1 The day, the dreadful day draws nigh,
When God in judgment shall appear,
Shall by His laws His people try,
And prove with scrutiny severe
The sinners settled on their lees,
And punish all that dwell at ease.
2 The men whose hearts deny His love,
His guardian love and righteous sway,
Who say Secure He sits above,
And lets us each pursue our way,
Nor will He e’er our deeds regard,
Or punish mortals, or reward.
3 On these the Lord His wrath shall show,
And give them to the Waster’s power,
Stir up the fierce invading foe,
Their goods and houses to devour:
Houses they shall for others build,
And sow, but never reap the field.
4 For lo! the Lord’s great day is near,
Is near, and swiftly hastens on;
The mighty men shall cry for fear
And anguish while His wrath comes down,
While God the sacred panic darts
And speaks in thunder to their hearts.
5 Who can that awful day declare?
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of raging, wasteful war,
Of darkness, clouds and gloominess,
A day to join th’embattled powers,
And storm the forts, and shake the towers.
6 The Lord shall bring a sudden snare,
The wicked by His judgments blind;
Because His utmost plagues they dare
They here their punishment shall find;
Their blood shall be as dust poured forth,
Their carcasses shall dung the earth.
7 Not all their treasures shall redeem
Their lives in that tremendous day,
When God’s great jealousy shall flame
Vindictive, and devour its prey,
The land where in their sins they dwell
Burn up—burn after them to hell.
8 Turn then to God, ye sinners, turn,
Let every heart at once relent;
The whole devoted nation mourn,
By general grief the curse prevent;
In penitential sorrow join,
And deprecate the wrath divine.
9 Repent before the dire decree
Bring forth the irrevocable doom;
Before the day as chaff ye see
Pass by, before the vengeance come;
Before the Lord let loose His ire,
And make you fuel to the fire.
10 Or if the wicked will not hear,
Ye humble souls that keep His Word,
Ye meek ones of the earth, revere,
And seek with double zeal your Lord;
Walk on in all His righteous ways,
And labor for the perfect grace.
11 It may be God, the God ye love
Will hide you in His anger’s day,
Far off from you the sword remove—
Or if it sweeps your lives away,
Your souls with swifter motion driv’n
Shall in a whirlwind fly to Heav’n.