Day of Judgment, Day of Wonders!

While looking for a closing hymn for Sunday's morning service, I flicked through the section on ‘the final state' in the various hymnals in my home. The final chapters of Esther are concerned with judgement, so this subject would be most applicable. In the Primitive Methodist Hymnal, 1889 edition, I found the following by John Newton. Some of the verses are rather terrifying, but then what would one expect seeking material on this subject? We shall be singing it to Helmsley, popularly used to accompany Lo! He Comes, another hymn of this genre.

1 Day of judgment, day of wonders!

Hark! the trumpet's awful sound,

Louder than a thousand thunders,

Shakes the vast creation round!

How the summons

Will the sinner's heart confound!


2 See the Judge our nature wearing,

Clothed in majesty divine!

You who long for his appearing

Then shall say, "This God is mine!"

Gracious Saviour,

Own me on that day for thine!


3 At his call the dead awaken,

Rise to life from earth and sea;

All the powers of nature shaken

By his look, prepare to flee:

Careless sinner,

What will then become of thee?


4 Horrors past imagination,

Will surprise your trembling heart,

When you hear your condemnation,

"Hence, accursed wretch depart!

Thou with Satan

And his angels, have thy part!"


5 Satan, who now tries to please you,

Lest you timely warning take,

When that word is past, will seize you,

Plunge you in the burning lake:

Think, poor sinner,

Thy eternal all's at stake!


6 But to those who have confessed,

Loved, and served the Lord below;

He will say, "Come near ye blessed,

See the kingdom I bestow:

You for ever

Shall my love and glory know."


7 Under sorrows and reproaches,

May this thought your courage raise!

Swiftly God's great day approaches,

Sighs shall then be changed to praise:

We shall triumph

When the world is in a blaze.


The Christian's Duty, 1791.


Verses 4 & 5 are scary indeed. Sadly, I only had room to print five verses, and these are cut. I was relieved really. Closing a service singing about Satan and being plunged into a lake of fire is not the note upon which I’d like to end, though it would certainly be a clear warning to those who attend but have yet to commit to the gospel.