Hymn: "How Sweet and Awful" by Isaac Watts
Hymns and Songs

Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs: “How Sweet and Awful”

Hymn: "How Sweet and Awful" by Isaac WattsIn Ephesians 5:15-21, we are given directions on how to properly live as Christians. One of these is to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

Each Monday, I share a song from history or present day that present a high view of God, praise Him, and teaches solid doctrine.

How Sweet and Awful

by Isaac Watts (1707)

How sweet and awesome is the place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?”

Hymn: "How Sweet and Awful" by Isaac Watts“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God,
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.


“Remember well that there is no more of music to God’s ear in any service than there is of heart-love and holy devotion. You may make floods of music with your organ if you like; or you may make equally good music—and some of us think better—with human voices; but it is not music to God, either of instrument or of voice, unless the heart be there; and the heart is not fully there, the man, the whole man, is not fully there, unless the soul glows with the praise.” ~ Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in my other posts of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs.

  • Wow, I know quite a few Isaac Watts songs but I’ve never heard this one. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Do you know which one is the original word? Awful or awesome?
    Blessings to you.

    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    • According to Hymnary.com, it looks like it was originally published as “How sweet and awful is the place” in “Hymns and Sacred Songs” in 1707. In 1849, another hymn compiler changed it to “How sweetly awful is the place.” A few years later, a Baptist hymnal changed it to “How sweet and sacred is the place.” This particular version I got from a pdf hymnal offered through Chapel Library. I did find versions on YouTube that had changed “awful” to “awesome,” however. Even on hymnary.com, if you search for “How Sweet and Awesome…” the link will redirect to “How Sweet and Awful…”

  • Thanks again for keeping these hymns alive. Blessings!

  • thanks for sharing this great hymn of God’s hospitality!

  • I’ve never heard this one before. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jann Olson

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.