A Baptizing Hymn [’Tis the great Father we adore]

This hymn, along with a companion poem on baptism and the hymn “Fain, O my child, I’d have thee know,” appeared in A New Selection (1828), nos. 411, 412, and 528. This hymn was also published in The Psalmist: A New Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Baptist Churches (Boston: Gould, Kendall, and Lincoln, 1844), with the first line changed to “’Tis God the Father we adore.” Josiah Miller noted that this hymn was used for the baptismal service at Salisbury in 1818 for Saffery’s son, P. J. Saffery, who later confided to Miller that the hymn had been sung for many years in the church prior to that service. See J. Miller, Singers and Songs of the Church (2nd ed., London: Longman, Green, and Co., 1869), pp. 352-3.

’Tis the great Father we adore

In this baptismal sign;

’Tis he whose voice on Jordan’s shore

Proclaimed the Son divine.

The father hailed him! let our breath

In answering praise ascend,

As in the image of his death

We own our buried friend.

We seek the consecrated grave,

Along the path he trod,

Receive us in the hallowed wave

Thou holy Son of God.

Blest Spirit, with intense desire,

Solicitous we bow;

Baptize us with renewing fire,

And ratify the vow.

Let earth and heaven our zeal record,

And future witness bear;

That we to Zion’s mighty Lord

Our full allegiance swear.

O that our conscious souls may own,

With joy’s serene survey,

Inscribed upon his judgment throne

The transcript of this day.

John Rippon, ed., A New Selection of Hymns (1828), no. 411; Whelan, Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 5, p. 117.