Scripture Verse

He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that He may judge His people. Psalm 50:4


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719, alt.

Music: York­shire John Wain­right, 1750 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Wain­right (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


The God of glo­ry
Sends His sum­mons forth,
To na­tions south
And then awakes the north;
From east to west
The so­ve­reign or­ders spread,
Through dist­ant worlds
And re­gions of the dead:
No more shall athe­ists
Mock His long de­lay;
His ven­geance sleeps
No more: be­hold the day!

Behold, the Judge
Descends, His guards are nigh;
Tempest and fire
Attend Him down the sky:
Heav’n, earth, and hell,
Draw near; let all things come
To hear My jus­tice,
And the sin­ner’s doom:
But ga­ther first
My saints,
the Judge com­mands,
“Bring them, ye an­gels,
From their dist­ant lands.

“Behold, My co­ve­nant
Stands for ev­er good,
Sealed by th’eter­nal
Sacrifice in blood,
And signed with all
Their names; the Greek, the Jew,
That paid the an­cient
Worship or the new.
There’s no dis­tinct­ion
Here; join all your voic­es,
And raise your heads,
Ye saints, for Heav’n re­joic­es.

Here, saith the Lord,
Ye an­gels, spread their thrones,
And near me seat
My fa­vo­rites and My sons:
Come, My re­deemed,
Possess the joys pre­pared
Ere time be­gan;
’Tis your di­vine reward.

When Christ re­turns,
Wake ev­ery cheer­ful pas­sion;
And shout, ye saints,
He comes for your sal­va­tion.

“I am the Sav­ior,
I th’Al­migh­ty God,
I am their Judge:
Ye heav’ns, pro­claim abroad
My just eter­nal
Sentence, and de­clare
Those aw­ful truths
That sin­ners dread to hear:
When God ap­pears,
All na­ture shall adore Him;
While sin­ners tremb­le,
Saints re­joice be­fore Him.

Stand forth, thou bold
Blasphemer, and pro­fane,
Now feel My wrath,
Nor call My threat’n­ings vain;
Thou hy­po­crite,
Once dressed in saints’ at­tire,
I doom the paint­ed
Hypocrite to fire.

Judgment pro­ceeds;
Hell trem­bles; Heav’n re­joic­es;
Lift up your heads,
Ye saints, with cheer­ful voic­es.

Not for the want
Of goats or bul­locks slain
Do I con­demn
Thee; bulls and goats are vain
Without the flame
Of love; in vain the store
Of bru­tal of­fer­ings
That were Mine be­fore.

Earth is the Lord’s,
All na­ture shall adore Him;
While sin­ners, trem­ble,
Saints re­joice be­fore Him;

If I were hun­gry,
Would I ask thee food?
When did I thirst,
Or drink thy bul­locks’ blood?
Mine are the tam­er
Beasts and sav­age breed,
Flocks, herds, and fields
And for­ests where they feed.

All is the Lord’s,
He rules the wide cre­ation;
Gives sin­ners ven­geance,
And the saints sal­va­tion.

Can I be flat­tered
With thy cring­ing bows,
Thy so­lemn chat­ter­ings
And fan­tas­tic vows?
Are My eyes charmed
Thy vest­ments to be­hold,
Glaring in gems,
And gay in wov­en gold?

God is the judge
Of hearts, no fair dis­guis­es
Can screen the guil­ty
When His ven­geance ris­es.

Unthinking wretch!
How couldst thou hope to please
A God, a Spir­it,
With such toys as these,
While, with My grace
And sta­tutes on thy tongue,
Thou lov’st de­ceit,
And dost thy bro­ther wrong?

Judgment pro­ceeds;
Hell trem­bles; Heav’n re­joic­es;
Lift up your heads,
Ye saints, with cheer­ful voices.

In vain to pi­ous
Forms thy zeal pre­tends;
Thieves and adul­ter­ers
Are thy chos­en friends.
While the false flat­ter­er
At My al­tar waits,
His har­dened soul
Divine in­struct­ion hates.

God is the judge
Of hearts, no fair dis­guis­es
Can screen the guilty
When His ven­geance ris­es.

Silent I wait­ed
With long-suf­fer­ing love,
But didst thou hope
That I should ne’er re­prove?
And cher­ish such
An im­pi­ous thought with­in,
That the All-Ho­ly
Would in­dulge thy sin?

See, God ap­pears;
All na­ture joins t’adore Him:
Judgment pro­ceeds,
And sin­ners fall be­fore Him.

Behold My ter­rors
Now: My thun­ders roll,
And thy own crimes
Affright thy guil­ty soul;
Now like a li­on
Shall My ven­geance tear
Thy bleed­ing heart,
And no de­liv­er­er near.

Judgment con­cludes;
Hell trem­bles; Heav’n re­joic­es:
Lift up your heads,
Ye saints, with cheer­ful voic­es.

Sinners, awake
Betimes; ye fools, be wise;
Awake bef­ore
This dread­ful morn­ing rise;
Change your vain thoughts,
Your crook­ed works amend,
Fly to the Sav­ior,
Make the Judge your friend;
Then join the saints,
Wake ev­ery cheer­ful pas­sion;
When Christ re­turns,
He comes for your sal­va­tion.