Eternal Power! whose high abode

Eternal Power! whose high abode

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 215 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Full Text

1 Eternal Power, whose high abode
Becomes the grandeur of a God:
In vain the loftiest angel tries
To reach thy height with wondering eyes.

2 Thy dazzling glories while he sings,
He hides his face beneath his wings;
Seraphs that most with ardor glow,
Still at an humble distance bow.

3 Earth from afar has heard thy fame,
And worms have learned to lisp thy name;
But oh, the glories of thy mind
Leave all our soaring thoughts behind.

4 God is in heaven and man below;
Soft be our strains, our words be few;
A sacred reverence checks our songs,
And praise sits trembling on our tongues.

Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #337

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: Eternal Power! whose high abode
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Eternal Power, Whose high abode. I. Watts. [Praise to God.] This hymn supplies what the author called "The Conclusion," to his Horae Lyricae, 1705. It is in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and is entitled "God exalted above all Praise." In 1743, J. Wesley included it, with the omission of stanzas ii., and the alteration of stanza i., line 3, of "length" to "lengths", and of stanza iii., line 1, from “Thy dazzling beauties whilst he sings," to "Thee, while the first archangel sings " (a change necessitated by the omission) in Psalms & Hymns, 1743, p. 66. In 1780 this version of the text was given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, No. 307, and from the Wesleyan Hymn Book has passed into numerous collections in all English-speaking countries. According to Methodist usage Dr. J. Beaumont read the lines,

"Thee, while the first archangel sings,
He hides his face behind his wings,"

to the congregation in Waltham Street Chapel, Hull, on Sunday, Jan. 23, 1855; and during the singing of the second line he fell dead in the pulpit. The incident is given in detail in Stevenson's Methodist Hymn Book and its Associations, 1883, p. 225.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




Edward Miller (b. Norwich, England, 1735; d. Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, 1807) adapted ROCKINGHAM from an earlier tune, TUNEBRIDGE, which had been published in Aaron Williams's A Second Supplement to Psalmody in Miniature (c. 1780). ROCKINGHAM has long associations in Great Britain and North Amer…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #1352
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Small Church Music #6205
  • PDF Score (PDF)
Urania: or a choice collection of psalm-tunes, anthems, and hymns, from the most approv'd authors, with some entirely new; in two, three, and four parts... #172


Instances (1 - 4 of 4)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #49
Small Church Music #6205Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #1352TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #207
Include 211 pre-1979 instances