Scripture Verse

I never knew you: Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.@Matthew 7:23
From Dante’s Inferno, Canto 18
Gustave Doré (1832–1883)

Words: Eliz­a­beth A. Need­ham, in Gos­pel Hymns No. 4, by Ira D. San­key et al. (New York: John Church and Big­low & Main, 1881), num­ber 54.

Music: Charles C. Case (🔊 pdf nwc).

Elizabeth A. Needham

When the King in His beauty
Shall come to His throne,
And around Him are gathered
His loved ones, His own;
There be some who will knock
At His fair palace door,
To be answered within,
There is mercy no more.


I have never known you,
I have never known you,
I have never, I have never,
I have never known you.

They had known whence He came,
And the grace which He brought;
In their presence He healed,
In their streets He had taught;
They had mentioned His name
And their friendship professed;
But they never believed,
For of them He confessed:


Now the righteous are reigning
With Abraham there;
But for these is appointed
An endless despair;
It is vain that they call:
He once knocked at their gate,
But they welcomed Him not;
So now this is their fate:


O sinner, give heed
To this story of gloom,
For the hour is fast nearing
That fixes your doom;
Will you still reject mercy?
Still harden your heart?
Oh, then, what will you do
As the King cries, Depart!