Loud hallelujahs to the Lord,
From distant worlds where creatures dwell;
Let heav'n begin the solemn word,
And sound it dreadful down to hell.
The Lord, how absolute he reigns!
Let every angel bend the knee;
Sing of his love in heav'nly strains,
And speak how fierce his terrors be.
High on a throne his glories dwell,
An awful throne of shining bliss;
Fly through the world, O sun! and tell
How dark thy beams compared to his.
Awake, ye tempests, and his fame
In sounds of dreadful praise declare;
And the sweet whisper of his name
Fill every gentler breeze of air.
Let clouds, and winds, and waves agree
To join their praise with blazing fire;
Let the firm earth and rolling sea
In this eternal song conspire.
Ye flowery plains, proclaim his skill;
Valleys, lie low before his eye;
And let his praise from every hill
Rise tuneful to the neighb'ring sky.
Ye stubborn oaks, and stately pines,
Bend your high branches and adore:
Praise him, ye beasts, in diff'rent strains;
The lamb must bleat, the lion roar.
Birds, ye must make his praise your theme;
Nature demands a song from you;
While the dumb fish that cut the stream
Leap up, and mean his praises too.
Mortals, can you refrain your tongue,
When nature all around you sings?
O for a shout from old and young,
From humble swains and lofty kings!
Wide as his vast dominion lies
Make the Creator's name be known;
Loud as his thunder shout his praise,
And sound it lofty as his throne.
Jehovah! 'tis a glorious word:
O may it dwell on every tongue!
But saints, who best have known the Lord,
Are bound to raise the noblest song.
Speak of the wonders of that love
Which Gabriel plays on every chord:
From all below, and all above,
Loud hallelujahs to the Lord!
Each of his works his name displays
But they can ne'er fulfil the praise.
Loud hallelujahs to the Lord. I. Watts. [Ps. cxlviii.] This psalm version appeared with some 13 or 14 others in the first edition of his Hymns & Sacred Songs, 1707, and was transferred in 1719 to his Psalms of David, &c, p. 392, as his L.M. paraphrase of Ps. 148, in 12 stanzas of 4 lines. It is headed "Universal Praise to God." It is usually given in modern hymnals in an abbreviated form.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)