William Bennett
(fl.1770 - 1775)

Bennett : Inspired by fire prophetic, Isaiah said : illustration

Inspired by fire prophetic, Isaiah said
(S.A.T.B.Vc./Bsn.)
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William Bennett is believed to have practised as a singing teacher in Combeinteignhead, South Devon, throughout the 1770's. His extant published collection had an extensive subscription list, with a strong local flavour: "A New set of Psalm Tunes and Anthems, in four Parts, for the Use of Country Choirs: with an Introduction to Music: by William Bennett. Exeter: printed for the Author, and sold by Edward Score, Bookseller, and James Wallis in Plymouth. Exeter. Printed by R. Trewman behind the Cathedral." c.1770.

"Country Choirs" is a term often used to mean choirs in parish churches and proprietary chapels, as yet without an organ installed. Other instruments were employed instead (particularly 'cello or bassoon to reinforce the bass). This piece requires a bass instrument both to accompany the recitative and to reinforce the chorus line; its use in the verse sections (doubling the bass singer) is optional.
Lyrics: Edward Spray M.D. of Totnes

Inspired by fire prophetic, Isaiah said:
"A virgin shall conceive, a very maid
Shall bear a child a son both God and man,
Who is, and was, before the world began,
Coequal with the great, the dread, I AM.
From root of Jesse shall the Saviour spring,
And to lost Adam sure salvation bring.
That time's complete by prophecy foretold;
With eyes of joy ecstatic now behold
The infant God, incarnate to the world.
Let Israel rejoice, let Sion's hill be glad,
Let Solyma give praise unto her new-born God.
The Messiah's come, all sins are done away,
Exult, be glad, salute the welcome day
With shouts of praise of joy with thanks sincere;
From hearts of gratitude with love and fear
The great, good God omnipotent revere."