How Sweet and Awesome is the Place

One of my favorite hymns ever, written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748).  This was introduced to me about 10 years ago when I was attending St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford FL and listening (weekly) to the magnificent sermons of R. C. Sproul.  The music there was glorious, and the music director, with discerning taste and a keen ear, chose this hymn as their “hymn of the month.”  It was so well received that it ended up in the regular rotation of hymns, and I was always extraordinarily lifted up when we sang it.

Here are the lyrics, and you can listen to the music here.

How sweet and awe-some is the place
   With Christ with-in the doors,
While ev-er-last-ing love dis-plays
   The choic-est of her stores.

Here ev-ery bow-el of our God
   With soft com-pas-sion rolls;
Here peace and par-don bought with blood
   Is food for dy-ing souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
   Join to ad-mire the feast,
Each of us cries, with thank-ful tongue,
   “Lord, why was I a guest?’

Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
   And en-ter while there’s room,
When thou-sands make a wretch-ed choice,
   And ra-ther starve than come?

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
   That sweet-ly forced us in;
Else we had still re-fused to taste,
   And per-ished in our sin.

Pit-y the na-tions, O our God,
   Con-strain the earth to come;
Send Thy vic-tor-ious Word a-broad,
   And bring the strang-ers home.

We long to see Thy chur-ches full,
   That all the cho-sen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul,
   Sing Thy re-deem-ing grace.

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