The Tolling Bell

Representative Text

1 Oft as the bell, with solemn toll,
Speaks the departure of a soul,
Let each one ask himself, "Am I
Prepared, should I be called to die?"

2 Only this frail and fleeting breath
Preserves me with the jaws of death;
Soon as it fails, at once I'm gone,
And plunged into a world unknown.

3 Then, leaving all I loved below,
To God's tribunal I must go;
Must hear the Judge pronounce my fate,
And fix my everlasting state.

4 Lord Jesus! help me now to flee,
And seek my hope alone in Thee;
Apply Thy blood, Thy Spirit give,
Subdue my sin, and let me live.

5 Then, when the solemn bell I hear,
If saved from guilt, I need not fear;
Now would the thought alarming be,
Perhaps it next may toll for me.

Source: The Book of Worship #418

Author: John Newton

Newton, John, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years' schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity, through the study of Shaftesbury and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Oft as the bell, with solemn toll
Title: The Tolling Bell
Author: John Newton
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Oft as the bell with solemn toll. J. Newton. [Death and Burial.] First published in his Twenty Six Letters on Religious Subjects by Omicron. 1774, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "The Passing Bell." It was repeated in the same year in R. Conyers's Collection of Psalms & Hymns, No. 364, and again in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book ii., No. 74. It is found in its full, or in an abridged form, in a few modern collections. In R. Bingham's Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, stanzas i., iii., v., vi. are rendered into Latin as "Ah! quoties animam solito campana sonore." --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

AUS TIEFER NOT (Luther)


HAMBURG

Lowell Mason (PHH 96) composed HAMBURG (named after the German city) in 1824. The tune was published in the 1825 edition of Mason's Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. Mason indicated that the tune was based on a chant in the first Gregorian tone. HAMBURG is a very simple tune with…

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[Oft as the bell, with solemn toll]


Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 75 of 75)

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The Psalms and Hymns, with the Doctrinal Standards and Liturgy of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in North America #H705

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