Great God of Wonders

Samuel Davies (1723-1761) was a preacher in the years that preceded the American war for independence. He was also president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). The American patriot Patrick Henry, famous for his cry, “Give me liberty or give me death,” said that he was “first taught what an orator should be by listening to Davies preach.” The Banner of Truth magazine published a two part biographical summary that is available here and here.

Davies was a great preacher little known today. He also wrote a rich hymn entitled “Great God of Wonders.” Here is the first stanza and chorus:

Great God of wonders! All Thy ways
Are matchless, Godlike and divine;
But the fair glories of Thy grace
More Godlike and unrivaled shine,
More Godlike and unrivaled shine.

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

The whole hymn text may be found here.

The tune most associated with this hymn is “Sovereignty” by John Newton (1802-1886). No, not the John Newton of “Amazing Grace” fame (1725-1807), but this John Newton—a godly twisthand (operator of a lace-making machine).

Here is what the hymn sounds like:

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