Scripture Verse

Where shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Thy presence? Psalm 139:7

Introduction

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Isaac Watts
1674–1748

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719. God is ev­ery­where.

Music: St. Mag­nus, at­trib­ut­ed to Je­re­mi­ah Clarke in The Di­vine Com­pan­ion, se­cond edi­tion, by Hen­ry Play­ford (Lon­don: 1707). Har­mo­ny by Will­iam H. Monk, 1868 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
William H. Monk
1823–1889

Lyrics

In all my vast con­cerns with Thee,
In vain my soul would try
To shun Thy pre­sence, Lord, or flee
The no­tice of Thine eye.

Thy all-sur­round­ing sight sur­veys
My ris­ing and my rest,
My pub­lic walks, my pri­vate ways,
And secr­ets of my breast.

My thoughts lie op­en to the Lord
Before they’re formed with­in;
And ere my lips pro­nounce the word
He knows the sense I mean.

O won­drous know­ledge, deep and high!
Where can a crea­ture hide?
Within Thy circ­ling arms I lie,
Beset on ev­ery side.

So let Thy grace sur­round me still,
And like a bul­wark prove,
To guard my soul from ev­ery ill,
Secured by so­ve­reign love.

Lord, where shall guil­ty souls re­tire,
Forgotten and un­known?
In hell they meet Thy dread­ful fire,
In Heav’n Thy glo­ri­ous throne.

Should I sup­press my vi­tal breath
To ’scape the wrath di­vine,
Thy voice would break the bars of death,
And make the grave re­sign.

If winged with beams of morn­ing light
I fly be­yond the west,
Thy hand, which must sup­port my flight,
Would soon be­tray my rest.

If o’er my sins I think to draw
The cur­tains of the night,
Those flam­ing eyes that guard Thy law
Would turn the shades to light.

The beams of moon, the mid­night hour,
Are both alike to Thee:
O may I ne’er pro­voke that pow­er
From which I can­not flee!