How shall the young secure their hearts,
And guard their lives from sin?
Thy Word the choicest rules imparts
To keep the conscience clean.
When once it enters to the mind,
It spreads such light abroad,
The meanest souls instruction find,
And raise their thoughts to God.
'Tis, like the sun, a heav'nly light
That guides us all the day,
And thro' the dangers of the night,
A lamp to lead our way.
The men that keep Thy law with care,
And meditate Thy Word,
Grow wiser than their teachers are,
And better know the Lord.
Thy precepts make me truly wise;
I hate the sinner's road;
I hate my own vain thoughts that rise,
But love Thy law, my God.
The starry heav'ns Thy rule obey,
The earth maintains her place;
And these Thy servants night and day,
Thy skill and power express.
But still Thy law and Gospel, Lord,
Have lessons more divine;
Not earth stands firmer than Thy Word,
Nor stars so nobly shine.
Thy Word is everlasting truth;
How pure is every page!
That holy Book shall guide our youth,
And well support our age.
—Isaac Watts (1674–1748)