When in dark and dreadful gloom,
Clouds on clouds portentous spread,
Black as if the day of doom
Hung o’er nature’s shrinking head:
When the lightning breaks from high,
God is coming—God is nigh!
Then we hear His chariot wheels,
As the mighty thunder rolls;
Nature, startled nature reels,
From the center to the poles;
Then the ocean, earth and sky,
Tremble as He passes by.
Darkness, wild with horror, forms
His mysterious hiding place;
Should He from His ark of storms,
Rend the veil and show His face,
At the judgment of His eye,
All the universe would die!
God of vengeance! from above,
While Thine awful bolts are hurled,
O remember Thou art love!
Spare! O spare a guilty world!
Stay Thy flaming wrath awhile,
Let the bow of promise smile!
When the last dread day appears
Bursting wide from pole to pole,
When amid the shivering spheres,
Twice ten thousand thunders roll;
When the dream of time shall end,
May I find the Judge my friend!