Superfluous Commentary: Words that Do Not Belong in Hymns

Consider the following, an actual hymn text by Isaac Watts, the same guy who wrote ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’ and ‘Joy to the world.”  You can sing it to the Doxology:

Blest is the man whose bowels move
And melt with pity to the poor;
Whose soul, by sympathizing love,
Feels what his fellow saints endure.

His heart contrives for their relief
More good than his own hands can do;
He, in the time of general grief,
Shall find the Lord has bowels, too.

Indeed!  The word that caught your attention, in addition to its obvious clicical definition, has an archaic meaning as “the seat of pity or the gentler emotions.”

Alimentary, my dear Watts.


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