Scripture Verse

The Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13:26


Charles Wesley

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems 1749.

Music: Me­ri­bah Lo­well Ma­son, 1839 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lowell Mason

This is cer­tain­ly one of the grand­est, most per­fect, and most po­et­ic­al of all Charles Wes­ley’s hymns. Tra­di­tion says that the im­age­ry of the se­cond stan­za was sug­gest­ed by a vi­sit to Land’s End, Eng­land. This can­not now be ver­i­fied. All we can say with cer­tain­ty is that the hymn was writ­ten not long after a vis­it to that fa­mous spot.

Standing on Land’s End, with the broad Eng­lish Chan­nel on the one hand and the wide At­lan­tic on the oth­er, may have re­mind­ed him of the thought, which is old­er than his time and has been used by more than one au­thor. Ad­di­son says (Spec­ta­tor, No. 590): Ma­ny wit­ty au­thors com­pare the pre­sent time to an isth­mus or nar­row neck of land that ris­es in the midst of an ocean im­mea­sur­a­bly dif­fused on eit­her side of it.

Nutter, p. 392


Thou God of glorious majesty,
To Thee, against myself, to Thee,
A worm of earth, I cry;
A half-awakened child of man;
An heir of endless bliss or pain;
A sinner born to die!

Lo! on a narrow neck of land,
’Twixt two unbounded seas I stand,
Secure, insensible;
A point of time, a moment’s space,
Removes me to that heavenly place,
Or shuts me up in hell.

O God, mine inmost soul convert!
And deeply on my thoughtful heart
Eternal things impress:
Give me to feel their solemn weight,
And tremble on the brink of fate,
And wake to righteousness.

Before me place, in dread array,
The pomp of that tremendous day,
When Thou with clouds shalt come,
To judge the nations at Thy bar;
And tell me, Lord, shall I be there
To meet a joyful doom?

Be this my one great business here,
With serious industry and fear
Eternal bliss to ensure;
Thine utmost counsel to fulfill,
And suffer all Thy righteous will,
And to the end endure.

Then, Savior, then my soul receive,
Transported from this vale to live
And reign with Thee above;
Where faith is sweetly lost in sight,
And hope in full supreme delight,
And everlasting love.