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The Lord Our God in Mercy Spoke

The Lord our God in mercy spoke

Author: Isaac Watts (1707, alt.)
Tune: ARDEN (Thalben-Ball)
Published in 1 hymnal

Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 The Lord our God in mercy spoke:
"A God to you I'll be;
I'll bless your numerous race, and they
shall be a seed to me."

2 That promise Abraham believed
and pledged his child to God,
but water seals the blessing now
that once was sealed with blood.

3 How faithful are the ways of God;
his love endures the same.
He keeps the promise of his grace,
preserves his children's name.

4 So to the parents and their seed
shall God's salvation come,
and numerous households meet at last
in one eternal home.

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: The Lord our God in mercy spoke
Title: The Lord Our God in Mercy Spoke
Author: Isaac Watts (1707, alt.)
Language: English


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Gen. 17:7
st. 2 = Gen. 22
st. 3 = Acts 2:38-39

Isaac Watts (PHH 155) first published this baptism hymn in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707). The Psalter Hymnal has omitted Watts's original third stanza and has altered the text considerably to update the language. Originally the first line read 'Thus saith the mercy of the Lord."
The song's four stanzas in the Psalter Hymnal are a "sung theology" of God's covenant with Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 17:7) expressed in the context of baptism. Stanza 4 offers an unusual apocalyptic view of the meaning of baptism.

Liturgical Use:
Most often for infant baptism.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


ARDEN (Thalben-Ball)

ARDEN is a noble, singable, somewhat dramatic tune set to a fine accompaniment suited to harmony singing. Try having a soloist sing the words attributed to God in stanza 1. George T. Thalben-Ball (b. Sidney, Australia, 1896; d. London, England, 1987) composed ARDEN for the BBG Hymn Book of 1951, on…

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Instances (1 - 1 of 1)
Text InfoTune InfoTextAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #275

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