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Beyond all mortal praise

Beyond all mortal praise. Timothy Dudley-Smith* (1926- ). Written in August 1981. The first line and the metre 66.66.44.44. (the metre of the 148th Psalm in the ‘Old Version’*) may seem at first sight to recall ‘We give immortal praise’* by Isaac Watts*. But while Watts’s hymn is on the Holy Trinity, Dudley-Smith’s is based on Daniel 2: 20-23, in which Daniel and his companions desired ‘mercies of the God of heaven’ that would enable them to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel’s prayer of thankfulness and praise is in response to the revelation given to him: this is ‘His mercies trace/ in answered prayer’, verse 4. The dream itself, showing forth the decline of earthly kingdoms, is...

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