In latter days, the mount of God. [The Church the House of God.] In the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases of 1745, this is given as No. xxviii. on Is. ii. 2-6, as follows:—
"In latter Days, the Mount of God,
his sacred House, shall rise
Above the Mountains and the Hills,
and strike the wond'ring Eyes.
"To this the joyful Nations round,
all Tribes and Tongues shall flow;
Up to the House of God, they'll say,
to Jacob's God, we'll go.
“To us he'll point the Ways of Truth:
the sacred Path we'll tread:
From Salem and from Zion-Hill
his Law shall then proceed.
“Among the Nations and the Isles,
as Judge supreme, he'll sit:
And, vested with unbounded
Pow'r, will punish or acquit.
"No Strife shall rage, nor angry Feuds,
disturb these peaceful Years;
To plowshares then they'll beat their swords,
to Pruning-hooks their Spears.
“Then Nation shan't 'gainst Nation rise,
and slaughtered Hosts deplore:
They'll lay the useless,Trumpet by,
and study War no more.
"0 come ye, then, of Jacob's house,
our Hearts now let us join:
And, walking in the Light of God,
with holy beauties shine."
The author of this piece is unknown, and the piece itself has passed out of use. From it, however, there has grown a hymn concerning the authorship of which much discussion has arisen….From evidence there adduced we hold that the revision of the above, known as, "Behold the mountain of the Lord," was written by M. Bruce about 1704; that after his death in 1767, the manuscript was given to J. Logan for publication; that in 1781 Logan published it in his Poems as his own; and that the same year, as one of the revisers of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, he secured, after some alterations and the addition of a stanza, also altered from the original of 1745, its insertion therein.
2. The text as given in Logan's Poems, 1781, p. 106, No. 5, and which is the nearest approach to Bruce's original that can be attained, is as follows:—
"Behold! the mountain of the Lord
In latter days shall rise,
Above the mountains and the hills,
And draw the wondering eyes.
“To this the joyful nations round
All tribes and tongues shall flow;
Up to the hill of God, they'll say,
And to His house we'll go.
“The beam that shines on Zion's Hill
Shall lighten every land,
The King who reigns in Zion's towers
Shall all the world command.
"No strife shall vex Messiah's reign,
Or mar the peaceful years;
To ploughshares soon they beat their swords,
To pruning-hooks their spears.
“No longer hosts encountering hosts,
Their millions slain deplore;
They hang the trumpet in the hall
And study war no more.
“Come then—0 come from every land,
To worship at His shrine;
And, walking in the light of God,
With holy beauties shine."
3. As already indicated, this text with slight alterations, and the original stanza iv. as above, altered to "Among the nations," &c., was given in. the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1781, No. xviii., as follows:—
Stanza i., as above, 1781, with lines 3, "On mountain tops, above," &c. Stanza ii., as above, 1781. Stanza iii., as above, 1781. Stanza iv., from 1745, stanza iv. altered. Stanza v., "So strife shall rage, nor hostile feuds disturb those peaceful years," &c, 1781. Stanza vi,, lines 1, as 1781; 2, "Shall crowds of slain deplore"; lines 3 and 4 as 1781. Stanza vii., "Come, then, 0 house of Jacob! come"; lines 2, 3, 4 as 1781. Modern editions are somewhat different from this.
4. In this last form the hymn has been in authorized use in the Church of Scotland for more than 100 years, and is found in the hymnals of most English-speaking countries. It should be designated as Scottish Translations & Paraphrases, 1745, rewritten by M. Bruce, and altered by J. Logan.
5. In Miss J. E. Leeson's Paraphrases and Hymns, &c, 1853, this hymn is given as rewritten by her for that collection as, "The mountain of Jehovah's house." It is in 5 stanzas of 4 lines Another form, dating from Belknap's Psalms & Hymns, Boston, 1795, beginning " O'er mountain tops, the mount of God," is in common use in America.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)