Oracle (Oliver Holden)

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  • (Posted 2015-08-22)  CPDL #36583:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-08-22).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 53 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition, as written in 1800. The other eleven stanzas from Steele's hymn added below.
  • (Posted 2015-08-22)  CPDL #36582:     
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-08-22).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 56 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). The other eleven stanzas of Steele's hymn added below.

General Information

Title: Oracle
First Line: Father of mercies! In Thy word
Composer: Oliver Holden
Lyricist: Anne Steele

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: STB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1800 in Plain Psalmody, p. 12, for three voices: Treble-Tenor-Bass
Description: Words by Anne Steele, 1760, entitled The Excellency of the Holy Scriptures, in twelve stanzas.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. Father of mercies, in Thy word
What endless glory shines;
Forever be thy name adored
For these celestial lines.

2. Here, mines of heavenly wealth disclose
Their bright, unbounded store:
The glittering gem no longer glows,
And India boasts no more.

3. Here, may the wretched sons of want
Exhaustless riches find :
Riches, above what earth can grant,
And lasting as the mind.

4. Here, the fair tree of knowledge grows,
And yields a free repast ;
Sublimer sweets than nature knows,
Invite the longing taste.


5. Here may the blind and hungry come,
And light, and food receive;
Here, shall the meanest guest have room.
And taste, and see, and live.

6. Amidst these gloomy wilds below,
When dark and sad we stray;
Here, beams of heaven relieve our woe.
And guide to endless day.

7. Here, springs of consolation rise,
To cheer the fainting mind ;
And thirsty souls receive supplies,
And sweet refreshment find.

8. When guilt and terror, pain and grief,
United rend the heart,
Here, sinners meet divine relief,
And cool the raging smart.


9. Here, the Redeemer's welcome voice,
Spreads heavenly peace around;
And life, and everlasting joys
Attend the blissful sound.

10. But when his painful sufferings rise,
(Delightful, dreadful scene!)
Angels may read with wondering eves.
That Jesus died for men.

11. O may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight,
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light.

12. Divine instructor, gracious Lord,
Be Thou forever near,
Teach me to love Thy sacred word,
And view my Savior there.