Scripture Verse

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. Psalm 89:1


Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

Words: Jo­seph Ad­di­son, in The Spec­ta­tor, Lon­don, is­sue 453, Au­gust 9, 1712.

Music: Tal­lis’ Or­di­nal Tho­mas Tal­lis, ci­rca 1567 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Thomas Tallis (1505–1585)

Quote from the Author

In the Spec­ta­tor, the hymn fol­lowed an es­say on gra­ti­tude, with this in­tro­duc­tion:

I have al­ready ob­liged the pub­lic with some piec­es of di­vine po­et­ry which have fall­en in­to my hands, and as they have met with the re­cep­tion they de­serve, I shall, from time to time, com­mu­ni­cate any work of the same na­ture which has not ap­peared in print, and may be ac­cep­ta­ble to my read­ers.


When all Thy mer­cies, O my God,
My ris­ing soul sur­veys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In won­der, love and praise.

O, how shall words with eq­ual warmth
The gra­ti­tude de­clare,
That glows with­in my ra­vished heart!
But Thou canst read it there.

Thy pro­vi­dence my life sus­tained,
And all my wants re­dressed,
While in the si­lent womb I lay,
And hung up­on the breast.

To all my weak comp­laints and cries
Thy mer­cy lent an ear,
Ere yet my fee­ble thoughts had learned
To form them­selves in pray­er.

Unnumbered com­forts to my soul
Thy ten­der care be­stowed,
Before my in­fant heart con­ceived
From whom those com­forts flowed.

When in the slip­pery paths of youth
With heed­less steps I ran,
Thine arm un­seen con­veyed me safe,
And led me up to man.

Through hid­den dan­gers, toils, and death,
It gent­ly cleared my way;
And through the pleas­ing snares of vice,
More to be feared than they.

When worn with sick­ness, oft hast Thou
With health re­newed my face;
And when in sins and sor­rows sunk,
Revived my soul with grace.

Thy boun­te­ous hand with world­ly bliss
Hath made my cup run o’er;
And, in a kind and faith­ful friend,
Hath dou­bled all my store.

Ten thou­sand, thou­sand pre­cious gifts
My dai­ly thanks em­ploy;
Nor is the least a cheer­ful heart
That tastes those gifts with joy.

Through ev­ery pe­ri­od of my life
Thy good­ness I’ll pur­sue
And af­ter death, in dist­ant worlds,
The glo­ri­ous theme renew.

When na­ture fails, and day and night
Divide Thy works no more,
My ever grate­ful heart, O Lord,
Thy mer­cy shall adore.

Through all eter­ni­ty to Thee
A joy­ful song I’ll raise;
For, oh, eter­ni­ty’s too short
To ut­ter all Thy praise!