Hymn 79. The Excellency of the Holy Scriptures

Father of mercies, in thy Word

What endless glory shines?

For ever be thy name ador’d

For these celestial lines.

Here, mines of heavenly wealth disclose

Their bright, unbounded store:

The glittering gem no longer glows,

And India boasts no more.

Here, may the wretched sons of want

Exhaustless riches find:

Riches, above what earth can grant,

And lasting as the mind.

Here, the fair Tree of Knowledge grows,

And yields a free repast,

Sublimer sweets than nature knows,

Invite the longing taste.

Here may the blind and hungry come,

And light and food receive;

Here, shall the meanest guest have room,

And taste, and see, and live.

Amidst these gloomy wilds below,

When dark and sad we stray;

Here, beams of Heaven relieve our woe,

And guide to endless day.

Here, springs of consolation rise,

To cheer the fainting mind;

And thirsty souls receive supplies,

And sweet refreshment find.

When guilt and terror, pain, and grief,

United rend the heart,

Here, sinners meet divine relief,

And cool the raging smart.

Here, the Redeemer’s welcome voice,

Spreads heavenly peace around;

And life, and everlasting joys

Attend the blissful sound.

But when his painful sufferings rise,

(Delightful, dreadful scene!)

Angels may read with wondering eyes

That Jesus died for men.

O may these heavenly pages be

My ever dear delight,

And still new beauties may I see,

And still increasing light.

Divine instructor, gracious Lord,

Be thou for ever near,

Teach me to love thy sacred Word,

And view my Saviour there.

Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship, no. 79 (stanzas 1, 3, 4, 9, 11, and 12); Poems, 1780, vol. 1, pp. 58-60; MS, Steele Collection, Angus Library, Regents Park College, STE 3/1/1 no. 26 and STE 3/1/2 no.1; also Nonconformist Women Writers, vol. 1, pp. 72-74.