Backward with humble shame we look

Backward with humble shame we look

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 15 hymnals

Full Text

1 Backward with humble shame we look,
On our original;
How is our nature dash'd and broke
In our first father's fall!

2 To all that's good, averse and blind,
But prone to all that's ill;
What dreadful darkness veils our mind!
How obstinate our will!

3 How strong in our degenerate blood,
The old corruption reigns,
And, mingling with the crooked flood,
Wanders through all our veins!

4 Wild and unwholesome as the root
Will all the branches be;
How can we hope for living fruit
From such a deadly tree?

5 What mortal power from things unclean,
Can pure productions bring?
Who can command a vital stream
From an infected spring?

6 Yet, mighty God, thy wondrous love
Can make our nature clean,
While Christ and grace prevail above
The tempter, death, and sin.

7 The second Adam shall restore
The ruins of the first,
Hosanna to that sovereign power
That new-creates our dust!

Source: A Collection of Hymns and Prayers, for Public and Private Worship #55

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: Backward with humble shame we look
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English


Backward with humble shame we look. I. Watts. [The Fall and the Redemption.] First published in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707, Bk. i., No. 57, in 8 stanzas of 4 1ines, and again in later editions of the same. Its use, and that in an abbreviated form, is very limited.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)