The wretched prodigal behold

The wretched prodigal behold

Author: Isaac Watts
Tune: BALERMA (Barthélemon)
Published in 3 hymnals

Representative Text

1 The wretched prodigal behold
in mis’ry lying low,
whom vice had sunk from high estate,
and plung'd in want and woe.
2 While I, despis'd and scorn'd, he cries,
starve in a foreign land,
the meanest in my father’s house
is fed with bounteous hand:

3 I’ll go, and with a mourning voice,
fall down before his face:
Father! I’ve sinn'd ‘gainst Heav’n and thee,
nor can deserve thy grace.
4 He said, and hasten'd to his home,
to seek his father’s love;
that father sees him from afar,
and all his bowels move.

5 He ran, and fell upon his neck,
embrac'd and kissed his son:
the grieving prodigal bewail'd
the follies he had done.
6 No more, my father, can I hope
to find paternal grace;
my utmost wish is to obtain
a servant’s humble place.

7 Bring forth the fairest robe for him,
the joyful father said;
to him each mark of grace be shown,
and ev’ry honour paid.
8 A day of feasting I ordain;
let mirth and song abound:
my son was dead, and lives again!
was lost, and now is found!

9 Thus joy abounds in paradise
among the hosts of heav’n,
soon as the sinner quits his sins,
repents, and is forgiv’n.

Source: The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #R40

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 wretched prodigal behold
Author: Isaac Watts
Copyright: Public Domain



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The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #R40

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