained. Usually, however, the text is correct.
3. Other arrangements are given in many modern hymnals, the construction of which may be tested by reference to Watts's Psalms. It will be found that in most cases the original text is retained.
As a paraphrase this ranks amongst the best by Watts. The metre is an imitation of that employed for the first time by John Pullain, in his Version of the 148th Psalm in the English Psalter, 1560.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Composed by John Darwall (b. Haughton, Staffordshire, England, 1731; d. Walsall, Staffordshire, England, 1789), DARWALL'S 148TH was first published as a setting for Psalm 148 in Aaron William's New Universal Psalmodist (1770) with only soprano and bass parts. The harmonization dates from the ninete…

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Instances (1 - 10 of 10)

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #375

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