Blest is the man whose softening heart

Blest is the man whose softening heart. Anna Letitia Barbauld* (1743-1825). This text is taken from a hymn beginning ‘Behold, where breathing love divine’, first published in her friend William Enfield*’s Hymns for Public Worship: selected from various authors, and intended as a supplement to Dr Watts’s Psalms (Warrington, 1772),  where it was entitled ‘Christian Charity’. It had eight stanzas. The present hymn starts at stanza 3. It was published in Barbauld’s Poems (1773) as ‘Hymn IV’. The original stanza begins the hymn in some books, but the version beginning with the first line as above is much more common, especially in the USA. In at least one book, A Collection of Hymns and a...

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