The Prodigal Son

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The abyss of many a former sin
Encloses me, and bars me in:
Like billows my transgressions roll:
Be Thou the Pilot of my soul;
And to Salvation’s harbour bring,
Thou Saviour and Thou glorious King!


My Father’s heritage abused,
Wasted by lust, by sin misused;
To shame and want and misery brought,
The slave to many a fruitless thought,
I cry to Thee, Who lovest men,
O pity and receive again!

In hunger now,—no more possessed
Of that my portion bright and blest,
The exile and the alien see
Who yet would fain return to Thee.
And save me, LORD, who seek to raise
To Thy dear love the hymn of praise!

With that blest thief my prayer I make,
Remember for Thy mercy’s sake!
With that poor publican I cry,
Be merciful, O GOD Most High!
With that lost Prodigal I fain
Back to my home would turn again!


Mourn, mourn, my soul, with earnest care,
And raise to CHRIST the contrite prayer:—
O Thou, Who freely wast made poor,
My sorrows and my sins to cure,
Me, poor of all good works, embrace,
Enriching with Thy boundless grace!

Hymns of the Eastern Church, 1866

Author: Joseph of the Studium

Joseph of the Studium [Joseph of Thessalonica]. This person not the same person wrongly named by Dr. Neale in his Hymns of the Eastern Church as Joseph of the Studium, author of the great Canon for the Ascension. That Joseph is St. Joseph the Hymnographer. Joseph of Thessalonica, younger brother of St. Theodore of the Studium, q.v., was some time Bishop of Thessalonica, and died in prison, after great suffering inflicted by command of Theophilus. He was probably the author of the Triodia in the Triodion, and certainly of five Canons in the Pentecostarion to which his name is prefixed. His pieces have not been translated into English. [Rev. H. Leigh Bennett, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) Go to person page >

Translator: John Mason Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The abyss of many a former sin
Title: The Prodigal Son
Author: Joseph of the Studium
Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)



Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSE…

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The Cyber Hymnal #6483
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