The Savior, what a noble flame

The Savior, what a noble flame

Author: William Cowper
Published in 55 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 the Saviour, what a noble flame
Was kindl'd in his brest,
When hasting to Jerusalem,
He march'd before the rest!

2 Good-will to men and zeal for God
His ev'ry thought engross;
He longs to be baptiz'd with blood;
He pants to reach his cross.

3 With all his suff'rings full in view,
And woes to us unknown,
Forth to the task his spirit flew;
'Twas love that urg'd him on.

4 Lord! we return thee what we can,
Our hearts shall sound abroad
Salvation to the dying man,
And to the rising God!

5 And while thy bleeding glories here
Engage our wond'ring eyes;
We learn our lighter cross to bear,
And hasten to the skies.

Source: A Collection of Hymns and A Liturgy: for the use of Evangelical Lutheran Churches; to which are added prayers for families and individuals #138

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: The Savior, what a noble flame
Author: William Cowper
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The Saviour, what a noble flame. W. Cowper. [Passiontide.] Published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. ii., No. 55, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Jesus hasting to suffer." In its original form it is seldom used. In Cotterill's Selection, 1810, hymn No. 4, begins, "See! what unbounded zeal and love." This is composed as follows:—
Stanza i. "See what unbounded zeal," &c. Cotterill.
Stanza ii. “Goodwill to man, and zeal," &c. Cowper.
Stanza iii. "With all His sufferings," &c. Cowper.
Stanza iv. "By His obedience," &c. Cotterill.
Stanza v. "Lord, fill our hearts," &c. Cowper.
Stanza vi. "With love like Thine," &c. Cotterill.
On the withdrawal of the 8th ed. of Cotterill's Selection, 1819, stanzas v. and vi. were rewritten, and the cento in this revised form was given in the 9th edition, 1820, and is that which is in common use (as in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872) at the present time. It is common use is "With all His sufferings full in view." This begins with stanzas iii. of the original.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



MARTYRDOM was originally an eighteenth-century Scottish folk melody used for the ballad "Helen of Kirkconnel." Hugh Wilson (b. Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, c. 1766; d. Duntocher, Scotland, 1824) adapted MARTYRDOM into a hymn tune in duple meter around 1800. A triple-meter version of the tune was fir…

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ST. MARK (Gauntlett)



The Cyber Hymnal #11921
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The Cyber Hymnal #11921

Include 54 pre-1979 instances
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