Support for the Afflicted and Tempted Soul

O God, my refuge, hear my cries

Author: Isaac Watts
Tune: BURFORD (Purcell)
Published in 52 hymnals

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Representative Text

1 O God, my refuge, hear my cries,
Behold my flowing tears;,
For earth and hell my hurt devise,
And triumph in my fears.

2 Their rage is level'd at my life,
My soul with guilt they load,
And fill my thoughts with inward strife,
To shake my hopes in God.

3 What inward pains my heart-strings wound,
I groan with ev'ry breath;
Horror and fear beset me round
Amongst the shades of death.

4 Oh were I like a feather'd dove,
And innocence had wings;
I’d fly, and make a long remove
From all these restless things.

5 Let me to some wild desert go,
And find a peaceful home,
Where storms of malice never blow,
Temptations never come.

6 Vain hopes, and vain inventions all
To ’scape the rage of hell!
The mighty God on whom I call,
Can save me here as well.

7 By morning light I’ll seek his face,
At noon repeat my cry,
The night shall hear me ask his grace,
Nor will he long deny.

8 God shall preserve my soul from fear,
Or shield me when afraid;
Ten thousand angels must appear
If he command their aid.

9 I cast my burdens on the Lord,
The Lord sustains them all;
My courage rests upon his word,
That saints shall never fall.

10 My highest hopes shall not be vain,
My lips shall spread his praise;
While cruel and deceitful men,
Scarce live out half their days.

Source: Church Hymn Book: consisting of newly composed hymns with the addition of hymns and psalms, from other authors, carefully adapted for the use of public worship, and many other occasions (1st ed.) #P.LV

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: O God, my refuge, hear my cries
Title: Support for the Afflicted and Tempted Soul
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


O God, my Refuge, hear my cries. I. Watts. [Psalms lv.] Appeared in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, p. 147 (misprinted 947), in 10 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Support for the afflicted and tempted Soul." In explanation of some portions of the Psalm which are not paraphased, the following note is added:—

"I have left out some whole Psalms, and several parts of others that tend to fill the mind with overwhelming sorrows, or sharp resentment; neither of which are so well suited to the spirit of the Gospel, and therefore the particular complaints of David against Achitophel here are entirely omitted".

This paraphrase is given in some collections in full, and in others in an abbreviated form. In the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, and others, it begins with stanza viii. as "God shall preserve my soul from fear."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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