Hymns: The Verses We’re Missing Out On

My wife, Keri, and I were discussing the poetic beauty and theological richness of the old hymns the other day when she brought up the point that some of the best verses of these hymns are the ones we rarely, if ever, sing.  The third, fourth, fifth, and even sixth verses are ones we are often unfamiliar with, but can also be some of the most biblically-soaked verses in the song.  After searching out some of these neglected verses, I can say that it’s usually not for lack of beauty and truth that we don’t include them, but rather, because we’re probably too impatient a culture to sing through the entire song.  Here are  a few misfit verses from some of our most popular hymns.  If you want to check out more, The Cyber Hymnal is still one of the best places to get hymns online….  even if it does look like they haven’t updated the site since 1998.


Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson (1758)

Verse 5

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

There is a Fountain Filled With Blood by William Cowper (1772)

Verse 5

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

And Can It Be That I Should Gain? by Charles Wesley (1738)

Verse 4

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Rock of Ages by Augustus M. Toplady (1776)

Verse 3

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

O Worship the King by Robert Grant (1833)

Verse 6

O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise by Walter C. Smith (1876)

Verse 5

All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee,
And so let Thy glory, almighty, impart,
Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

2 responses to “Hymns: The Verses We’re Missing Out On

  • Alex Long

    Amen, Brent! Verse 4 of “And Can it Be” is one of my all-time favorite lines.

  • Brant

    We lose a lot of thoelogical depth in transitioning to some modern worship practices. I often prefer the language in older hymns and in the old King James Version because it is more poetic compared to modern translations. I recently sat in a couple of services where they recite the Lord’s Prayer from a newer translation and it just sounds wrong. The words don’t seem to carry the same weight and it doesn’t flow right.

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