Sing to the Lord with joyful voice!
Sing as the children of his care.
Let every land blend cheerful noise
with glorious singing everywhere!
We’ll near his gates with thankful songs,
high as the heavens the sound be raised
until the earth’s ten thousand tongues
fill heavenly courts with all our praise.
Come, to attend before his throne,
sacred our joy, and great our awe.
Know that the Lord is God alone;
his holy word is perfect law.
Wide as the world is his command;
vast as eternity his love.
Firm as a rock God’s truth shall stand,
when rolling years shall cease to move.
Sing to the Lord with joyful voice. I. Watts. [ Ps. c] First published in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, p. 256, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. In this form its use in modern collections is limited; that which has attained to the greatest popularity being—-"Before Jehovah's awful throne." This arrangement is by J. Wesley, and was first published in his Psalms & Hymns, at Charlestown, U.S.A., in 1736-7, p. 5, and repeated in J. & C. Wesley's Psalms & Hymns, 1741, p. 74: the Wesleyan Hymn Book in 1797, as the first of the "Additional Hymns," and the revised edition of 1875. Modern collections of the Church of England have received it through Madan's Psalms & Hymns1760, Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, and others of the last century. It consists of Watts, as follows, with alterations thus: st. i., Watts's st. ii. altered, by J..Wesley, to:—
”Before Jehovah's awful throne
Ye nations bow with sacred joy."
St. ii. Watts's st, iii. unaltered. St. iii. Watts's st. v. unaltered. St. iv. Watts's st. vi. altered, by an unknown hand, for the "Additional Hymns." added to the Wesleyan Hymn Book, after Wesley's death, in 1797, thus :—-"Firm as a rock Thy truth shall stand." In this last form this hymn is known in all English-speaking countries, and hns been translated into many languages. A Latin translation by R. Bingham, in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, begins, "Ante! Jehovae tremendum."
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)