God My Only Happiness

Representative Text

My God, my portion, and my love,
My everlasting All,
I've none but thee in heaven above,
Or on this earthly ball.

What empty things are all the skies,
And this inferior clod!
There's nothing here deserves my joys,
There's nothing like my God.

In vain the bright, the burning sun
Scatters his feeble light;
'Tis thy sweet beams create my noon;
If thou withdraw 'tis night.

And whilst upon my restless bed,
Among the shades I roll,
If my Redeemer shows his head,
'Tis morning with my soul.

To thee I owe my wealth, and friends,
And health, and safe abode:
Thanks to thy name for meaner things:
But they are not my God.

How vain a toy is glittering wealth,
If once compared to thee;
Or what's my safety, or my health,
Or all my friends to me?

Were I possessor of the earth,
And called the stars my own,
Without thy graces and thyself,
I were a wretch undone.

Let others stretch their arms like seas,
And grasp in all the shore;
Grant me the visits of thy grace,
And I desire no more.

Source: The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion (New ed. thoroughly rev. and much enl.) #276

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 >

Text Information

First Line: My God, my portion, and my love
Title: God My Only Happiness
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


My God, my Portion and my Love. J. Watts. [God Man’s only Happiness.] Published in the first ed.ition of his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707 (ed. 1709, Book ii., No. 94), in 8 stanzas of 41ines, and headed "God my only Happiness." It is in common use both in full and in an abridged form. In Dale's English Hymn Book, 1874, No. 639, "My God, my life is in Thy love," is also from this hymn, and is composed of stanzas i., ii., v., vii., viii. slightly altered.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Suppleme…

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EMMAUS (55515)



Instances (1 - 2 of 2)

Primitive Baptist Hymn and Tune Book #19


The Cyber Hymnal #4237

Include 247 pre-1979 instances
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