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Milgrove was Precentor of the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel in Bath (see illustration). This setting comes from his second (of three) collections of "hymns as they are sung at the Right Honourable the Countess of Huntingdon's chappel in Bath". The general congregation (sometimes divided into men and women) should sing the Air, accompanying harmonies to be taken by the choir.

Lyrics: Anon

Expectant at Bethesda lie
The lame, the withered and the blind;
These sons of pain and misery
Wait the propitious hour to find;
When the kind angel from above
Shall the health-giving water move.

Those sons of misery and woe
In us, O gracious Saviour, see,
Halting, nor have we strength to go
In strict conformity to Thee;
Sightless, in vain our eyeballs roll,
And all infirmity the soul.

Yes, 'tis our better part that lies
Exposed to all these mortal ills;
The soul, th'immortal spirit dies,
And Tophet's ceaseless torments feels;
Unless a sov'reign balm we know,
And life from blest Bethesda flow.

Here, Lord, we wait; now move the wave,
The true Bethesda; let us prove
Present a mighty power to save,
The force of Jesu's dying love.
Now let us bathe in mercy's sea,
And find our health, life, all from Thee.

Benjamin Milgrove
(1731 - 1810)

Milgrove : Expectant at Bethesda : illustration


Expectant at Bethesda

(S.A.T.B.Org.)

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