I'll praise my Maker with my breath

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1 I'll praise my Maker while I've breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne'er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

2 How happy they whose hopes rely
on Israel's God, who made the sky
and earth and seas with all their train;
whose truth forever stands secure,
who saves the oppressed and feeds the poor,
and none shall find God's promise vain.

3 The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
the Lord supports the fainting mind
and sends the laboring conscience peace.
God helps the stranger in distress,
the widowed and the parentless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release.

4 I'll praise my Maker while I've breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne'er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #806

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 >

Alterer: John Wesley

John Wesley, the son of Samuel, and brother of Charles Wesley, was born at Epworth, June 17, 1703. He was educated at the Charterhouse, London, and at Christ Church, Oxford. He became a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and graduated M.A. in 1726. At Oxford, he was one of the small band consisting of George Whitefield, Hames Hervey, Charles Wesley, and a few others, who were even then known for their piety; they were deridingly called "Methodists." After his ordination he went, in 1735, on a mission to Georgia. The mission was not successful, and he returned to England in 1738. From that time, his life was one of great labour, preaching the Gospel, and publishing his commentaries and other theological works. He died in London, in 17… Go to person page >


I'll praise my Maker with my [while I've] breath. I. Watts. [Ps. cxlvi.] First published in his Psalms of David, &c., 1719, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, and headed, “Praise to God for His Goodness and Truth." It is sometimes given in this form: but the more popular arrangement, which is in extensive use in all English-speaking countries, is that by J. Wesley, beginning, "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath." This is composed of stanzas i., iii., iv. and vi. somewhat altered. It appeared in Wesley's Psalms & Hymns, Charlestown, South Carolina, 1736-7; was repeated in the Wesley Psalms & Hymns, 1743, and in the Festival Hymnal, 1780. Another arrangement is, "Happy the man whose hopes rely." This is composed of stanzas iii., iv., and vi. somewhat altered, and was given in Cotterill’s Selection, 1810. Neither the original nor the arrangements by Wesley and by Cotterill have the doxology which is found in some collections.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



GENEVAN 68 is usually attributed to Matthäus Greiter (b. Aichach, Bavaria, 1490; d. Strasbourg, France, 1550). It was published as a setting for Psalm 119 in Das dritt theil Strassburger Kirchenampt (1525), which Greiter and his friend Wolfgang Dachstein edited. Greiter studied at Freiburg Universi…

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #35
The Cyber Hymnal #2887
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