Complainer (Jeremiah Ingalls)

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  • (Posted 2017-05-18)  CPDL #44584:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-05-18).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 76 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition, as written in 1805. All five pairs of stanzas from Leland's hymn included.
  • (Posted 2017-05-18)  CPDL #44582:   
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2017-05-18).   Score information: 7 x 10 inches (landscape), 1 page, 51 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). The remaining four pairs of stanzas of Leland's hymn included.

General Information

Title: Complainer
First Line: I set myself against the Lord
Composer: Jeremiah Ingalls
Lyricist: John Leland

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: STB
Genre: SacredSet piece   Meter: 886. 886

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1805 in Ingalls' The Christian Harmony, pp. 157-158
Description: Words by John Leland, in ten stanzas. Ingalls used two stanzas of Leland's hymn in each line of his composition.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. I set myself against the Lord,
Despised his spirit and his word,
And wished to take his place;
It vexed me so, that I must die,
And perish too, eternally,
Or else be saved by grace.

2. Of every preacher I'd complain;
One spoke thro' pride, and one for gain
Another's learning small;
One spoke too fast, and one too slow;
One prayed too loud, and one too low;
Another had no call.

3. Some walk too straight to make a show,
While others far too crooked go;
And both of these I scorn;
Some odd, fantastic motion* make;
Some stoop too low, some stand too straight-
No one is faultless born.

4. With no professor I could join;
Some dressed too mean, and some too fine,
And some would talk too long;
Some had a tone, some had no gift;
One talked too slow, and one too swift;
And all of them were wrong.


5. I thought they'd better keep at home,
Than to exhort where'er they come,
And tell us of their joys;.
They'd better keep their gardens free
From weeds, than to examine me,
And vex me with their noise.

6. Kindred and neighbors, too, were bad,
And no true friend was to be had;
My rulers, too, were vile;
At length, I was reduced to see
The fault did mostly lie in me,
And had done all the while.

7. The horrid load of guilt and shame,
The inward consciousness of blame
Did wound my frighted soul
I've sinned so much against the Lord,
Despised his goodness and his word,
How can I be made whole ?

8. "Why, there is balm in Gilead,
And a physician may be had,
And balsam too most free;
Only believe on God's dear son,
Through him the victory is won:
Christ Jesus died for thee."


9. O, Christ's free love, a boundless sea!
What! to expire for such as me?
"Yes, 'tis a truth divine."
My heart did melt, my soul o'er-run
With love, to see what God had done
For souls so vile as mine.

10. Now, I can hear a child proclaim
The joyful news, and bless the name
Of Jesus Christ, my king;
I scorn no sect—the saints are one;
With my complaints I now have done.
And God's free grace I sing.