Tuesday Hymns: “O for a Closer Walk with God”

This past Sunday our offertory hymn was William Cowper’s (pronounced, “Cooper”), “O for a Closer Walk with God.” This hymn speaks of the Lord’s sanctifying work in the lives of His people, primarily through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It speaks of the Christian’s responsibilities, “walking,” “hating,” “dying to sin,” and “living unto righteousness,” but also reminds us that we are able to do those things only through God’s grace and the enablement of the Holy Spirit.

As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” In The Trinity Hymnal, this hymn is sung to the tune, BEATITUDO C.M. by John B. Dykes.

O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.

The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.

So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.

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