HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.
HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.

"Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Rom 3:27-28

"The Psalms of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament and Applied to the Christian State and Worship"

by Isaac Watts
English Puritan Preacher,
1674-1748ad

With the
The Life of Isaac Watts,
by Dr. Johnson

Hail & Fire REPRINTS 2008

INSTRUCTIONS TO SHORTEN A HYMN:

If the hymn is too long for the time allowed, or for the usual manner of singing, there are "pauses" included in many of them where the singers may rest. In some cases a hymn may be started at a "pause" break. Some hymns have certain verses contained within square brackets [ ] which may be omitted entirely without disturbing the sense of the hymn.

Original wording of these instructions may be read in "Of dividing the Psalms," in Isaac Watts' "Preface."

HOME > Prayers & Hymns > The Psalms of David > Psalm 39, by Isaac Watts

Excerpt (Hymn) From
"The Psalms of David"
by Isaac Watts

Psalm 39

Psalm 39:1. 1 2 3. First Part.
Watchfulness over the tongue;
or, Prudence and zeal.

1 Thus I resolv'd before the Lord,
"Now will I watch my tongue,
"Lest I let slip one sinful word,
"Or do my neighbour wrong."

2 And if I'm e'er constrain'd to stay
With men of lives profane
I'll set a double guard that day,
Nor let my talk be vain.

3 I'll scarce allow my lips to speak
The pious thoughts I feel,
Lest scoffers should th' occasion take
To mock my holy zeal.

4 Yet if some proper hour appear,
I'll not be overaw'd,
But let the scoffing sinners hear
That I can speak for God.

Psalm 39:2. 4-7. Second Part.
The vanity of man as mortal.

1 Teach me the measure of my days,
Thou maker of my frame;
I would survey life's narrow space,
And learn' how frail I am.

2 A span is all that we can boast,
An inch or two of time;
Man is but vanity and dust
In all his flower and prime.

3 See the vain race of mortals move
Like shadows o'er the plain;
They rage and strive, desire and love,
But all the noise is vain.

4 Some walk in honour's gaudy show,
Some dig for golden ore,
They toil for heirs, they know not who,
And straight are seen no more.

5 What should I wish or wait for then
From creatures, earth and dust?
They make our expectations vain,
And disappoint our trust.

6 Now I forbid my carnal hope,
My fond desires recall;
I give my mortal interest up,
And make my God my all.

Psalm 39:3. 9-13. Third Part.
Sick-bed devotion; or, Pleading without repining.

1 God of my life, look gently down,
Behold the pains I feel;
But I am dumb before thy throne,
Nor dare dispute thy will.

2 Diseases are thy servants, Lord,
They come at thy command;
I'll not attempt a murmuring word
Against thy chastening hand.

3 Yet I may plead with humble cries,
Remove thy sharp rebukes;
My strength consumes, my spirit dies
Thro' thy repeated strokes.

4 Crush'd as a moth beneath thy hand,
We moulder to the dust;
Our feeble powers can ne'er withstand,
And all our beauty's lost.

5 [This mortal life decays apace,
How soon the bubble's broke!
Adam and all his numerous race
Are vanity and smoke.]

6 I'm but a sojourner below,
As all my fathers were,
May I be well prepar'd to go
When I the summons hear.

7 But if my life be spar'd awhile,
Before my last remove,
Thy praise shall be my business still,
And I'll declare thy love.

Hymn by Isaac Watts, excerpted from "The Psalms of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and Applied to the Christian State and Worship"



"I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my transgressions" Psa 39:1-8 KJV
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