Psalm 16

Words: Isaac Watts

Note: there is also a Common Metre version on this page

Part 1.
   Confession of our poverty.
   1  Preserve me, Lord, in time of need;
      For succor to thy throne I flee,
      But have no merits there to plead:
      My goodness cannot reach to thee.
   2  0ft have my heart and tongue confessed
      How empty and how poor I am;
      My praise can never make thee blessed,
      Nor add new glories to thy name.
   3  Yet, Lord, thy saints on earth may reap
      Some profit by the good we do;
      These are the company I keep,
      These are the choicest friends I know.
   4  Let others choose the sons of mirth
      To give a relish to their wine;
      I love the men of heav'nly birth,
      Whose thoughts and language are divine.
   Christ's all-sufficiency.
   1  How fast their guilt and sorrows rise
      Who haste to seek some idol god!
      I will not taste their sacrifice,
      Their off'rings of forbidden blood.
   2  My God provides a richer cup,
      And nobler food to live upon;
      He for my life has offered up
      Jesus, his best-beloved Son.
   3  His love is my perpetual feast;
      By day his counsels guide me right;
      And be his name for ever blessed,
      Who gives me sweet advice by night.
   4  I set him still before mine eyes;
      At my right hand he stands prepared
      To keep my soul from all surprise,
      And be my everlasting guard.
Part 3.
   Courage in death, and hope of the resurrection.
   1  When God is nigh, my faith is strong;
      His arm is my almighty prop:
      Be glad, my heart; rejoice, my tongue;
      My dying flesh shall rest in hope.
   2  Though in the dust I lay my head,
      Yet, gracious God, thou wilt not leave
      My soul for ever with the dead,
      Nor lose thy children in the grave.
   3  My flesh shall thy first call obey,
      Shake off the dust, and rise on high;
      Then shalt thou lead the wondrous way
      Up to thy throne above the sky.
   4  There streams of endless pleasure flow;
      And full discov'ries of thy grace
      (Which we but tasted here below)
      Spread heav'nly joys through all the place.
Common Metre
Part 1. v 1-8
   Support and counsel from God, without merit.
   1  Save me, O Lord, from ev'ry foe;
         In thee my trust I place,
      Though all the good that I can do
         Can ne'er deserve thy grace.
   2  Yet if my God prolong my breath,
         The saints may profit by't;
      The saints, the glory of the earth,
         The men of my delight.
   3  Let heathens to their idols haste,
         And worship wood or stone;
      But my delightful lot is cast
         Where the true God is known.
   4  His hand provides my constant food,
         He fills my daily cup;
      Much am I pleased with present good,
         But more rejoice in hope.
   5  God is my portion and my joy,
         His counsels are my light;
      He gives me sweet advice by day,
         And gentle hints by night.
   6  My soul would all her thoughts approve
         To his all-seeing eye;
      Not death, nor hell, my hope shall move,
         While such a Friend is nigh.
Part 2.
   The death and resurrection of Christ.
   1  "I Set the Lord before my face,
         He bears my courage up;
      My heart and tongue their joys express,
         My flesh shall rest in hope.
   2  "My spirit, Lord, thou wilt not leave
         Where souls departed are;
      Nor quit my body to the grave,
         To see corruption there.
   3  "Thou wilt reveal the path of life,
         And raise mc to thy throne;
      Thy courts immortal pleasure give,
         Thy presence joys unknown,"
   4  Thus, in the name of Christ, the Lord,
         The holy David sung;
      And Providence fulfils the word
         Of his prophetic tongue.
   5  Jesus, whom ev'ry saint adores,
         Was crucified and slain:
      Behold, the tomb its prey restores!
         Behold, he lives again!
   6  When shall my feet arise and stand
         On heav'n's eternal hills?
      There sits the Son at God's right hand,
         And there the Father smiles.

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Page last modified on: 07/29/2004