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When I Can Read My Title Clear

Representative Text

1 When I can read my title clear
to mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes;
and wipe my weeping eyes,
and wipe my weeping eyes,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes.

2 Should earth against my soul engage,
and fiery darts be hurled,
then I can smile at Satan's rage,
and face a frowning world;
and face a frowning world,
and face a frowning world,
then I can smile at Satan's rage,
and face a frowning world.

3 Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
and storms of sorrow fall!
May I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all;
my God, my heaven, my all,
my God, my heaven, my all,
may I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all.

4 There I shall bathe my weary soul
in seas of heavenly rest,
and not a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast;
across my peaceful breast,
across my peaceful breast,
and not a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast.

Source: Celebrating Grace Hymnal #552

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

Notes

When I can read my title clear. J. Watts. [Assurance of Faith and Hope.] Appeared in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. It is headed "The Hopes of Heaven our Support under Trials on Earth." Its use in Great Britain and America is very extensive. The text has undergone several alterations at the hands of Bickersteth in his Psalms & Hymns, 1833; Elliott in his Psalms & Hymns, 1835, and others. The most important is Bickersteth's rendering of stanza iv.:—
"There, anchor'd safe, my weary soul Shall find eternal rest, Nor storms shall beat, nor billows roll, Nor fears assail my breast."
It is hard to see that this is an improvement upon Watts's original:—
"There shall I bathe my weary soul In seas of heavenly rest, And not a wave of trouble roll Across my peaceful breast."
The original text of the whole hymn, as in the Hymnal Companion, is that most commonly used Miller (Singers and Songs, 1869, p. 140) points out that the opening lines of the hymn,—
"When I can read my title clear To mansions in the skies,"
are used by Cowper in his poem on Truth (published in 1782), in his comparison of the lot of "Voltaire and that of the poor and believing cottager, who
”Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true— A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew: And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes, Her title to a treasure in the skies."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 17 of 17)
TextPage Scan

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #552

Rejoice Hymns #618

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #464

Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #45

The Baptist Hymnal #491

The Colored Sacred Harp, Third Revised edition #37

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #7367

Text

The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #538

The New Harp of Columbia, Restored Edition #35

The New National Baptist Hymnal #312

The Sacred Harp (Rev. Cooper Ed.) #36b

The Sacred Harp (Rev. Cooper Ed.) #43

Text

The Sacred Harp #36b

Text

The Sacred Harp #43

The Sacred Harp #114

TextPage Scan

The Worshiping Church #681

Text

Timeless Truths #690

Include 1105 pre-1979 instances
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