God of the seas! thy thund'ring voice

God of the seas! thy thund'ring voice

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 39 hymnals

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God of the seas! thy thund'ring voice
Makes all the roaring waves rejoice,
And one soft word of thy command
Can sink them silent in the sand.

If but a Moses wave thy rod,
The sea divides and owns its God;
The stormy floods their Maker knew,
And let his chosen armies through.

The scaly flocks amidst the sea,
To thee, their Lord, a tribute pay;
The meanest fish that swims the flood
Leaps up, and means a praise to God.

[The larger monsters of the deep
On thy commands attendance keep;
By thy permission sport and play,
And cleave along their foaming way.

If God his voice of tempest rears,
Leviathan lies still and fears;
Anon he lifts his nostrils high,
And spouts the ocean to the sky.]

How is thy glorious power adored
Amidst these wat'ry nations, Lord!
Yet the bold men that trace the seas,
Bold men, refuse their Maker's praise!

[What scenes of miracles they see,
And never tune a song to thee!
While on the flood they safely ride,
They curse the hand that smooths the tide!

Anon they plunge in wat'ry graves,
And some drink death among the waves;
Yet the surviving crew blaspheme,
Nor own the God that rescued them.]

O for some signal of thine hand!
Shake all the seas, Lord, shake the land;
Great Judge! descend, lest men deny
That there's a God that rules the sky.

Source: Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts, The #II.70

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: God of the seas! thy thund'ring voice
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English


God of the seas, Thy thundering voice. I. Watts. [God's Dominion over the Sea.] No. 70, Book ii., of his Hymns & Sacred Songs, 1707, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "God's Dominion over the Sea." In this form its use is very limited. A more popular form was given in the American Prayer Book Collection, 1826, No. 118, in 3 stanza beginning, "God of the sea, Thine awful voice." It is an alteration of stanzas i., iii. and vi., and is found in several American collections.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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