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
portrait
Otis F. Presbrey (1820–1900)

Jon­a­than B. Atch­in­son, 1875.

Otis F. Pre­sbrey (🔊 pdf nwc).

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

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