The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Lo! He Comes, With Clouds Descending

For Advent

Words: Rev. John Cennick, 1750, and Rev. Charles Wesley, 1758
Alt. Rev. M. Madan, 1760

Music: Helmsley, MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
St. Thomas (Wade's Cantus Diversi, 1751), MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
Meter: 8 7 8 7 4 7

Source: W. H. Monk and C. Steggall, eds., Hymns Ancient and Modern (London, William Clowes and Sons, Old Edition, 1889), Hymn 51

1. Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
Once for favoured sinners slain;1
Thousand, thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train:
Christ appears on earth again.3

2. Every eye shall now behold Him,
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold Him,
Pierced, and nailed Him to the tree,
Deeply wailing,
Shall the true Messiah see.

3. Those dear tokens of His Passion
Still His dazzling body bears,
Cause of endless exultation
To His ransomed worshipers:
With what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars!

4. Now redemption, long expected,
See in solemn pomp appear:
All his saints, by men rejected,4
Now shall meet him in the air:
See the day of God appear.5

5. Yea, amen; let all adore thee,
High on Thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the power and glory;
Claim the kingdoms for Thine own:
Thou shalt reign, and Thou alone.6

6. Yet with mingled hope and fearing,
Wait we still our Judge to see;
In the day of Thine appearing.
Spotless blameless may be be!
Ever watching,
Teach us, Lord, to welcome Thee.7 Amen.


1. Or: 'Once for our salvation slain' or 'Once on earth for sinners slain.' Return

2. Or: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Return

3. Or: 'Christ, the Lord, returns to reign' or 'Jesus comes on earth to reign.' Return

4. Or: by 'men' rejected Return

5. Verse 4 is from other sources, now lost. Return

6. Or: 'Come and make Thy glory known.' Return

7. Verse 6 from Hollister, ed., The Sunday-School Service and Tune Book. Return

Sheet Music from John Clark Hollister, ed., The Sunday-School Service and Tune Book (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1863, 1865), #4, p. 18.

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), #209.

Sheet music from A. B. Goodrich, ed., A New Service And Tune Book For Sunday Schools (New York: Gen. Prot. Episc. S. S. Union and Church Book Society, 1863, New Edition, Enlarged, 1866), #2, pp. 24-5.

Sheet Music "St. Thomas" and "Helmsley" (H. Madan) from Mary Palmer and John Farmer, eds., Church Sunday School Hymn-Book (London: Church of England Sunday-School Institute, 1892), #33.


This is a compilation of versions by Charles Wesley (Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending) and John Cennick (Lo! He Cometh, Countless Trumpets). The first, second, and fourth stanzas are from Wesley, the third and fifth stanzas from Cennick, and substituting one of his own for the third of Wesley.

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