Scripture Verse

I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told. 1 Kings 10:7

Introduction

portrait
Otis F. Presbrey (1820–1900)

Words: Jo­na­than B. At­chin­son, 1875.

Music: Otis F. Pre­sbrey (🔊 pdf nwc).

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

Anecdotes

A young skep­tic in Ohio, writes Dr. O. F. Pres­brey, “was wast­ing away with con­sump­tion. His fa­mi­ly were great­ly dis­tressed, for no­thing seemed to awa­ken in him an in­ter­est re­gard­ing his soul.

“One day, as he lay on the so­fa, his sis­ter, sit­ting at the or­gan, sang, ‘Not half has ev­er been told.’ He seemed much af­fect­ed, and said, ‘Oh, sis­ter, sing that hymn again. I ne­ver had any­thing touch my heart like that be­fore.’

The hymn was sung again, and day by day he list­ened to it. With­in two months his spir­it took its flight, sing­ing as it went,

Not half of that city’s bright glory,
To mortals has ever been told.


A cler­gy­man had a son who was sent up into the north woods of Ca­na­da in search of health. Af­ter a few weeks his fa­ther was sum­moned, and found him in a dy­ing con­di­tion. On the ev­en­ing be­fore his death they sang to­ge­ther Not half has ev­er been told.

The fa­ther says that he can ne­ver for­get the joy and peace which filled the soul of his dy­ing boy as they sang of that beau­ti­ful ci­ty of which he was soon to be an in­ha­bi­tant.

Sankey, pp. 203–04

Lyrics

I have read of a beau­ti­ful ci­ty,
Far away in the king­dom of God;
I have read how its walls are of jas­per,
How its streets are all gold­en and broad;
In the midst of the street is life’s ri­ver,
Clear as crys­tal and pure to be­hold;
But not half of that ci­ty’s bright glo­ry
To mortals has ev­er been told.

Refrain

Not half has ev­er been told;
Not half has ev­er been told;
Not half of that ci­ty’s bright glo­ry
To mortals has ev­er been told.

I have read of bright man­sions in Hea­ven,
Which the Sav­ior has gone to pre­pare;
And the saints who on earth have been faith­ful,
Rest for­ev­er with Christ ov­er there;
There no sin ev­er en­ters, nor sor­row,
The in­ha­bi­tants ne­ver grow old;
But not half of the won­der­ful sto­ry
To mor­tals has ev­er been told.

Refrain

I have read of white robes for the right­eous,
Of bright crowns which the glo­ri­fied wear,
When our Fa­ther shall bid them, Come, en­ter,
And My glo­ry eter­nal­ly share
;
How the right­eous are ev­er­more bless­èd
As they walk through the streets of pure gold;
But not half of the won­der­ful sto­ry
To mor­tals has ev­er been told.

Refrain

I have read of a Christ so for­giv­ing,
That vile sin­ners may ask and re­ceive
Peace and par­don for ev­ery trans­gress­ion,
If when ask­ing they on­ly be­lieve.
I have read how He’ll guide and pro­tect us,
If for safe­ty we en­ter His fold;
But not half of His good­ness and mer­cy
To mor­tals has ev­er been told.

Refrain