Charity to the Poor; or Pity to the Afflicted

Blest is the man whose bowels move

Author: Isaac Watts
Tune: BAPTISM (Lutkin)
Published in 77 hymnals

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1 Blest is the man, whose breast can move,
And melt with pity to the poor,
Whose soul, by sympathizing love,
Feels what his fellow saints endure.

2 His heart contrives for their relief
More good than his own hands can do;
He in the time of gen'ral grief
Shall find the Lord hath mercy too.

3 His soul shall live secure on earth
With sacred blessings on his head,
When drought, and pestilence, and dearth,
Around him multiply their dead.

4 Or if he languish on his couch,
God will pronounce his sins forgiv’n,
Will save him with a healing touch,
Or take his willing soul to heav’n.

Source: Church Hymn Book: consisting of newly composed hymns with the addition of hymns and psalms, from other authors, carefully adapted for the use of public worship, and many other occasions (1st ed.) #P.XLI

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: Blest is the man whose bowels move
Title: Charity to the Poor; or Pity to the Afflicted
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English


Blest is the man whose bowels move. I. Watts. [Ps. xli.] This L.M. version of Ps. xlii., stanzas 1-3, which was published in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, appears in some collections as "Blest is the man whose mercies move;" and in others, "Blest is the man whose heart doth move," the object being to get rid of the, to some, objectionable expression in the first line. These changes are adopted both in Great Britain and in America.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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