Scripture Verse

Who are these which are arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from? Revelation 7:13


Isaac Watts

Words: Is­aac Watts, Hymns and Spi­ri­tu­al Songs Book 1, 1707, num­ber 41. The orig­in­al ver­sion was con­sid­er­a­bly mo­di­fied in Scot­tish Trans­la­tions and Par­a­phrases, Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, and else­where.

Music: Elim (Great­or­ex) Hen­ry W. Great­o­rex, 1849 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

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


When Dun­can Ma­the­son, the Scotch evan­gel­ist, was work­ing in the Cri­mea, he was re­turn­ing one night, worn out, from Seb­as­to­pol to the old sta­ble at Bal­a­cla­va where he lodged.

He was trudg­ing through mud knee-deep, and the siege seemed no near­er to an end, yet above the stars were look­ing down from the clear sky. He be­gan to sing, ‘How bright those glor­ious spir­its shine.’

Next day he found a sol­dier shiv­er­ing un­der a ve­ran­dah, with his bare toes show­ing through his worn-out boots. Math­e­son gave him half a sov­er­eign to buy a new pair. The sol­dier thanked him.

I am not what I was yes­ter­day. Last night as I was think­ing of our mis­er­a­ble con­di­tion, I grew tired of life, and said to myself, I can bear this no longer, and may as well put an end to it.

So I took my mus­ket and went down yon­der in a des­per­ate state, about elev­en o’clock; but as I got round the point, I heard some per­son sing­ing, How bright those glor­i­ous spir­its shine; and I re­mem­bered the old school and the Sab­bath school where we used to sing it.

I felt ashamed of be­ing so cow­ard­ly, and said, Here is some one as bad­ly off as my­self, and yet he is not giv­ing in.

I felt, too, he had some­thing to make him hap­py which I had not, but I be­gan to hope I, too, might get the same hap­pi­ness. I re­turned to my tent, and to-day I am res­olved to seek the one thing.

Do you know who the sing­er was? I asked the mis­sion­ary. No, was the re­ply. Well, said Mr. Math­e­son, it was I.

Tears rushed in­to the sol­dier’s eyes, and hand­ing back the half-sov­er­eign, he said, Nev­er, sir, can I take it from you af­ter what you have been the means of do­ing for me.

Tel­ford, pp. 410–11


How bright these glorious spirits shine!
Whence all their white array?
How came they to the blissful seats
Of everlasting day?

Lo! these are they from sufferings great
Who came to realms of light;
And in the blood of Christ have washed
Those robes which shine so bright.

Now with triumphal palms they stand
Before the throne on high,
And serve the God they love amidst
The glories of the sky.

His presence fills each heart with joy,
Tunes every mouth to sing:
By day, by night, the sacred courts
With glad hosannas ring.

Hunger and thirst are felt no more,
Nor suns with scorching ray;
God is their sun, whose cheering beams
Diffuse eternal day.

The Lamb, which dwells amidst the throne
Shall over them still preside,
Feed them with nourishment divine,
And all their footsteps guide.

Midst pastures green He’ll lead His flock
Where living streams appear;
And God the Lord from every eye
Shall wipe off every tear.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God whom we adore,
Be glory, as it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.