One of many hymns written by Augustus Toplady (1740-1778).
O how amiable are thy dwellings: thou Lord of hosts!
My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord:
My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house,
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young:
even thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
They will be alway praising thee.
The glorious Majesty of the Lord our God be upon us:
prosper thou the work of our hands upon us.
O prosper thou our handy-work,
O prosper thou our handy-work.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
Written by R. Vaughan Williams in 1940, text taken from Psalms 84 and 90.
This is one of the pieces of music my choir has been rehearsing. What we lack in numbers we make up for in heart.
So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
But stand, and rule, and grow for ever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to his temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
How thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
What the Almighty will do,
If with his love he befriend thee!
Praise thou the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee,
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee.
How oft in grief
Hath not he brought thee relief,
Spreading his wings to o’ershade thee!
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the Amen
Sound from his people again;
Gladly for aye we adore him.
When in the hour of deepest need
We know not where to look for aid;
When days and nights of anxious thought
No help or counsel yet have brought,
Our comfort then is this alone:
That we may meet before your throne
And cry to you, O faithful God,
For rescue from our sorry lot.
For you have made a promise true
To pardon those who flee to you,
Through him whose name alone is great,
Our Savior and our advocate.
And so we come, O God, today
And all our woes before you lay;
For sorely tried, cast down, we stand,
Perplexed by fears on every hand.
Oh, from our sins hide not your face;
Absolve us through your boundless grace!
Be with us in our anguish still!
Free us at last from every ill!
So we with all our hearts each day
To you our glad thanksgiving pay,
Then walk obedient to your Word,
And now and ever praise you, Lord.
This is one Sacred Harp hymn that is recognizable to many of us who grew up singing traditional hymns in church. Titled Ortonville in Sacred Harp books, my 1991 edition includes an epigraph referencing Song of Solomon 1:3, “Thy name is as ointment poured forth.”
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fears, and drives away his fears.
It makes the wounded spirit whole,
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary rest, and to the weary rest.
Dear Name! the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding place;
My never-failing treasury filled
With boundless stores of grace, with boundless stores of grace.
Text by John Newton, 1779
Tune by Thomas Hastings, 1837
And here it is sung to the tune St. Peter.
Ortonville is the tune I remember best from childhood, but some churches I attended used the St. Peter one.