My God, how perfect are thy ways

Full Text

1. My God! how perfect are Thy ways!
But mine polluted are;
Sin twines itself about my praise,
And slides into my prayer.

2. When I would speak what Thou hast done
To save me from my sin;
I cannot make Thy mercies known
But self-applause creeps in.

3. Divine desire, that holy flame
Thy grace creates in me;
Alas! impatience is its name,
When it returns to Thee.

4. This heart, a fountain of vile thoughts,
How does it overflow?
While self upon the surface floats
Still bubbling from below.

5. Let others in the gaudy dress
Of fancied merit shine;
The Lord shall be my righteousness
The Lord for ever mine.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #4218

Author: William Cowper

Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25,1800. The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hastin… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: My God, how perfect are thy ways
Author: William Cowper


My God, how perfect are Thy ways. W. Cowper. [The Lord our Righteousness.] Appeared in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. i., No. 67, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Jehovah our Righteousness." It is generally given in its original form, but its use is limited.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


ST. AGNES (Dykes)

John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already eng…

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The Cyber Hymnal #4218
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