Hymn #4: Save Me For Thy Mercies’ Sake

One of the things I love about older hymns is their willingness to address emotions that are rarely touched in modern music.  This week’s hymn comes from a place of despair, depression…it is a cry for help.  It’s a lament, and is reminiscent of Psalm 6.   I can identify with Samuel Medley’s (and the Psalmist’s) lyrics, and I find myself wishing there was space in our modern liturgies for expressions of this kind.

A bit about the hymn-writer:

Medley, Samuel, born June 23, 1738, at Cheshunt, Herts, where his father kept a school. He received a good education; but not liking the business to which he was apprenticed, he entered the Royal Navy. Having been severely wounded in a battle with the French fleet off Port Lagos, in 1759, he was obliged to retire from active service. A sermon by Dr. Watts, read to him about this time, led to his conversion. He joined the Baptist Church in Eagle Street, London, then under the care of Dr. Gifford, and shortly afterwards opened a school, which for several years he conducted with great success. Having begun to preach, he received, in 1767, a call to become pastor of the Baptist church at Watford. Thence, in 1772, he removed to Byrom Street, Liverpool, where he gathered a large congregation, and for 27 years was remarkably popular and useful. After a long and painful illness he died July 17, 1799.

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Save Me For Thy Mercies’ Sake

Listen | Chart

Regard Great God my mournful prayer
Make my trembling heart thy care
For me in pity undertake
And save me for thy mercies’ sake

My soul’s cast down within me lord
Only thou can help afford
Let not my heart with sorrow break
But save me for thy mercies’ sake

I have fears of every shape
Nor from them my soul escapes
Upon me lord, some pity take
And save me for thy mercies’ sake

I’ve scare a glimpse or sign of light
With me little else but night
O for my help do thou awake
And save me for thy mercies’ sake

To me dear savior turn once more
To my soul thy joys restore
Let me again thy smiles partake
And save me for thy mercies’ sake

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