In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Matthew 3:1–2
Repent ye: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Words: T. Fletcher in The Halifax Selection of Hymns, edited by Robert Bell & Joseph Cockin Hoatson (Halifax, Nova Scotia: 1834).
If you know Fletcher’s full name, or where to get a good picture of him (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?
In Judah’s rugged wilderness,
Where Jordan rolls his flood,
In manners strict, and rude in dress,
The holy Baptist stood.
And while upon the river’s side
The people thronged to hear,
Repent, the sacred preacher cried;
The heavenly kingdom’s near.
Now Jesus to the stream descends;
His feet the waters lave;
And o’er His head, that humbly bends,
The Baptist pours the wave.
When lo! a heavenly form appears,
Descending as a dove;
And wondrous sounds th’assembly hears,
Proclaiming from above—
This is My well belovèd Son;
On Him My Spirit rests;
Now is His reign of grace begun;
Attend His high behests.
The sacred voice has reached our ear,
And still through distant lands
Shall sound, till all His name revere,
And honor His commands.