Thursday, September 6, 2018

"I’ll Praise—"

An Isaac Watts (1674–1748) hymn based on Psalm 146, I’ll Praise My Maker:
[John] Wesley gave out this hymn just before preaching for the last time in City Road Chapel, Tuesday evening, February 22, 1791. The following Monday afternoon, though very ill, he amazed the friends at his bedside by singing the hymn throughout in a strong voice. The next night, his biographer, Tyermann, tells us, he tried scores of times to repeat the hymn, but could only say "I’ll praise—I’ll praise—." And with praise for his Maker on his lips and in his heart he passed to that life where "immortality endures."

I’ll praise my maker with my breath,
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
While life and thought and being last,
Or immortality endures.
The Lord has eyes to give the blind;
The Lord supports the sinking mind;
He sends the laboring conscience peace;
He helps the stranger in distress,
The widow, and the fatherless,
And grants the prisoner sweet release.
Why should I make a man my trust?
Princes must die and turn to dust;
Vain is the help of flesh and blood:
Their breath departs, their pomp and power,      
And thoughts all vanish in an hour,
Nor can they make their promise good.
He loves His saints, He knows them well,
But turns the wicked down to hell;
Thy God, O Zion, ever reigns:
Let every tongue, let every age,
In this exalted work engage;
Praise Him in everlasting strains.
Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel’s God: He made the sky,
And earth, and seas, with all their train:
His truth for ever stands secure;
He saves th’oppressed, He feeds the poor,
And none shall find His promise vain.
I’ll praise Him while He lends me breath,
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
While life and thought and being last,
Or immortality endures.

I’ll Praise My Maker