Scripture Verse

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. Psalm 46:4


Henry T. Smart (1813–1879)

Words: Sam­uel J. Stone, 1870. Writ­ten at Wind­sor, Eng­land, for The Month­ly Packet. Ap­peared in The Knight of In­ter­ces­sion (Lon­don, Ox­ford & Cam­bridge, Eng­land: Riv­ing­tons, 1872), pag­es 298–300.

Music: Che­bar Hen­ry T. Smart, 1874 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Samuel J. Stone (1839–1900)


There is an an­cient ri­ver,
Whose streams des­cend in light,
From ne­ver-fail­ing foun­tains,
Beyond all earth­ly sight;
It ran through all the ages,
And, where­soe’er it flowed,
Up rose the Ho­ly Ci­ty,
The Lord’s elect abode.

The ri­ver still is flow­ing,
But now with full­er stream;
And still the light is fall­ing,
But now with bright­er beam;
Of old the Song of Mos­es
Soared as it swept along,
But now the name of Je­sus
Is made its sweet­er song.

Its ra­diance lights us on­ward,
Its chant­ing wa­ters cheer;
Blest is the eye be­hold­ing,
Blest is the hear­ing ear;
For as the earth clouds dark­en,
The glo­ry clear­er grows,
And glad­der for life’s tumult,
The stream of mu­sic flows.

God’s River! The One Spir­it,
Grace of the mys­tic Se­ven!
Drink, Ho­ly Church, these wa­ters,
Thine ear­nest here of Hea­ven;
So joy, and peace, and plea­sure,
Shall feed thy life with­in,
So pow­er with­out shall guard thee,
Against the world of sin.

O Beau­ti­ful, the Ri­ver!
We wait up­on thy shore,
In bliss of ex­pec­ta­tion
Abiding ev­er­more,
Till at some ho­ly ev­en
We pass up­on thy breast,
From fore­taste into full­ness,
From wait­ing un­to rest.