This portentous-sounding hymn is an adaptation by John Wesley in 1737 of an earlier (1707) hymn, 'Sing to the Lord with Joyful Voice', by Isaac Watts. Watts' text is reproduced at the end of this article. Both hymns are in turn based on Psalm 100, with Watts' version appearing in his 1719 compilation of metrical psalms, Psalms of David. The tune is the Old Hundredth, which is also used for yet another version of the hundredth psalm, 'All People that on Earth do Dwell'. Wesley's version of the present hymn is notable for being better poetry, and removing the unbiblical national reference in the first verse.

Before Jehovah's awful throne,
Ye nations, bow with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone;
He can create, and he destroy.

His sovereign power, without our aid,
Made us of clay, and formed us men;
And when like wandering sheep we strayed,
He brought us to his fold again.

We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs,
High as the heavens our voices raise;
And Earth, with her ten thousand tongues,
Shall fill thy courts with sounding praise.

Wide as the world is thy command,
Vast as eternity thy love;
Firm as a rock thy truth must stand,
When rolling years shall cease to move.

Everything Hymnal


Sing to the Lord with joyful voice;
Let every land his Name adore;
The British Isles shall send the noise
Across the ocean to the shore.

Nations, attend before his throne
With solemn fear, with sacred joy;
Know that the Lord is God alone;
He can create, and he destroy.

His sovereign power, without our aid,
Made us of clay, and formed us men;
And when like wandering sheep we strayed,
He brought us to his fold again.

We are his people, we his care,
Our souls and all our mortal frame:
What lasting honours shall we rear
Almighty Maker, to thy Name.

We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs,
High as the heavens our voices raise;
And earth, with her ten thousand tongues,
Shall fill thy courts with sounding praise.

Wide as the world is thy command,
Vast as eternity thy love;
Firm as a rock thy truth must stand,
When rolling years shall cease to move.

Everything Hymnal

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