They now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.@Hebrews 11:16
illustration
Chicago in Flames

Philip P. Bliss, 1871 (🔊 pdf nwc). Dedicated to D. L. Moody.

[Bliss’] first Sunday school singing-book was The Charm, which had just gotten into market when the great Chicago fire destroyed the plates and dimmed its lustre, at least in the eyes of the author. Mr. Bliss, immediately after the fire, in company with Mr. Moody, started on a trip to Boston, and other eastern cities, and held Fire meetings, in aid of the suffering ones of the stricken city. While on this tour he missed the train of cars at Albany, and then wrote the Fire Song, Roll On, O Billow of Fire.

Long, pp. 48–51

portrait
Philip P. Bliss (1838–1876)

Hark! the alarm, the clang of the bells!
Signal of danger, it rises and swells;
Flashes like lightning illumine the sky,
See the red glare as the flames mount on high.

Refrain

Roll on, roll on, O billow of fire!
Dash, with thy fury-waves higher and higher;
Ours is a mansion abiding and sure;
Ours is a kingdom eternal, secure.

Oh, like a fiend in its towering wrath,
On, and destruction alone points the path;
Mercy, O Heaven, the sufferers wail,
Feeble humanity naught can avail.

Refrain

Thousands are homeless, and quick to their cry,
Heaven-born charity yields a supply;
Upward we glance in our terrible grief,
Give us this day, brings the promised relief.

Refrain

Treasures have vanished, and riches have flown,
Hopes for the earth-life are blasted and gone;
Courage, O brother yield not to despair:
God is our refuge, His kingdom we share.

Refrain