Restoration (William Billings)

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Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-02-24).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 66 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition. Published in 1786 with stanza one of Relly's hymn; three more stanzas added (there are eight in total).
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-02-25).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 72 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Published in 1786 with stanza one of Relly's hymn; three more stanzas added (there are eight in total).

General Information

Title: Restoration
First Line: Greatly beloved, of God approved
Composer: William Billings
Lyricist: James Relly

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: Irregular meter (84. 68. 8 10.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1786 in The Suffolk Harmony

Description: Published in The Suffolk Harmony, 1786, p. 35. Words by James Relly, 1776, his Hymn 5.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Greatly beloved, of God approved
Ere time began,
Jehovah's darling man
Possessed his nature, love, above;
There man is known, while angels own,
Above them far, this bright and morning star.

When all beheld, with wonder filled,
The glorious Grace
Sparkle in Jesus' face;
We, worms, as wholly blind in mind,
Could not discern what did concern
Our hearts alone, that orb in which we shone.


But God would show to us below,
His grace and choice,
While we in heart rejoice;
And this revealed by blood, when God
Became a Man; and then began
In love to cure our nature, blind, impure.

The work was great, it made him sweat,
Blood-rivers flowed,
He groaned and cried aloud;
While sorrows rent his heart with smart
Unspeakable: the pains of Hell,
Infernal wrath, encompassed him in death.


With many tears and unknown fears,
Heart-breaking sighs,
Infinite agonies,
Wounds, blood, and bruises fresh, his flesh
All over fill; in anguish still
He Yields his breath to the accursed Death,

Fail nature's laws; the sun withdraws;
With dreadful crack,
The rocks asunder break;
Convulsed creation makes earthquakes;
All old things die, non-entity
Passed over all that lived by Adam's fall.


Hence came the hour when God, with power,
Raised from the dead
The members, and the Head;
In that one perfect Man the plan
Of grace we see, where Christ and we
Were named in one, The Father's only Son.

His joy fulfilled in every child:
We, in that grace,
Behold the Father's face
In that exalted man, we can
Forever view, that love, so true,
Which did us raise to never-ceasing praise.