He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that He may judge His people.@Psalm 50:4
portrait
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David 1719, alt.

Yorkshire John Wainright, 1750 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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.