1. Religion is the chief concern Of mortals here below. May I its great importance learn, Its sovereign virtues know. More needful this than glitt’ring wealth Or aught the world bestows; Nor reputation, food, or health Can give us such repose. 2. Religion should our thoughts engage Amidst our youthful bloom; ’Twill fit us for declining age And for the awful tomb. Oh may my heart, by grace renewed, Be my Redeemer’s throne, And be my stubborn will subdued, His government to own. 3. Let deep repentance, faith, and love, Be joined with godly fear; And all my conversation prove My heart to be sincere. Preserve me from the snares of sin Through my remaining days, And in me let each virtue shine, To my Redeemer’s praise.
Fawcett, John, D.D., was born Jan. 6, 1739 or 1740, at Lidget Green, near Bradford, Yorks. Converted at the age of sixteen under the ministry of G. Whitefield, he at first joined the Methodists, but three years later united with the Baptist Church at Bradford. Having begun to preach he was, in 1765, ordained Baptist minister at Wainsgate, near Hebden Bridge, Yorks. In 1772 he was invited to London, to succeed the celebrated Dr. J. Gill, as pastor of Carter's Lane; the invitation had been formally accepted, the farewell sermon at Wainsgate had been preached and the wagons loaded with his goods for removal, when the love and tears of his attached people prevailed and he decided to remain. In 1777 a new chapel was built for him at Hebden Bridg… Go to person page >
Religion is the chief concern. J. Fawcett. [Pure Religion desired.] Published in his Hymns, &c, 1782, No. 68, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Nature and Necessity of inward Religion." It is in common use in an abbreviated form, under the original opening line, and also as, "O may my heart, by grace renew'd."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Display Title: Religion Is the Chief ConcernFirst Line: Religion is the chief concernTune Title: GREEN HILL (Peace)Author: John FawcettMeter: CMSource: Hymns Adapted to the Circumstances of Public Worship and Private Devotion, 1782