Scripture Verse

He said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11–12


Richard W. Adams (1952–)

Words: Hen­ry F. Lyte, in The New Month­ly Ma­ga­zine and Lit­er­ary Jour­nal, Vol­ume 17 (Lon­don: Hen­ry Col­burn, 1826), pag­es 348–49. Pub­lished again, slight­ly up­dat­ed, in Lyte’s Po­ems, Chief­ly Re­li­gious, 1833, pag­es 4–6.

Music: Plit­vi­če Swed­ish Ko­ral­bok, 1697, adapt­ed by Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, 2018 (pu­blic do­main) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Henry F. Lyte (1793–1847)


On Horeb’s rock the pro­phet stood:
The Lord be­fore him passed:
A hur­ri­cane in an­gry mood
Swept by him strong and fast.
The for­ests fell be­fore its force;
The rocks were shi­vered in its course:
God rode not in the blast!
’Twas but the whirl­wind of His breath,
Announcing danger, wreck, and death.

It ceased. The air grew mute—a cloud
Came muf­fling up the sun:
When through the mount­ains deep and loud
An earth­quake thun­dered on.
The fright­ed eagle sprang in air;
The wolf ran howl­ing from his lair:
God was not in the stun!
’Twas but the roll­ing of His car,
The tramp­ling of His steeds from far.

’Twas still again; and Na­ture stood
And calmed her ruf­fled frame:
When swift from Heav’n a fie­ry flood
To earth de­vour­ing came.
Down to his depths the ocean fled,
The sick­en­ing sun looked wan and dead.
Yet God filled not the flame!
’Twas but the ter­rors of His eye,
That light­ened through the trou­bled sky.

At last a voice all still and small
Rose sweet­ly on the ear;
Yet rose so calm and clear, that all
In Heav’n and earth might hear.
It spoke of hope, it spoke of love,
It spoke as spi­rits speak above;
And God Him­self was here.
For, oh, it was a Fa­ther’s voice,
That bade His trem­bling world re­joice.

Speak, gra­cious Lord, speak ev­er thus;
And let Thy ter­rors prove
The har­bin­gers of peace to us,
The her­alds of Thy love!
Shine through the earth­quake, fire, and storm.
Shine in Thy mild­er, bet­ter form,
And all our fears re­move!
One word of Thine is all we claim;
’Tis par­don through a Sav­ior’s name.