1 When the midnight cry began,
O what lamentation,
Thousands sleeping in their sins,
Neglecting their salvation.
Lo the bridegroom is at hand,
Who will kindly treat him?
Surely all the waiting band
Will now go forth to meet him.
2 Some, indeed, did wait awhile,
And shone without a rival;
But they spent their seeming oil
Long since the last revival.
Many souls who thought they'd light,
O, when the scene was closed,
Now against the Bridegroom fight,
And so they stand opposed.
3 While the wise are passing by,
With all their lamps prepared,
Give us of your oil, they cry,
If any can be spared.
Others trimmed their former snuff,
O, is it not amazing!
Those conclude they've light enough,
And think their lamps are blazing.
4 Foolish virgins! do you think
Our Bridegroom's a deceiver?
Then may you pass your lives away,
And think to sleep for ever;
But we by faith do see his face,
On whom we have believed;
If there's deception in the case,
'Tis you that are deceived.
5 And now the door is open wide,
And Christians are invited,
And virgins wise compass the bride,
March to the place appointed.
Who do you think is now a guest?
Yea, listen, carnal lovers,
'Tis those in wedding garments dressed;
They cease from sin for ever.
6 The door is shut, and they within,
They're freed from every danger;
They reign with Christ, for sinners slain,
Who once lay in a manger;
They join with saints and angels too
In songs of love and favor;
Glory, honor, praise and power,
To God and Lamb for ever.
7 The foolish virgins are without;
The sentence, Go ye cursed--
For want of oil they're out--away
From Christ they then are forced.
No more on earth with saints to join
In sharing of my favor;
Although you did my children blind,
Mourn with the damned for ever.
8 Virgins wise, I pray draw near,
And listen to your Savior;
He is your friend, you need not fear,
O, why not seek his favor?
He speaks to you in whispers sweet,
In words of consolation:
By grace in him you stand complete,
He is your great salvation.
9 Dying sinners, will you come,
The Saviour now invites you;
His bleeding wounds proclaim there's room,
Let nothing then affright you—
Room for you, and room for me,
And room for coming sinners:
Salvation pours a living stream
For you and all believers.
10 When earth and sea shall be no more,
And all their glory perish,
When sun and moon shall cease to shine,
And stars at midnight languish;
When Gabriel's trump shall sound aloud,
To call the slumbering nations,
Then, Christians, we shall see our God
The God of our salvation.