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When All Were Enjoined By Decree

Representative Text

1 When all were enjoined by decree,
Before the great image to fall,
The tyrant expected to see
His mandate complied with by all.
Whatever their master ordained,
Was done by the flexible crowd;
By fear of his anger constrained,
Before the great image they bowed.

2 But some there were found who refused
To prostrate themselves at his word;
They would not obey him, unused
T’adore any god but the Lord.
In vain did the tyrant proclaim,
His purpose to make them comply;
In vain did he point out the flame,
And bid them obey him or die.

3 The champions with confidence said,
Let others, O king, dread thine arm;
In vain are thy terrors displayed,
To us they convey no alarm.
Our God, whom we worship, is nigh
To save us, O king, from thine hand;
But know, we choose rather to die,
Than yield to thy impious command.

4 ’Tis thus that the saints must obey,
Their work must be thoroughly done;
Though death should appear on the way,
Their duty is still to go on.
The Lord will approve at the last,
Those only who thus persevere;
And such, when the conflict is past,
Before Him with joy shall appear.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #9611

Author: Thomas Kelly

Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. H… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When all were enjoined by decree
Title: When All Were Enjoined By Decree
Author: Thomas Kelly
Source: Hymns Not Before Published (Dublin: Thomas Johnston, 1815)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



The tune most commonly known as CONTRAST is a German folk tune. In American shape-note tradition the tune is known as GREEN FIELDS or GREENFIELDS. J. S. Bach quoted it in his "Peasant Cantata," but he did not compose it. It has also been misattributed to Maria DeFleury and to Lewis Edson. Edson wrot…

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The Cyber Hymnal #9611
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The Cyber Hymnal #9611

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