I recently discovered this excellent wedding hymn by John Berridge (1716-93) after reading some of his other hymn lines quoted by C.H. Spurgeon in the devotional Morning & Evening.
If you’re searching for a hymn or poem to be read during your wedding, you can stop your search.
Since Jesus freely did appear,
To grace a marriage-feast,
O Lord, we ask Thy presence here;
Be Thou our glorious guest.
Upon the bridal pair look down,
Who now have plighted hands;
Their union with Thy favor crown,
And bless their nuptial bands.
With gifts of grace their hearts endow,
Of all rich dowries best:
Their substance bless, and peace bestow,
To sweeten all the rest.
In purest love their souls unite,
That they, with Christian care,
May make domestic burdens light,
By taking mutual share.
True helpers may they prove indeed,
In pray’r, and faith, and hope;
And see with joy a Godly seed
To build their household up.
An Isaac and Rebecca, give
A pattern chaste and kind;
So may this married couple live
And die in friendship joined.
On every soul assembled here,
O make Thy face to shine:
Thy goodness more our hearts can cheer,
Than richest food or wine.
Behind the lines
Spurgeon didn’t reference John Berridge’s name in Morning & Evening (the evening of July 12th), so I had to track it down. During my search, I found the hymn posted here. Spurgeon did cite Berridge in other sermons.
John Berridge’s Wikipedia page gives the following details of his life:
- He preached up to twelve open-air sermons and traveled over 100 miles each week (by horseback).
- C.H. Spurgeon included John Berridge on his list of Eccentric Preachers.
- His first collection of hymns was published as A Collection of Divine Songs in the 1760s. In 1785, a collection of 342 hymns were published.
My search also led me to a similar post by Tim Challies which links to a longer biography of John Berridge.