Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve
Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve. Philip Doddridge* (1702-1751).
This was hymn CCXCVI in Doddridge’s Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (1755). This was headed ‘Pressing on in the Christian Race. Phil. iii. 12-14.’ It was a variant on the common ‘Awake, my soul’ theme’, distinguished from other examples by its exhortation to zeal and vigour:
Awake, my Soul, stretch ev’ry Nerve And press with Vigour on: A heav’nly Race demands thy Zeal, And an immortal Crown.
While this is entirely in keeping with Philippians 3: 12-14, the phrase ‘stretch ev’ry Nerve’ is at the heart of the 18th-century experience for Dissenters. It requires the congregation to be attentive (as...
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