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Not to the terrors of the Lord

Representative Text

1 Not to the terrors of the Lord,
The tempest, fire, and smoke:
Not to the thunder of that word
Which God on Sinai spoke:

2 But we are come to Sion's hill,
The city of our God;
Where milder words declare His will,
And spread His love abroad.

3 Behold th' innumerable host
Of angels clothed in light:
Behold the spirits of the just,
Whose faith is turned to sight.

4 Behold the blest assembly there
Whose names are writ in heaven;
Hear God, the Judge of all, declare
Their sins, through Christ, forgiven.

5 Angels, and living saints, and dead
But one communion make:
All join in Christ, their living Head,
And of His love partake.

Source: The Church Hymnal: revised and enlarged in accordance with the action of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892. (Ed. B) #392

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Not to the terrors of the Lord
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Not to the terrors of the Lord. I. Watts. [Whitsuntide.] Appeared in his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1709, Bk. ii., No. 152, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Sinai and Sion." It is in common use in Great Britain and America. It is also in use in the following forms:—
1. Not to the terrors of the Lord. In the Mitre Hymn Book, 1836, No. 203; Kennedy, 1863, and others. This is composed of stanzas i., ii., from Watts, and a third stanza probably by E. Osier, who assisted W. J. Hall in compiling the Mitre Hymn Book.
2. Behold the radiant, countless host. Composed of stanzas iii., v. altered, in The Church Hymnal, Philadelphia, 1869.
3. The saints on earth and those above (q.v.). The opening stanza of this cento is stanza v. of this hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Suppleme…

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ST. MARTIN'S (Tansur 11215)



The Cyber Hymnal #4662
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The Cyber Hymnal #4662

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