The city paved with gold

Representative Text

1. The city paved with gold,
Bright with each dazzling gem!
When shall our eyes behold
The new Jerusalem?
Yet lo! e’en now in viewless might
Uprise the walls of living light!

2. The kingdom of the Lord!
It cometh not with show;
Nor throne nor crown nor sword
Proclaim its might below;
Though dimly scanned through mists of sin,
The Lord’s true kingdom is within!

3. The gates of pearl are there
In penitential tears;
Bright as a jewel rare
Each saintly grace appears;
We track the path saints trod of old,
And lo! the pavement is of gold!

4. The living waters flow
That fainting souls may drink;
The mystic fruit trees grow
Along the river’s brink;
We taste e’en now the waters sweet,
And of the tree of life we eat.

5. Not homeless wanderers here
Our exile songs we sing;
Thou art our home most dear,
Thou city of the King!
Thy future bliss we cannot tell,
Content in thee on earth to dwell.

6. Build, Lord, the mystic walls!
Throw wide the unseen gates!
Fill all the golden halls,
While yet Thy triumph waits!
Make glad Thy church with light and love,
Till glorified it shines above!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #879

Author: William Walsham How

How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The city paved with gold
Author: William Walsham How


The city paved with Gold. Bishop W. W. How. [The New Jerusalem.] "Written for Church Hymns, 1871. Designed specially as a counteractive to the merely materialist and futurist tone of many of the ordinary 'Jerusalem' hymns.” This is attempted to be accomplished by giving a spiritual meaning to the “gold "and "gates of pearl," &c, of the New Jerusalem, as for instance:—
"The gates of pearl are there In penitential tears, Bright as a jewel rare Each saintly grace appears: We track the path saints trod of old, And lo! the pavement is of gold!"
is said of the "true kingdom" within the man. Although well conceived, and executed in good style, it has failed to gain attention, and is very limited in its use. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Composed by John Darwall (b. Haughton, Staffordshire, England, 1731; d. Walsall, Staffordshire, England, 1789), DARWALL'S 148TH was first published as a setting for Psalm 148 in Aaron William's New Universal Psalmodist (1770) with only soprano and bass parts. The harmonization dates from the ninete…

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DUDLEY (Rimbault)



The Cyber Hymnal #879
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The Cyber Hymnal #879

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