The Love of God Shed Abroad in the Heart

Representative Text

1 Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell
by faith and love in every breast;
then shall we know and taste and feel
the joys that cannot be expressed.

2 Come, fill our hearts with inward strength,
make our enlargèd souls possess
and learn the height and breadth and length
of thine immeasurable grace.

3 Now to the God whose power can do
more than our thoughts or wishes know,
be everlasting honours done
by all the church, through Christ his Son.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #438

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell
Title: The Love of God Shed Abroad in the Heart
Author: Isaac Watts (1709)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Communion Songs


Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell. I. Watts. [Whitsuntide.] Given in the enlarged edition of his Hymns and Sacred Songs, 1709, Bk. i., No. 135, in 3 stanzas of 4 lines in 1753 G. Whitefield included it in his Collection. This was followed by R. Conyers in his Collection, 1774, and others, until its use has become extensive both in Great Britain and America. In many cases, especially in America, the term "dearest” so objectionable to many, is changed to, ”Come, gracious Lord," &c.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Henry Kemble Oliver (b. Beverly, MA, 1800; d. Salem, MA, 1885) composed FEDERAL STREET in 1832, possibly as an imitation of earlier psalm tunes in long meter. He took it to a music class taught by Lowell Mason (who may have contributed to the harmony); Mason (PHH 96) published it in his Boston Acade…

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The Cyber Hymnal #776
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Instances (1 - 14 of 14)

Ancient and Modern #438


Common Praise #291a


Common Praise #291b


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #113

Hymns and Psalms #725a

Hymns and Psalms #725b

Hymns and Psalms #765

Hymns of the Saints #492


Rejoice in the Lord #501

The Baptist Hymnal #368


The Cyber Hymnal #776


Together in Song #443

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #340

Welsh and English Hymns and Anthems #56b

Include 264 pre-1979 instances
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