Scripture Verse

How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood? Revelation 6:10


Words: John Need­ham (?–cir­ca 1786). The mys­te­ries of pro­vi­dence to be solved here­af­ter.

Music: De­us Tu­or­um Mi­li­tum Gre­no­ble An­ti­phon­er, 1753 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

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


The heart de­ject­ed sighs to know,
Why vice tri­um­phant reigns be­low;
Why saints have fall’n in ev­ery age,
The vic­tims of ty­ran­nic rage.

Fast roll suc­cess­ive years away;
Fast hast­ens on th’im­port­ant day,
When, to th’as­ton­ished world’s sur­prise,
God’s high tri­bun­al shall arise.

Hark! ’tis the trum­pet’s pierc­ing sound;
The ris­ing dead as­semble round;
In close pro­cess­ion, see, they come,
Each to re­ceive his fi­nal doom.

Lo! there, a vile, de­gen­er­ate race;
Pale ter­ror sits on ev­ery face:
Here, on the right, a joy­ful band,
The sons of suf­fer­ing vir­tue stand.

The sen­tence passed, lo! these arise
To bliss and glo­ry in the skies:
While those, who once stood high in fame,
Sink to con­tempt and last­ing shame.

Thus shall God’s gov­ern­ment ap­pear
Without a shade, di­vin­ely fair;
And blush­ing doubt with joy con­fess,
The Lord’s a God of right­eous­ness.