Scripture Verse

Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live. Exodus 33:20

Introduction

portrait
Johann H. Schein
1586–1630

Words: From the Pa­ris Bre­vi­a­ry, 1736 (O Lu­ce qui mor­tal­i­bus). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John Chand­ler, Hymns of the Pri­mi­tive Church, 1837, num­ber 10.

Music: Ei­sen­ach Jo­hann H. Schein, 1628. Har­mo­ny by Jo­hann S. Bach (1685–1750) (🔊 pdf nwc) (re­peats last two lines of each verse).

portrait
John Chandler
1806–1876
© National Portrait Gallery

Lyrics

Great God, who, hid from mortal sight,
Dost dwell in unapproachèd light,
Before whose throne with veilèd brow,
Thy sinless angels trembling bow.

A while in darkness here below
We lie oppressed with sin and woe;
But soon the everlasting day
Shall chase the night of gloom away.

The day prepared for us by Thee;
The day reserved for us to see;
A day but faintly imaged here
By brightest sun at noontide clear.

Too long, alas! it still delays,
It lingers yet, that day of days;
The flesh, with all its load of sin,
Must perish, ere its joy we win.

Then from these earthy bonds set free
The soul shall fly, O God, to Thee;
To see Thee, love Thee, and adore,
Her blissful task for evermore.

All bounteous Trinity! prepare
Our souls Thy hidden joy to share,
That our brief daytime, used aright,
May issue in eternal light.