1 John, in a vision, saw the day
When the Judge will hasten down;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
From the terror of his frown:
Dead and living, small and great,
Raised from the earth and sea;
At his bar shall hear their fate,
What will then become of me?
2 Can I bear his awful looks?
Shall I stand in judgment then,
When I see the opened books,
Written by the Almighty's pen?
If he to remembrance bring,
And expose to public view,
Every work and secret thing:
Ah, my soul, what can'st thou do?
3 When the list shall be produced
Of the talents I enjoyed;
Means and mercies how abused
Time and strength how misemployed:
Conscience then compelled to read,
Must allow the charge is true:
Say, my soul, what canst thou plead,
It that hour, what wilt thou do?
4 But the book of life I see,
May my name be written there;
Then from guilt and danger free,
Glad I'll meet him in the air:
That's the book I hope to plead,
'Tis the gospel opened wide;
Lord, I am a wretch indeed!
I have sinned, but thou hast died.
5 Now my soul knows what to do;
Thus I shall with boldness stand,
Numbered with the faithful few,
Owned and saved at thy right hand;
If thou help a feeble worm
To believe thy promise now;
Justice will at last confirm
What thy mercy wrought below.
Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803
|First Line:||John, in a vision, saw the day|
|Title:||The Great Tribunal|
|Author:||John Newton (1779)|
|Source:||Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), number 79|
|Notes:||Alternate tune: HEINLEIN, Nürnbergisches Gesangbuch, 1676. Melody attributed to Martin Herbst, 1654-1681; harmony by William H. Monk, 1823-1889|