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Hymn/Song Information

Thou Lord by strictest search hast known

Thou Lord, by strictest search hast known
my rising up and lying down;
My secret thoughts are known to thee,
known long before conceived by me.

Thine eye my bed and path surveys,
my public haunts and private ways;
Thou knowest what 'tis my lips would vent,
my yet unuttered words' intent.

Surrounded by thy power I stand,
on every side I find thy hand: .
O skill, for human reach too high!
too dazzling bright for mortal eye:

O could I so perfidious be,
to think of once deserting thee,
Where, Lord, could I thy influence shun?
or whither from thy presence run?

If up to heaven I take my flight,
'tis there thou dwell'st enthroned in light;
Or dive to hell's infernal plains,
'tis there almighty vengeance reigns.

If I the morning's wings could gain,
and fly beyond the western main,
Thy swifter hand would first arrive,
and there arrest thy fugitive.

Or should I try to shun thy light
beneath the sable wings of night;
One glance from thee, one piercing ray,
would kindle darkness into day.

The veil of night is no disguise,
no screen from thy all-searching eyes;
Through midnight shades thou find'st thy way,
as in the blazing noon of day.

Thou knowest the texture of my heart,
my reins, and every vital part;
Each single thread in nature's loom
by thee was covered in the womb.

I'll praise thee, from whose hands I came,
a work of such a curious frame;
The wonders thou in me hast shown,
my soul with grateful joy must own.

Thine eyes my substance did survey,
while yet a lifeless mass it lay;
In secret how exactly wrought,
ere from its dark enclosure brought.

Thou didst the shapeless embryo see,
its parts were registered by thee;
Thou saw'st the daily growth they took,
formed by the model of thy book.

Let me acknowledge too, O God,
that, since this maze of life 1 trod,
Thy thoughts of love to me surmount
the pow'r of numbers to recount.

Far sooner could I reckon o'er
the sands upon the ocean's shore;
Each morn, revising what I've done,
I find the account but new begun.

The wicked thou shalt slay, O God:
depart from me, ye men of blood,
Whose tongues heaven s majesty profane
and take th'Almighty's Name in vain.

Lord, hate not I their impious crew,
who thee with enmity pursue?
And does not grief my heart oppress,
when reprobates thy laws transgress?

Who practice enmity to thee
shall utmost hatred have from me;
Such men I utterly detest,
as if they were my foes professed.

Search, try, O God, my thoughts and heart,
if mischief lurks in any part;
Correct me where I go astray,
and guide me in thy perfect way.

---Alternative verses---

If up to heaven I take my flight,
'tis there thou dwell'st enthroned in light;
Or sink to hell's infernal plains,
'tis there almighty vengeance reigns.

marker 99
Meter: 8 8 8 8 (L.M.)
      Dates: 1696
      Bible Refs: Ps 139;
      Name: ALSTONE
      Meter: 8 8 8 8 (L.M.)
        Dates: 1868
        Name meter
        8 8 8 8 (L.M.)
        8 8 8 8 (L.M.)
        echo '
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