Words: , Short Hymns on Se­lect Pass­ag­es of Ho­ly Script­ure, 1762.

Music: Boyl­ston, , The Choir, or Un­ion Col­lect­ion of Church Mu­sic, 1832. Al­ter­nate tunes:

  • Galway, , 1790
  • Kentucky, (1764-1828)

The lyrics are based on Mat­thew Hen­ry’s com­ment­a­ry on Le­vit­i­cus:

We have ev­ery one of us a charge to keep, an eter­nal God to glor­i­fy, an im­mor­tal soul to pro­vide for, need­ful du­ty to be done, our gen­er­a­tion to serve; and it must be our dai­ly care to keep this charge, for it is the charge of the Lord our Master, who will short­ly call us ac­count about it, and it is our ut­most per­il if we ne­glect it. Keep it “that ye die not”; it is death, eternal death, to be­tray the trust that we are charged with; by the con­sid­er­a­tion of this we must be kept in awe.

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will!

Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!

Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall for ever die.