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Lord, with glowing heart I’d praise Thee, [1]
For the bliss Thy love bestows,
For the pardoning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows:
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise:
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.

Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wanderer, far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away;
Praise, with love’s devoutest feeling,
Him Who saw thy guilt-born fear,
And the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.

Praise thy Savior God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to Him and live.
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease;
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.

Lord, this bosom’s ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express.
Low before Thy footstool kneeling,
Deign Thy suppliant’s prayer to bless:
Let Thy grace, my soul’s chief treasure,
Love’s pure flame within me raise;
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth Thy praise.

Francis S. (Scott) Key was born to Mr. and Mrs. John Ross Key,8/1/1779 at Pipes Creek, Maryland.  He became a devout Christian and after at­tend­ing St. John’s Coll­ege (An­nap­o­lis) became also a dedicated lawyer.  His dedication to law brought him eventually to the position of Dis­trict At­torn­ey of Wash­ing­ton, DC and placed him where he penned the na­tion­al an­them.

His dedication to Christ lead him to be a ves­try­man of St. John’s Church and Christ Church in George­town, and to teach a Sun­day School class.  Francis helped or­gan­ize the Do­mes­tic and For­eign Mis­sion­ary So­ci­e­ty (1820).  He also served on the com­mit­tee pre­par­ing the new Pro­test­ant Epis­co­pal hym­nal (1823).

Many more know Key as the au­thor “The Star Span­gled Ban­ner,” than know him as a disciple of Jesus and the author of the above hymn.  Key died1/11/1843 at Bal­ti­more, Mar­y­land.


[1] Penned in 1819; first printed inEpis­co­pa­li­anChurch Po­e­try (1823)

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