To keep the lamp alive

To keep the lamp alive

Author: William Cowper
Tune: ZURICH (Nageli)
Published in 69 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 To keep the lamp alive
With oil we fill the bowl;
'Tis water makes the willow thrive,
And grace that fees the soul.

2 The Lord's unsparing hand
Supplies the living stream;
It is not at our own command,
But still derived from him.

3 Beware of Peter's word
Nor confidently say,
"I never will deny thee, Lord,"
But grant I never may.

4 Man's wisdom is to seek
His strength in God alone;
And e'en an angel would be weak,
Who trusted in his own.

5 Retreat beneath his wings,
And in his grace confide;
This more exalts the King of kings
Than all your works beside.

6 In Jesus is our store,
Grace issues from his throne;
Whoever says, "I want no more,"
Confesses he has none.

A Selection of Hymns, from Various Authors, Supplementary for the use of Christians. 1st Ed., 1816

Author: William Cowper

Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25, 1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hasti… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: To keep the lamp alive
Author: William Cowper
Language: English


To keep the lamp alive. W. Cowper. [In Trial and Despondency.] Published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 74, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Dependence." In its original form it is in limited use. The extract from it beginning with stanzas iii., "Beware of Peter's word," is much more popular, and especially in America, where it appeared in Nettleton's Village Hymns, 1824. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #11919
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The Cyber Hymnal #11919

Include 68 pre-1979 instances
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