JTTH: How Sweet and Aweful is the Place (Part One)

This hymn is one of my favorite songs ever. Actually, it probably is my favorite. I actually didn’t hear it until I was around twelve or thirteen, but ever since then I listen to it whenever I can (which is why I’m glad we sing it a lot at my church). It was penned by hymnwriter Isaac Watts, and is set to a good old Irish melody. I love that kind of music, and this refrain in particular puts me in a happy place.         

But what I like the most about this song is the words. They captivated me the first time I heard it, and now every time I sing or read this hymn I try to pay as close attention to the lyrics as I did the first time I heard it, because what it says is so powerful that I don’t ever want to disregard it, even unknowingly, even though I’ve heard it a hundred times.  Let’s read over the lyrics for now, to get an overview of what we’ll be looking at in the next couple of posts.                                                                                                 

How Sweet and Aweful is the Place

By Isaac Watts

How sweet and aweful is the place

With Christ within the doors

While everlasting love displays

The choicest of her stores

While all our hearts and all our songs

Join to admire the feast

Each of us cries, with thankful tongues,

“Lord, why was I a guest?”

“Why was I made to hear Thy voice

And enter while there’s room

When thousands make a wretched choice

And rather starve than come?”

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast

That sweetly drew us in;

Else we had still refused to taste

And perished in our sin

Pity the nations, O our God;

Constrain the earth to come

Send Thy victorious Word abroad

And bring the strangers home

We long to see Thy churches full

That all the chosen race

May with one voice and heart and soul

Sing Thy redeeming grace

If you’d like to, you can listen to it by clicking on the video below.

SDG <><

NOTE: Aweful is not the same as awful. Aweful (an old English word) means “reverent fear” or “inspirational wonder”.

This is the second installment in the Journey Through the Hymns series. A new installment will be posted each Wednesday until the series’ completion.

2 thoughts on “JTTH: How Sweet and Aweful is the Place (Part One)

Add yours

  1. This is also one of my favorites! I introduced it to Mr. Floyd a couple years ago and was so happy he added it to the regular CBC rotation. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This hymn definitely reminds us of the solemnity of corporate worship. It’s not a matter to be handled lightly.

    Talking about corporate worship, the apostle Paul said “But all things should be done decently and in order.” (1 Cor. 14:40)

    Compare that with your average evangelical Sunday-morning rock concert.


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