'Tis my happiness below

Full Text

1 'Tis my happiness below
Not to live without the cross;
But the Savior's pow'r to know,
Sanctifying every loss:
Trials must and will befall;
But with humble faith to see
Love inscrib'd upon them all.
This is happiness to me.

2 God in Israel sows the seeds,
Of afflictions, pain and toil;
These spring up, and choke the weeds,
Which would else o'erspread the soil;
Trials make the promise sweet,
Trials give ne life to pray'r;
Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.

3 Did I meet no trials here,
No chastisement by the way;
Might I not, with reason fear,
I should be a cast away:
Bastards may escape the rod,
Sunk in earthly vain delight;
But the true born son of God,
Must not, would not, if he might.

Divine Hymns of Spiritual Songs, 1802

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: 'Tis my happiness below
Author: William Cowper
Meter: 7.7.7.7
Language: English

Notes

'Tis my happiness below. W. Cowper. [In Affliction.] Appeared in Lady Huntingdon's Collection, 1774, No 143, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 16. In the Lady Huntingdon Collection it precedes, and in the Olney Hymns it follows Cowper's "God moves in a mysterious way" and seems to have been written at, or about the same time, and under the same circumstances. Its modern use is mainly confined to America where, in its full, or in an abridged form, it is somewhat popular.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

=============

'Tis my happiness below, p. 1178, i. From the manuscript volume described under Cowper, W., p. 1625, ii,, this hymn, on p. 209, is given as "by Mr. W. C. of Olney, 1773." This shows, as stated at p. 1178, i., that it was a companion hymn to "God moves in a mysterious way," and was written at or about the same time, and before his attempted suicide in October 1773. In the MS. st. ii., 1. 7, reads:—
"Trials lay me at His feet,
Lay me low and keep me there."

When printed it was altered to:—
"Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low and bring me there."

See Notes & Queries, Sept. 24, 1904.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)

Timeline

Instances

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