Scripture Verse

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Psalm 50:4

Introduction

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Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719. The last judg­ment.

Music: Sov­er­eign Sum­mons, from Har­mon­ia Sac­ra, by Jo­seph Funk (1778–1862) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

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From Dante’s Inferno, Canto 5
Gustave Doré (1832–1883)

Lyrics

The Lord, the so­ve­reign, sends His sum­mons forth,
Calls the south na­tions and awakes the north;
From east to west the sound­ing or­ders spread,
Through dist­ant worlds and re­gions of the dead:
No more shall athe­ists mock His long de­lay;
His ven­geance sleeps no more: be­hold the day!

Behold, the Judge des­cends, His guards are nigh;
Tempest and fire at­tend Him down the sky:
Heav’n, earth, and hell, draw near; let all things come
To hear His jus­tice, and the sin­ner’s doom:
But ga­ther first My saints, the Judge com­mands,
“Bring them, ye an­gels, from their dist­ant lands.

“Behold, My co­ve­nant stands for ev­er good,
Sealed by th’eter­nal sac­ri­fice in blood,
And signed with all their names; the Greek, the Jew,
That paid the an­cient wor­ship or the new,
There’s no dis­tinct­ion here; come, spread their thrones,
And near Me seat My fa­vo­rites and My sons.

“I, their al­migh­ty Sav­ior and their God,
I am their judge: ye heav’ns, pro­claim abroad
My just eter­nal sen­tence, and de­clare
Those aw­ful truths that sin­ners dread to hear:
Sinners in Zi­on, trem­ble and re­tire;
I doom the paint­ed hy­po­crite to fire.

“Not for the want of goats or bul­locks slain
Do I con­demn thee; bulls and goats are vain
Without the flames of love; in vain the store
Of bru­tal of­fer­ings that were Mine be­fore;
Mine are the tam­er beasts and sav­age breed,
Flocks, herds, and fields and for­ests where they feed.

“If I were hun­gry, would I ask thee food?
When did I thirst, or drink thy bul­locks’ blood?
Can I be flat­tered with thy cring­ing bows,
Thy so­lemn chat­ter­ings and fan­tas­tic vows?
Are My eyes charmed thy vest­ments to be­hold,
Glaring in gems, and gay in wov­en gold?

“Unthinking wretch! how couldst thou hope to please
A God, a Spir­it, with such toys as these?
While with My grace and sta­tutes on thy tongue,
Thou lov’st de­ceit, and dost thy bro­ther wrong;
In vain to pi­ous forms thy zeal pre­tends,
Thieves and adul­ter­ers are thy chos­en friends.

Silent I wait­ed with long-suf­fer­ing love,
But didst thou hope that I should ne’er re­prove?
And cher­ish such an im­pi­ous thought with­in,
That God, the Right­eous, would in­dulge thy sin?
Behold My ter­rors now: My thun­ders roll,
And thy own crimes af­fright thy guil­ty soul.

Sinners, awake be­times; ye fools, be wise;
Awake be­fore this dread­ful morn­ing rise;
Change your vain thoughts, your crook­ed works amend,
Fly to the Sav­ior, make the Judge your friend;
Lest, like a li­on, His last ven­geance tear
Your trem­bling souls, and no de­liv­er­er near.