Praise My Soul, The King Of Heaven

A tiny and remote country parish in Southern Ireland did not seem the ideal place for the brilliant young graduate to start his ministry – six feet tall with dark curly hair, a classical scholar with great gifts as a speaker.

But here in County Wexford, as a brash new curate, Henry Francis Lyte had an encounter which turned his ideas inside out.

A neighbouring clergyman was terminally ill. He confessed to lyte that he had begun to re-examine his life, as he read and studied the New Testament.

He urged his younger friend to do what he had at last done: to stop relying on religious duties and good deeds for his peace with God, but trust completely in the mercy of Christ and his saving power.

This meeting immediately checked Lyte’s contempt for the Methodists and enthusiasts’ in the area. It gave him for the first time a truly personal faith. And it inspired him to write hymns such as this famous version of Psalm 103.

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven:
To His feet they tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like thee His praise should sing?
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favour
To our fathers in distress;
Praise Him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide and swift to bless.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Glorious to His faithfulness.

Father-like, he tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Widely as His mercy flows.

Angels in the height, adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him;
Dwellers all in time and space
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Praise with us the God of Grace.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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