Scripture Verse

Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Psalm 87:3

Introduction

portrait
John Newton
1725–1807

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 60. Zi­on, or the ci­ty of God.

Music: Aus­tria (Hay­dn) ar­ranged by Franz J. Hay­dn, 1797, pos­si­bly from a Cro­a­tian folk tune (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

Haydn origin­al­ly adapt­ed Austria for a pa­tri­o­tic song, Gott, er­halte Franz, den Kais­er, first per­formed for the em­per­or’s birth­day, Feb­ru­ary 12, 1797.

It is still used as the tune of the Ger­man song Das Deutsch­land­lied. Be­cause of the as­so­ci­ations the first stan­za (Deutsch­land, Deutsch­land über all­es…) de­vel­oped with the Na­zis, the third stan­za (Ein­ig­keit und Recht und Frei­heit/Für das Deutsche Va­ter­land) is the one now used for the Ger­man na­tion­al an­them.

portrait
Franz J. Haydn
1732–1809

Lyrics

Glorious things of thee are spok­en,
Zion, ci­ty of our God!
He, whose word cannot be brok­en,
Formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ag­es found­ed,
What can shake thy sure re­pose?
With sal­va­tion’s walls sur­round­ed,
Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.

See! the streams of liv­ing wa­ters,
Springing from eter­nal love;
Well sup­ply thy sons and daugh­ters,
And all fear of want re­move:
Who can faint while such a ri­ver
Ever flows their thirst t’as­suage?
Grace, which like the Lord, the giv­er,
Never fails from age to age.

Round each ha­bi­ta­tion hov­er­ing,
See the cloud and fire ap­pear!
For a glo­ry and a cov­er­ing
Showing that the Lord is near.
Thus de­riv­ing from our ban­ner
Light by night and shade by day;
Safe they feed upon the man­na
Which He gives them when they pray.

Blest in­ha­bi­tants of Zi­on,
Washed in the Re­deem­er’s blood!
Jesus, whom their souls re­ly on,
Makes them kings and priests to God.
’Tis His love His peo­ple rais­es,
Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests, His sol­emn prais­es
Each for a thank of­fer­ing brings.

Savior, if of Zi­on’s ci­ty,
I through grace a mem­ber am,
Let the world de­ride or pi­ty,
I will glo­ry in Thy name:
Fading is the world­ling’s plea­sure,
All his boast­ed pomp and show;
Solid joys and last­ing trea­sure
None but Zi­on’s child­ren know.