How Shall I Sing That Majesty

Representative Text

1 How shall I sing that majesty
which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
thy throne, O God most high;
ten thousand times ten thousand sound
thy praise; but who am I?

2 Thy brightness unto them appears,
whilst I thy footsteps trace;
a sound of God comes to my ears,
but they behold thy face.
They sing, because thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
for where heaven is but once begun
there alleluias be.

3 Enlighten with faith's light my heart,
inflame it with love's fire;
then shall I sing and bear a part
with that celestial choir.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
with all my fire and light;
yet when thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.

4 How great a being, Lord, is thine,
which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
to sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
a sun without a sphere;
thy time is now and evermore,
thy place is everywhere.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #663

Author: John Mason

Mason, John. The known facts of his life are scanty. He was the son of a Dissenting Minister, and the grandfather of John Mason, the author of A Treatise on Self-Knowledge. He was educated at Strixton School, Northants, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. After taking his M.A., he became Curate of Isham; and in 1668, Vicar of Stantonbury, Bucks. A little more than five years afterwards he was appointed Rector of Water-Stratford. Here he composed the volume containing The Songs of Praise, his paraphrase of The Song of Solomon, and the Poem on Dives and Lazarus, with which Shepherd's Penitential Cries was afterwards bound up. This volume passed through twenty editions. Besides the Songs of Praise, it contains six Penitential Cries by Mason, and it i… Go to person page >


How shall I sing that Majesty. J. Mason. [Praise.] From his Spiritual Songs, &c, 1683, Song i., into The English Hymnal, 1906.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)


OLD 137th


Coe Fen is the name of the small fen on the outskirts of Cambridge, and is crossed by The Fen Causeway, one of the major routes into the city. Fronting onto The Fen Causeway and almost adjacent to Coe Fen is The Leys School, a prestigious independent school. Ken Naylor was music master and later Di…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2587
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Instances (1 - 17 of 17)

A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #20


Ancient and Modern #663

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #320a

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #320b

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #468


Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #128


Common Praise (1998) #335


Common Praise #466

TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #296

TextPage Scan

CPWI Hymnal #226

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #472

Hymns and Psalms #8


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #128


New English Praise #699

Singing the Faith #53


The Cyber Hymnal #2587


The New English Hymnal #373

Include 22 pre-1979 instances
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