Scripture Verse

The day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Joel 2:11


Words: Ben­ja­min Bed­dome (1717–1795). Pub­lished post­hu­mous­ly in Hymns Adapt­ed to Pub­lic Wor­ship (Lon­don: Bu­rton & Briggs, 1818), num­ber 791, alt. The Great and Ter­ri­ble Day.

Music: Hun­nys, mel­ody from Se­ven Sobs of a Sor­row­ful Soul, 1585 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Bed­dome (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


When God comes forth, with ter­rors clad,
From His re­splen­dent seat,
What mor­tal can His pow­er evade,
His arm of ven­geance meet?

Impetuous light­nings swift­ly glide,
Hoarse thun­ders round Him roar;
Lo, tem­pests, storms rage far and wide,
And spread from shore to shore.

The sea its wont­ed bed for­sakes,
And stars come rush­ing down;
The earth to its foun­dation shakes,
And sinks be­neath His frown.

Now sin­ners, pierced with guil­ty stings,
Dread His av­eng­ing eye;
And migh­ty con­quer­ors, po­tent kings,
To rocks and ca­verns fly.

In Je­sus’ spot­less right­eous­ness,
Oh may I then ap­pear;
And ’midst the ter­ror and dis­tress,
I need not yield to fear.