Lord, Her Watch Thy Church is Keeping

Representative Text

1 Lord, her watch Thy Church is keeping:
When shall earth Thy rule obey?
When shall end the night of weeping?
When shall break the promised day?
See the whitening harvest languish,
Waiting still the laborers' toil;
Was it vain, Thy Son's deep anguish?
Shall the Strong retain the spoil?

2 Tidings, sent to every creature,
Millions yet have never heard:
Can they hear without a preacher?
Lord almighty, give the word!
Give the word! in every nation
Let the gospel trumpet sound,
Witnessing a world's salvation,
To the earth's remotest bound.

3 Then the end! Thy Church completed,
All Thy chosen gathered in,
With their King in glory seated,
Satan bound, and banished sin;
Gone for ever parting, weeping,
Hunger, sorrow, death, and pain;
Lo! her watch Thy Church is keeping;
Come, Lord Jesus, come to reign!


The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Author: Henry Downton

Downton, Henry, M.A, son of Mr. John Downton, Sub-Librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge, was born at Pulverbatch, Shropshire, Feb. 12, 1818, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1840, and M.A. 1843. Taking Holy Orders in 1843, he became Curate of Bembridge, Isle of Wight, 1843, and of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, 1847. In 1849 he was preferred to the Incumbency of St. John's, Chatham. He went to Geneva as English Chaplain in 1857; and was appointed Rector of Hopton in 1873. He was also for some time Domestic Chaplain to the late Lord Monson. He died at Hopton, June 8, 1885. Mr. Downton published a translation of Professor Ernest Naville's Lectures on Modern Atheism, 1865; and Holy Scripture and the Temperance Qu… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Lord, her watch thy Church is keeping
Title: Lord, Her Watch Thy Church is Keeping
Author: Henry Downton (1867)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Lord, her watch Thy Church is keeping. H. Downton. [Foreign Missions.] Written for a meeting of the Church Missionary Society, and first published in Barry's Psalms & Hymns, 1867, No. 170, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, and again in the author's Hymns & Verses, 1873, p. 1. It is also found in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871; Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1875; Thring's Collection, 1882, and many others in Great Britain and America, and ranks with the best of the author's compositions. It is sometimes given as "Lord, Thy Church her watch is keeping," as in Common Praise, 1879, and others.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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