O that I knew the secret place
'O that I knew the secret place' is a hymn by Isaac Watts, written to accompany Sermon VI, 'Sins and sorrows spread before God', of his Sermons on Various Subjects, Divine and Moral. The text was included (with the omission of Watts' verse 3) as Hymn 99 in John Rippon's Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors.
Settings by composers
- Thomas Clark — O that I knew the secret place (Harborough)
- Thomas Clark — O that I knew the secret place (Orford)
Text and translations
1 O that I knew the secret place
Where I might find my God:
I'd spread my wants before his face,
And pour my woes abroad.
2 I'd tell him how my sins arise,
What sorrows I sustain;
How grace decays, and comfort dies,
And leaves my heart in pain.
3 I'd say, "How flesh and sense rebel!
What inward foes combine
With the vain world and pow'rs of Hell
To vex this soul of mine!"
4 He knows what arguments I'd take
To wrestle with my God;
I'd plead for his own mercy's sake,
And for my Saviour's blood.
5 My God will pity my complaints,
And heal my broken bones;
He takes the meaning of his saints,
The language of their groans.
6 Arise, my soul, from deep distress,
And banish ev'ry fear;
He calls thee to his throne of grace,
To spread thy sorrows there.
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