Scripture Verse

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


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

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.