Eternity, tremendous word

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I. Eternity! tremendous Word,
Home-striking Point, Heart-piercing Sword,
Beginning without Ending!
Eternity! without a Shore,
Where ever-fiery Billows roar,
What is thy Sight portending?
One Glimpse of thine unfathom'd Deep
Wou'd rouse a Wretch from sinful Sleep.

II. What Pain was ever thought so great,
That must not with the Time abate,
And lose its utmost Rigour?
Eternity does never cease,
Admits no Manner of Release,
But keeps its constant Vigour:
Or, as our SAVIOUR'S Words express,
Eternity has not Redress.

III. Eternity! how long, how long,
Thou seizest Senses, Heart and Tongue
With pannick Fear and Terrour!
When I revolve thy dreadful chains
In that Abyss of endless Pains,
I'm overwhelm'd with Horrour.
What's in this Life of Misery
So frightful as Eternity?

IV. Shou'd Hell endure as many Years,
As many Men this World of Tears
Has seen from the Creation.
As many Stars adorn the sky,
As many Leaves the Woods supply,
You'd hope for its Cessation.
This Sum of Ages wou'd but be
One Moment to Eterity.

V. But having spent in endless Fears
So many Thousand Thousand Years,
Thy Scene is still beginning;
When thou hast suffer'd all these Times
The just Reward of wilful Crimes,
Thy Thread ne'er ceases spinning.
Th'eternal Now, who can unfold?
'Tis ever new, but never old.

VI. O Lord, how is thy Sentence just
In leaving Man, that Rebel-Dust,
To his desevr'd Damnation!
Short wilful Sins committed here
With long Remorse are punish'd there.
O Woe beyond Relation!
Weigh this, thou harden'd Heart and Face
Thy Time is short, Death comes apace.

VII. Hast thou yet Sense? avoid the Snare;
Thy Pleasures fleeting Moments are,
That dye as fast as tasted;
These, at the Hazard of thy Soul,
Dost thou pursue without controul,
And seest thy Minutes wasted?
Thou senseless Wretch, thou matchless Fool,
Thou laugh'st and art the Devil's Tool.

VIII. As long as God eternal reigns,
And his Almighty Sway retains,
Hell-Torment will be lasting;
They shall be plagu'd with Cold and Heat,
Thirst, Hunger; Fire shallb e their Meat,
Their Worm is never wasting;
And this unequall'd Misery
Won't end till God shall cease to be.

IX. Awake and rise from sinful Sleep:
Bethink thy self, thou straying Sheep:
Return by true Repentance:
Arise, thy wicked Ways amend;
The Glass of Life runs to its End;
Then shiver at thy Sentence;
Perhaps within few Minutes Breath
Thou'rt snatch'd away by sudden Death.

X. Let neither worldly Gain nor Lust,
Ambition, Pride, nor golden Dust
Longer enslave thy passions;
Look how the carnal lethargy
O'er-spreads the great Majority,
Who sport with all Temptations;
Above all Things keep in thy Sight
The 'forenam'd long eternal Night.

XI. Most Reprobate of all Mankind,
Bereft of Sense, hard-hearted, blind,
Why dost thou love the Creature?
Shall that eternal Gulph of Hell,
Where Millions of Tormentors dwell,
Ne'er shock thy sinful Nature?
Can then no Tongue, no Eloquence
Persuade thee to a better Sense?

XII. Eternity! tremendous Word,
Home-striking Point, Heart-piercing Sword,
Beginning without Ending!
Eternity without a Shore!
Where ever fiery Billows roar,
What is thy Sight portending?
Lord JESU, when it pleases Thee,
Bring me to blest Eternity.



Source: Psalmodia Germanica: or, The German Psalmody: translated from the high Dutch together with their proper tunes and thorough bass (2nd ed., corr. and enl.) #205

Author: Johann von Rist

Rist, Johann, son of Kaspar Rist, pastor at Ottensen, near Hamburg, was born at Ottensen, March 8, 1607, and from his birth was dedicated to the ministry. After passing through the Johanneum at Hamburg and the Gymnasium Illustre at Bremen, he matriculated, in his 21st year, at the University of Rinteln, and there, under Josua Stegmann (q. v.), he received an impulse to hymn-writing. On leaving Rinteln he acted as tutor to the sons of a Hamburg merchant, accompanying them to the University of Rostock, where he himself studied Hebrew, Mathematics and also Medicine. During his residence at Rostock the terrors, of the Thirty Years War almost emptied the University, and Rist himself also lay there for weeks ill of the pestilence. After his r… Go to person page >

Translator: Johann Christian Jacobi

Jacobi, John Christian, a native of Germany, was born in 1670, and appointed Keeper of the Royal German Chapel, St. James's Palace, London, about 1708. He held that post for 42 years, and died Dec. 14, 1750. He was buried in the Church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. His publications included :— (1) A Collection of Divine Hymns, Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes and Thorough Bass. London: Printed and Sold by J. Young, in St. Paul’s Churchyard; . . . 1720. This edition contains 15 hymns. Two years later this collection, with a few changes in the text and much enlarged, was republished as (2) Psalmodia Germanica; or a Specimen of Divine Hymns. Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Eternity, tremendous word
German Title: O Ewigkeit! du Donner Wort
Author: Johann von Rist
Translator: Johann Christian Jacobi
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

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The Cyber Hymnal #9798TextScoreAudio
Include 4 pre-1979 instances



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