O how I love thy holy word

O how I love thy holy word

Author: William Cowper
Tune: BELOIT (Reissiger)
Published in 33 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. O how I love Thy holy Word,
Thy gracious covenant, O Lord!
It guides me in the peaceful way,
I think upon it all the day.

2. What are the mines of shining wealth,
The strength of youth, the bloom of health!
What are all joys compared with those
Thine everlasting Word bestows!

3. Long unafflicted, undismayed,
In pleasures path secure I strayed;
Thou mad’st me feel Thy chastening rod,
And strait I turned unto my God.

4. What though it pierced my fainting heart,
I bless Thine hand that caused the smart;
It taught my tears awhile to flow,
But saved me from eternal woe.

5. O! hadst Thou left me unchastised,
Thy precept I had still despised;
And still the snare in secret laid,
Had my unwary feet betrayed.

6. I love Thee therefore O my God,
And breathe towards Thy dear abode;
Where in Thy presence fully blest,
Thy chosen saints forever rest.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #4970

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: O how I love thy holy word
Author: William Cowper

Notes

O how I love Thy holy word. W. Cowper. [Holy Scripture in Affliction.] This is No. 17 of Book iii. It is in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Afflictions sanctified by the Word." It is in common use in its original form, but a cento therefrom, beginning with stanza iii., "Long unafflicted, undismayed," is much more popular than the complete hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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The Cyber Hymnal #4970
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The Cyber Hymnal #4970

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