Eternal power! Whose high abode

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, 1706, from Horae Lyricae, entitled God Exalted Above All Praise. It was altered by John Wesley in 1743 in his Collection of Psalms and Hymns, Second Edition.

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Text and translations

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Isaac Watts, Horae Lyricae, 1706

1. Eternal power! whose high abode
Becomes the grandeur of a God;
Infinite length! beyond the bounds
Where stars revolve their little rounds.

2. The lowest step about thy seat
Rises too high for Gabriel's feet:
In vain the tall archangel tries
To reach thy height with wondering eyes.

3. Thy dazzling beauties while he sings,
He hides his face behind his wings;
And ranks of shining thrones around
Fall worshipping, and spread the ground.

4. Lord, what shall earth and ashes do?
We would adore our Maker too;
From sin and dust to thee we cry,
“The great, the holy, and the high!”

5. Earth from afar has heard thy fame,
And worms have learnt to lisp thy name:
But, oh! the glories of thy mind
Leave all our soaring thoughts behind.

6. God is in heaven, and men below;
Be short, our tunes; our words be few;
A sacred reverence checks our songs,
And praise sits silent on our tongues.

 

John Wesley, Collection, 1743

1. Eternal power, whose high abode
Becomes the grandeur of a god;
Infinite lengths, beyond the bounds
Where stars revolve their little rounds.






2. Thee while the first archangel sings,
He hides his face behind his wings,
And ranks of shining thrones around
Fall worshipping, and spread the ground.

3. Lord, what shall earth and ashes do?
We would adore our Maker too;
From sin and dust to thee we cry
The great, the holy, and the high!

4. Earth from afar has heard thy fame,
And worms have learnt to lisp thy name;
But, O the glories of thy mind
Leave all our soaring thoughts behind.

5. God is in heaven, and men below;
Be short our tunes; our words be few!
A sacred reverence checks our songs,
And praise sits silent on our tongues.

 

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