When we are raised from deep distress,
Our God deserves a song;
We take the pattern of our praise
From Hezekiah's tongue.
The gates of the devouring grave
Are opened wide in vain,
If he that holds the keys of death
Commands them fast again.
Pains of the flesh are wont t' abuse
Our minds with slavish fears:
"Our days are past, and we shall lose
The remnant of our years."
We chatter with a swallow's voice,
Or like a dove we mourn,
With bitterness instead of joys,
Afflicted and forlorn.
Jehovah speaks the healing word,
And no disease withstands;
Fevers and plagues obey the Lord,
And fly at his commands.
If half the strings of life should break,
He can our frame restore;
He casts our sins behind his back,
And they are found no more.
When we are raised from deep distress. I. Watts. [Hezekiah's Song.] From his Hymns and Sacred Songs, 1707.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)