The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Great God, What Do I See And Hear

For Advent, For Christmas, For the Second Coming

Words: William Bengo Collyer, verse 1: 1802, verses 2-4: 1812;
alt. by Thomas Cotterill, 1819, and Others

Music: "Nun freut euch," from Geistliche Lieder, Wittenberg, 1535
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
"Sinai," by O'Brien
Meter: 87 87 887

Source: W. H. Monk and C. Steggall, eds., Hymns Ancient and Modern (London, William Clowes and Sons, Old Edition, 1889), Hymn 52.

1. Great God, what do I see and hear?
The end of things created!
The Judge of all men doth appear,
On clouds of glory seated.
The trumpet sounds, the graves restore,
The dead which they contained before!
Prepare, my soul, to meet Him.

2. The dead in Christ shall first arise
At that last trumpet's sounding.
Caught up to meet him in the skies,
With joy their Lord surrounding.
No gloomy fears their souls dismay,
His Presence sheds eternal day
On those prepared to meet Him.

3. The ungodly, filled with guilty fears,
Behold His wrath prevailing.
In woe they rise, but all their tears
And sighs are unavailing.
The day of grace is past and gone;
Trembling they stand before his throne,
All unprepared to meet Him.

4. Great Judge, to Thee, our prayers we pour,
In deep abasement bending;
O shield us through that last dread hour,
Thy wondrous love extending:
May we, in this our trial day,
With faithful hearts Thy word obey,
And thus prepare to meet Thee.

Alternate Fourth Verse

4. Great God, to thee my spirit clings,
Thy boundless love declaring.
One wondrous sight my comfort brings,
The Judge my nature wearing.
Beneath his cross I view the day
When heaven and earth shall pass away,
And thus prepare to meet Him.

Sheet Music from William Sterndale Bennett and Otto Goldschmidt, eds., The Chorale Book For England. Congregational Edition. (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863, Supp. 1865), #211.

Sheet Music "Luther's Hymn" from Mary Palmer and John Farmer, eds., Church Sunday School Hymn-Book (London: Church of England Sunday-School Institute, 1892), #34.

Also found in A Selection of Hymns for Christmas Day, 1814, To Be Sung at the Methodist New Chapel, Waltham Street, Hull, (Hull: Topping & Dazson, 1814), Hymn #12, p. 12, verse 1 only.

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