This morning, I wish to share with you a hymn from Spurgeon’s Our Own Hymn Book. The theme of this hymn is the mercy of God, which is actually the title given in this hymnbook: The Mercy of God. This hymn was written by John Stocker in 1776 and if you are an American reading this that date means a great deal to us! But, John Stocker was not an American, he was an Englishman. Other than the fact that it is known he was born in Devonshire there is not much else to be found on the hymn-writer (at least on the internet!).
The Mercy of God has great theology in its lyrics and is very personal in its words. Certainly, there are parts of this hymn that are subjective, but the objective truth of the mercy of God rings throughout all Scripture. As the hymnist wrote in stanza two, “Without thy sweet mercy, I could not live here, sin soon would reduce me to utter despair,” and praise God that his mercy is still available today!
Here are the original lyrics from Spurgeon’s hymnbook:
201 The Mercy of God.
1 THY mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart, and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound mysoul fast.
2 Without Thy sweet mercy, I could not live here,
Sin soon would reduce me to utter despair;
But through Thy free goodness my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.
3 Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.
4 The door of Thy mercy stands open all day.
To the poor and the needy, who knock by the way;
No sinner shall ever be empty sent back,
Who comes seeking mercy for Jesus’s sake.
5 Thy mercy in Jesus exempts me from hell;
Its glories I’ll sing, and its wonders I’ll tell;
’Twas Jesus, my friend, when He hung on the tree,
That open’d the channel of mercy for me.
6 Great Father of mercies! Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine!
John Stocker, 1776, a.
Spurgeon, C. H. (1883). Our Own Hymn Book: A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Public, Social and Private Worship. London: Passmore & Alabaster.
Recently, Sandra McCracken, one of the founders of Indelible Grace Music, has recorded a modern rendition of this 200+-year-old hymn. You can listen to her version below.
And/or you can listen to Jason Waller’s acoustic version: