Resignation (William Billings)

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  • (Posted 2015-03-15)   CPDL #34793:   
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-03-15).   Score information: Unknown, 2 pages, 82 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Stanzas three and four of Watts' hymn added below, and stanza five repeated below that. The last phrase of the repeated stanza five has been changed slightly to fit the music. It was also necessary to add a syllable to the third line of stanzas four and the repeated stanza five in order to fit the music.
  • CPDL #32663:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2014-08-11).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 52 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval-note edition. Stanzas three and four of Watts' hymn added below, and stanza five repeated below that. The last phrase of the repeated stanza five has been changed slightly to fit the music. It was also necessary to add a syllable to the third line of stanzas four and the repeated stanza five in order to fit the music.

General Information

Title: Resignation
First Line: Thus saith the Ruler of the skies
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: Isaac Watts

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1781 in The Psalm-Singer's Amusement

Description: Published in The Psalm-Singer's Amusement, 1781, p. 62. Words by Isaac Watts, 1709, his Hymn 83 of Book 2. Watts' Hymn 83 is 86.86. (C. M.), five stanzas. Billings' 1781 composition includes the first two stanzas; the music to which is 86.86.96.86. (in order to change Watts' "submits t'His" to "submits to His").

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Thus saith the Ruler of the skies:
"Awake, my dreadful sword;
Awake, my wrath, and smite the man,
My fellow," saith the Lord.

Vengeance received the dread command,
And armed, down she flies;
Jesus submits to His Father's hand,
And bows His head and dies.

But O! the wisdom and the grace
That join with vengeance now!
He dies to save our guilty race,
And yet He rises too.

A person so divine was He
Who yielded to be slain,
That He could give His own soul away,
And take his life again.

Live, glorious Lord, and reign on high,
Let every nation sing;
And angels sound with endless joy
The Savior and the King.