Scripture Verse

When the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27:54


Words: Sam­u­el Wes­ley, Jr., Po­ems on Se­ver­al Oc­ca­sions (Lon­don: E. Say, 1736), pag­es 136–37.

Music: St. Co­lum­ba an­cient Iri­sh tune (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

Samuel Wesley, Jr.


From whence these dire portents around,
That earth and Heav’n amaze?
Wherefore do earthquakes cleave the ground?
Why hides the sun his rays?

Not thus did Sinai’s trembling head
With sacred horror nod,
Beneath the dark pavilion spread
Of legislative God!

Thou earth, thy lowest center shake,
With Jesu sympathize!
Thou sun, as hell’s deep gloom be black,
’Tis thy creator dies!

What tongue the tortures can describe
Of this vindictive hour?
Wrath He alone had will to share
As He alone had power!

See streaming from th’accursèd tree
His all-atoning blood!
Is this the Infinite? ’Tis He!
My Savior and my God!

For me these pangs His soul assail,
For me the death is born!
My sin gave sharpness to the nail,
And pointed every thorn.

Let sin no more my soul enslave,
Break, Lord, the tyrant’s chain;
Oh, save me whom Thou cam’st to save,
Nor bleed nor die in vain!