I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord Lyrics Graphic Template

I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

by Timothy Dwight (1752-1817)

(stanzas 1-2)

I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode,
The church our blessed Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.

I love Thy church, O God.
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And written on Thy hand.


If e’er to bless Thy sons
My voice or hands deny,
These hands let useful skills forsake,
This voice in silence die.

Should I with scoffers join
Her altars to abuse?
No! Better far my tongue were dumb,
My hand its skill should lose.


For her my tears shall fall
For her my prayers ascend,
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end.

Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.


Jesus, Thou friend divine,
Our Savior and our king,
Thy hand from every snare and foe
Shall great deliverance bring.

Sure as Thy truth shall last,
To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield
And brighter bliss of Heaven

Notes on the Hymn

“I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” was one of 33 original psalm paraphrases by Dr. Timothy Dwight, grandson of Jonathan Edwards. Dwight included it in his collection under the formal title, “The Psalms of David by Isaac Watts, Revised, 1800.” This collection was popularly known as “Dwight’s Watts." It included Dwight’s original settings. In addition, it also contained revisions of Isaac Watts’ Psalm settings. Significantly, Dwight’s settings were in language better suited to Christians in the new republic known as the United States of America.

“I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” is a part of Dwight’s metrical setting of Psalm 137. Modern hymnals usually omit the third, fourth and seventh of the original eight stanzas. Since the first publication in 1800, Americans continue to sing to sing this hymn. Therefore, it is likely the oldest hymn by an American author still in common use today. Ironically, it is most often paired with the tune, “St. Thomas,” by English composer Aaron Williams.

About the Author Larry Frazier

Larry spent 24 years teaching music at the University of West Georgia to over 6,000 students. Ten years ago, Larry and his wife Mary Lynn, received comfort, support and inspiration from traditional Christian hymns while she overcame stage-three colon cancer. Larry is on a mission to help you discover God’s incredible power through the intersection of faith and Christian music in your life.