He sat to watch o’er customs paid (Winchester New – 6 verses) – Organ


He sat to watch o’er customs paid,
A man of scorned and hardening trade,
Alike the symbol and the tool
Of foreign masters’ hated rule.

But grace within his breast had stirred;
There needed but the timely word:
It came, true Lord of souls, from thee,
That royal summons, ‘Follow me.’

Enough, when thou wast passing by,
To hear thy voice, to meet thine eye:
He rose, responsive to the call,
And left his task, his gains, his all.

O wise exchange! with these to part,
And lay up treasure in the heart –
Who now with crown of light doth shine
Among the apostolic line.

Come, Saviour, as in days of old;
Pass where the world has strongest hold,
And faithless care and selfish greed
Are thorns that choke the holy seed.

Who keep thy gifts, O bid them claim
The steward’s, not the owner’s name;
Who yield up all for thy dear sake,
Let them of Matthew’s wealth partake.



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  • Tune: Winchester New
  • Meter: LM
  • Style: Baroque, Lutheran, Traditional German
  • Composer: Unknown from Musickalisches Handbuch (1690)
  • Lyricist: William Bright (1824 – 1901)
  • Church Year: Feast of St Matthew
  • Music and Lyrics Copyright Public Domain
  • Performance Copyright ℗ 2019 Richard M S Irwin. Certain rights reserved.
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