The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Time Draws Near With Quickening Pace

For Second Advent

Words: "Es ist gewisalich an der Zeit" by Bartholomäus Ringwaldt
Translation to the English by Henrietta Joan Fry

Music: Not Stated

Source: Henrietta Joan Fry, Hymns of the Reformation (London: Charles Gilpin, 1845), pp. 56-60.


Behold, I shew you a mystery ; we shall not
all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump . for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.

1 Cor. xv. 51, 52.

The time draws near with quickening pace,
     When God's beloved Son
Shall from His holy dwelling-place,
     His mercy-throne,
Encompassed with the clouds of heaven,
     To earth come down :
Then shall His glorious advent be
With power and fearful majesty.

Judge of the world, He comes
     To call the sinner forth,
To wake the sleepers from their homes—
     The sods of earth :
He calls the righteous too, but to behold
The light of Zion's towers—her city paved with gold :
          Then let each saint
          Those raptures paint,
Which in her streets shall glow, undimmed by mortal taint,
When fiery elements shall try
The glittering spoils of time—their pride and pageantry.

The trumpet sounds ;—that awful tone
Throughout the world's remotest zone,
          Peals long and loud ;
When, thrilled with sudden, wild surprise,
The countless hosts of Death arise
          From earth's cold shroud ;
Whilst all his subjects, small and great,
At length, their final sentence wait.

Behold that grand mysterious change,
To human senses passing strange,
When, by the Lord of highest heaven,
Eternal life to those is given,
Whom He in lasting robes shall dress,
Wrought by His perfect righteousness.

The book shall then be opened wide,
     The awful judgment roll ;
Nor can an audit be denied
     By each attendant soul ;
But young and old shall listening, stand
     To hear heaven's righteous scroll :
The record of each life shall there
In blazing characters appear.

Woe worth the man who, with obdurate mind,
The Saviour's word of mercy to mankind,
          Has deemed but vain ;
Who, with the rising sun and closing day,
Has worshipped mammon's dross and earth's dull clay ;
          His choicest gain :
Stript and undone he holds his being on,
Existence yet remains when every hope is gone.
Woe worth that man, for ever doomed to fly
The Saviour's presence, and His pitying eye,
Apart—where Satan leads his joyless company.

Redeemer ! in that dreadful hour,
     Oh, shield me with Thy love !
And let Thy precious death have power
     To plead my cause above ;
Thus never more shall doubts arise
Since Thou my debt hast paid, with mercy's rich supplies.

Therefore, when Thou, my Lord, shalt come,
     In all Thy glory drest,
As Intercessor for my soul,
     Then do Thou stand confest !
Whilst in that volume's ample page
     Where Thou Thy saints shalt own,
Thou there shalt read my title clear
     To an immortal crown.
And grant us all with Thee, oh Lord !
     An entrance, full and free,
To yonder realms of pure delight,
     And holy ecstasy,
An heritage which Thou hast won
     For those redeemed by Thee.

My Saviour ! dost Thou now delay
To usher in Thy judgment day !
Since on this earth, our hearts are faint,
And sick of every day's complaint,
          And sin's malignant smart :
Then come, Thou Judge of power supreme !
Oh come, and let Thy grace redeem
          Each sorrow-stricken heart.
The powers of darkness then shall flee,
When Thou shalt speak Thy people free !


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