O be joyful, every nation!
Hail the day with sacred mirth,
When the trumpet of salvation
Sounds the jubilee of earth,
Travails with the world's new birth.
Then the north, in darkness shrouded,
Jacob's rising star shall bless;
And the eastern morn, unclouded,
Bring the sun of righteousness,
Sin-sick souls in heart's distress.
Then her swarthy sons and daughters,
Afric to the Cross shall bring;
And the angel of the waters
Hear His coral islands sing,
Till the whole Pacific ring.
O thou everlasting Father,
Give the kingdoms to Thy Son;
He hath died that He might gather
All God's children into one;
For the travail
Of His soul, let this be done!
Yea, it must be:--Thou hast spoken,
And Thy covenant shall last;
Though the arch of heaven were broken,
And the earth's foundations cast
Down the abysses;
Yet Thy word, O God! stands fast.
On Thy holy hill of Zion,
Hast Thou not ordained His seat?
Now, as Judah's conquering lion,
Lay all foes beneath His feet,
Till His armies
In eternal triumph meet.
We have join'd their marching legions,
Where our fathers fought, we fight;
Slavery's cane-lands, Brama's regions,
Are exulting at the sight;
Comes with Gospel-life and light.
All the languages of Babel,
Weapons for the warfare yield;
And with these we well are able,
By Thy Spirit's might, to wield
In the battle,
Truth's safe guard, and Faith's strong shield.
Thus, through fifty years victorious,
Thou hast led our brethren on;
Arm them now for deeds more glorious,
Till the latest field is won:
And all people
Bow the knee, and kiss the Son.
Sacred Poems and Hymns
O be joyful every nation. J. Montgomery. [Missions.] Written Feb. 8, 1842 (M. MSS.), for the Baptist Missionary Society, and printed in their Jubilee Hymns, 1842, No. 1, in two parts, Pt. ii., beginning with st. vi., "On Thy holy hill of Zion." In 1853, it was included as No. 269, in 9 stanzas of 6 lines, in Montgomery's Original Hymns. A cento therefrom, beginning with st. iv., was given in the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858, as "O Thou everlasting Father.”
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)