The Backslider Restored; or, Repentance and Faith in the Blood of Christ

Representative Text

1 O thou that hear'st when sinners cry,
though all my crimes before thee lie,
behold them not with angry look,
but blot their memory from thy book.

2 Create my nature pure within,
and form my soul averse to sin;
let thy good Spirit ne'er depart,
nor hide thy presence from my heart.

3 I cannot live without thy light,
cast out and banish from thy sight;
thy holy joys, my God, restore,
and guard me, that I fall no more.

4 A broken heart, my God, my King,
is all the sacrifice I bring;
the God of grace will ne'er despise
a broken heart for sacrifice.

5 My soul lies humbled in the dust,
and owns thy dreadful sentence just:
look down, O Lord, with pitying eye,
and save the soul condemned to die.

6 Then will I teach the world thy ways;
sinners shall learn thy sov'reign grace;
I'll lead them to my Savior's blood,
and they shall praise a pard'ning God.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #176

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 Thou that hearest when sinners cry
Title: The Backslider Restored; or, Repentance and Faith in the Blood of Christ
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


O Thou that hear'st when sinners cry. I. Watts. [Psalms li.] This is the third part of his L.M. version of Psalm li. It appeared in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, p. 143, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, headed "The Backslider restored; or, Repentance and Faith in the Blood of Christ." In its full form its use is limited, but the cento therefrom beginning with stanza v., "A broken heart, my God, my King," is found in a large number of hymn-books. A second cento beginning with stanza iv. is in the American Methodist Episcopal Hymns 1849, as "Though I have grieved Thy Spirit, Lord."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Lowell Mason (PHH 96) composed HAMBURG (named after the German city) in 1824. The tune was published in the 1825 edition of Mason's Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Mason indicated that the tune was based on a chant in the first Gregorian tone. HAMBURG is a very simple tune with…

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SUPPLICATION (Southern Harmony)



Instances (1 - 9 of 9)

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #465

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #500

Spurgeon's Own Hymn Book #51c

The Baptist Hymnal #296


The Cyber Hymnal #5412

The Sacred Harp #45b

The Shenandoah Harmony #7A

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #485

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #176

Include 329 pre-1979 instances
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