Scripture Verse

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away. Luke 21:33

Introduction

portrait
Johann Rist
1607–1667

Words: Joh­ann Rist, Neu­er himm­lische Lied­er son­der­bahr­es Buch (Lü­ne­burg: 1651), page 248 (Wach auf, wach auf, du sichre Welt). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­the­rine Wink­worth, Cho­rale Book for Eng­land (Lon­don: Long­man, Green, Long­man, Ro­berts and Green, 1863), num­ber 27.

Music: Com­pos­er un­known (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Catherine Winkworth
1827–1878

Lyrics

Awake, thou care­less world, awake!
That fi­nal judg­ment day will sure­ly come;
What Heav’n hath fixed time can­not shake,
Time ne­ver more shall sweep away thy doom.
Know, what the Lord Him­self hath spok­en
Shall come at last and not de­lay:
Though Heav’n and earth shall pass away,
His stead­fast Word can ne’er be brok­en.

Awake! He comes to judg­ment, wake!
Sinners, be­hold His coun­te­nance
In beau­ty ter­ri­ble, and quake
Condemned be­neath His pierc­ing glance.
Lo! He to whom all pow­er is giv­en,
Who sits at God’s right hand on high,
In fire and thun­der draw­eth nigh,
To judge all na­tions under Hea­ven.

Awake! thou care­less world, awake!
For none can tell how soon our God shall please
That sud­den­ly that day should break?
No hu­man wis­dom fa­thoms depths like these.
O guard thee well from lust and greed;
For as the bird is in the snare,
Or ev­er of its foe aware,
So comes that day with si­lent speed.

Yet He in love de­lay­eth long
The fi­nal day, and grants us space
To turn away from sin and wrong,
And mourn­ing seek in time His help and grace.
He hold­eth back that best of days,
Until the right­eous shall ap­prove
Their faith and hope, their con­stant love;
So gen­tle us-ward are His ways!

But ye, O faith­ful souls, shall see
That morn­ing rise in love and joy,
Your Sav­ior comes to set you free,
Your judge shall all your bonds de­stroy:
He, the true Jo­shua, then shall bring
His peo­ple with a migh­ty hand
Into their pro­mised father-land,
Where songs of vic­to­ry they shall sing.

Rejoice! the fig tree shows her green,
The spring­ing year is in its prime,
The lit­tle flow­ers afresh are seen,
We ga­ther strength in this great time;
The glo­ri­ous sum­mer draw­eth near,
When all this bo­dy’s earth­ly load,
In light that morn­ing sheds abroad,
Shall was as sun­shine pure and clear.

Arise, and let us night and day
Watch for our Lord, and stu­dy o’er His Word,
And in the Spi­rit ev­er pray,
That we be rea­dy when His call is heard;
Arise, and let us haste to meet
The Bride­groom stand­ing at the door,
That with the an­gels ev­er­more
We too may wor­ship at His feet.

illustration
The Last Judgment
Jacob de Backer
1555–1590