Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Psalm 87:3
Words: John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), Book 1, number 60.
Zion, or the city of God.
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.
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.