Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns Occasioned by the Earthquake, March 8, 1750, second edition (London: 1755), number 1.
Great God, who, ready to forgive,
In wrath rememberest mercy still,
By whose preserving love we live,
Though doomed the second death to feel;
We magnify Thy patient grace,
And tremble, while we sing Thy praise.
Had not Thy mercy interposed,
When sleeping in our sins we lay,
The staggering earth had yawned, and closed
Its mouth on its devoted prey,
We now had with our city fell,
And quick descended into hell.
But O! The Savior of mankind
Hath gained for us a longer space,
Jesus His Father’s heart inclined
To spare a vile rebellious race,
To snatch from Corah’s fearful doom,
And save us from the wrath to come.
Then let us to our Savior turn,
Answer His mercy’s whole design,
With godly fear rejoice, and mourn,
And praises with confessions join,
Till all these lowering clouds remove,
And God appears: The God of love.