My God, how perfect are thy ways

My God, how perfect are thy ways

Author: William Cowper
Tune: ST. AGNES (Dykes)
Published in 14 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. My God! how perfect are Thy ways!
But mine polluted are;
Sin twines itself about my praise,
And slides into my prayer.

2. When I would speak what Thou hast done
To save me from my sin;
I cannot make Thy mercies known
But self-applause creeps in.

3. Divine desire, that holy flame
Thy grace creates in me;
Alas! impatience is its name,
When it returns to Thee.

4. This heart, a fountain of vile thoughts,
How does it overflow?
While self upon the surface floats
Still bubbling from below.

5. Let others in the gaudy dress
Of fancied merit shine;
The Lord shall be my righteousness
The Lord for ever mine.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #4218

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: My God, how perfect are thy ways
Author: William Cowper

Notes

My God, how perfect are Thy ways. W. Cowper. [The Lord our Righteousness.] Appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. i., No. 67, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Jehovah our Righteousness." It is generally given in its original form, but its use is limited.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

ST. AGNES (Dykes)

John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already eng…

Go to tune page >


Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #4218
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)

Instances

Instances (1 - 1 of 1)
TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #4218

Include 13 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us



Advertisements


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.