1 'Twas the eternal word that spake,
And said, "Let there be light,"
It was, and at his high command,
Sprang from the womb of night.
2 He bids the day-spring know its place,
And guides the rising sun:
All nature owns her sovereign Lord,
And what he wills is done.
3 Should he forbid the sun to rise,
And endless darkness reign:
Justice would silence every mouth,
Nor let a thought complain.
4 Thus, had the Sun of Righteousness,
Never arose and shone,
The frowning heavens had flashed with wrath,
Fro crimes which we have done.
5 Then had salvation ne'er appeared,
Nor angels sung of peace;
The anthem never had begun,
Which now will never cease.
6 But thanks to God, the natural Sun,
Does light and heat convey,
The Sun of Righteousness will shine
An everlasting day.
The Hartford Selection of Hymns from the most approved authors, 1799