So far in 2022, 11 million people from 200-plus countries around the world have benefitted from the Hymnary website! Thank you to all who use and all who support it with gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you feel moved to support our work today with a gift of any amount and a word of encouragement, we would be grateful. You can donate online at our secure giving site. Or, if you'd like to make a gift by check, please send it to:, Calvin University, 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. May the hope, love, joy and peace of Advent be yours this day and always.

Which Will it Be?

When the work of life is ended and the judgment day appears

Author: James Rowe
Tune: [When the work of life is ended and the judgment day appears]
Published in 3 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 When the work of life is ended,
And the judgment day appears,
When you stand before the Master
To account for all the years;
When the righteous Judge shall call you
And your record-leaves unroll,
Will you tremble with the sinners,
Or will rapture thrill your soul?

Which will it be? Rapture or woe?
This you must know. Which will it be?

2 When the nations all are gathered
In the presence of the King,
On that day of days, my brother,
Will you sigh, or will you sing?
Will the light of hope be shining
Like a radiant morning star?
Or will deep remorse assail you
When you stand before the bar? [Refrain]

3 If your soul is now in bondage,
Ask the Lord to set you free;
Do not wait another moment—
Opportunity may flee;
Oh, it lies with you, my brother,
It is your alone to say
Whether joy or woe shall meet you
On the awful judgment day. [Refrain]

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #14767

Author: James Rowe

Pseudonym: James S. Apple. James Rowe was born in England in 1865. He served four years in the Government Survey Office, Dublin Ireland as a young man. He came to America in 1890 where he worked for ten years for the New York Central & Hudson R.R. Co., then served for twelve years as superintendent of the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society. He began writing songs and hymns about 1896 and was a prolific writer of gospel verse with more than 9,000 published hymns, poems, recitations, and other works. Dianne Shapiro, from "The Singers and Their Songs: sketches of living gospel hymn writers" by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (Chicago: The Rodeheaver Company, 1916) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When the work of life is ended and the judgment day appears
Title: Which Will it Be?
Author: James Rowe
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Which will it be?
Copyright: Public Domain



The Cyber Hymnal #14767
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #14767

Include 2 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support