Hymnary Friends,

Please pardon this brief interruption, and please consider a gift today to support the work of Hymnary.org. Here's why.

Each month half a million people visit this website for free access to the most complete database of North American hymnody on the planet. But this project does not come without a cost, and we have limited sources of revenue. Twice a year we hold a fund drive, and these drives are critical to our future.

So if you benefit from Hymnary.org, would you consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Click the Donate button below to be taken to a secure giving site. Or you can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

On behalf of the entire Hymnary.org team, our thanks.
Harry Plantinga

Exhortation to Worship

Representative Text

1 Before Jehovah's aweful throne,
ye nations, bow with sacred joy;
know that the Lord is God alone:
he can create, and he destroy.

2 His sovereign power, without our aid,
made us of clay, and formed us then;
and, when like wandering sheep we strayed,
he brought us to his fold again.

3 We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs,
high as the heavens our voices raise;
and earth, with her ten thousand tongues,
shall fill thy courts with sounding praise.

4 Wide as the world is thy command,
vast as eternity thy love;
firm as a rock thy truth must stand,
when rolling years shall cease to move.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #597

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Before Jehovah's awful throne
Title: Exhortation to Worship
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Sing to the Lord with joyful voice. I. Watts. (Ps. 100) 1st published in his Psalms of David, & c., 1719, p. 256, in 6 st. of 4 l. In this form its use in modern collections is limited; that which has attained to the greatest popularity being "Before Jehovah's awful throne." This arrangement is by J. Wesley, and was 1st published in his Psalms & Hymns at Charlestown, U.S.A., in 1736-7, p. 5, and repeated in J. & C. Wesley's Psalms & Hymns, 1741, p. 74; the Wesleyan Hymn Book in 1797, as the first of the "Additional Hymns," and the revised ed. of 1875. Modern collections of the Church of England have received it through Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760, Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, and others of the last century. It consists of Watts, as follows, with alterations thus: st. i., Watts' st. ii altered, by J. Wesley, to: "Before Jehovah's awful throne, Ye nations bow with sacred joy." —Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



This tune is likely the work of the composer named here, but has also been attributed to others as shown in the instances list below. According to the Handbook to the Baptist Hymnal (1992), Old 100th first appeared in the Genevan Psalter, and "the first half of the tune contains phrases which may ha…

Go to tune page >




The Cyber Hymnal #415
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 18 of 18)

Ancient and Modern #597

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #68

Page Scan

Common Praise #387


Hymnal 1982 #391

Hymnal #18

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #197


Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #15


Lutheran Worship #454

TextPage Scan

Moravian Book of Worship #455

Old-Line Primitive Baptist Hymn and Tune Book #1

Tune Info

Primitive Baptist Hymn and Tune Book #2

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #82

The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #3

The Baptist Hymnal #5


The Cyber Hymnal #415

The New Harp of Columbia, Restored Edition #11


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #4

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #65

Include 863 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us