Scripture Verse

The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.@2 Peter 3:10

Introduction

portrait
John Newton
(1725–1807)

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 2, num­ber 83, alt.

Music: Bur­ford, in the Book of Psal­mo­dy, by John Che­tham, 1718 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

See, when a black o’erspreading cloud
[Originally, When a black ov­er­spread­ing cloud]
Has darkened all the air;
And peals of thunder roaring loud
Proclaim the tempest near.

Then guilt and fear, the fruits of sin,
The sinner oft pursue;
A louder storm is heard within,
And conscience thunders too.

The law a fiery language speaks,
His danger he perceives;
Like Satan, who his ruin seeks,
He trembles and believes.

But when the sky serene appears,
And thunders roll no more;
He soon forgets his vows and fears,
Just as he did before.

But whither shall the sinner flee,
When nature’s mighty frame,
The ponderous earth, and air, and sea,
Shall all dissolve in flame?

Amazing day! it comes apace!
The Judge is hasting down!
Will sinners bear to see His face,
Or stand before His frown?

Lord, let Thy mercy find a way
To touch each stubborn heart
That they may never hear Thee say,
Ye cursèd ones, depart.

Believers, you may well rejoice!
The thunder’s loudest strains
Should be to you a welcome voice,
That tells you, JESUS REIGNS!