Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Psalm 50:5 [The Lord The Sovereign Sends His Summons Forth]
by [?]


Psalm 50:5. to a New Tune
The last judgment.

The Lord the Sovereign sends his summons forth,
Calls the south nations, and awakes the north;
From east to west the sounding orders spread
Thro’ distant worlds and regions of the dead:
No more shall atheists mock his long delay;
His vengeance sleeps no more: behold the day!

Behold the Judge descends; his guards are nigh;
Tempest and fire attend him down the sky:
Heaven, earth and hell draw near; let all things come
To hear his justice and the sinners doom:
But gather first my saints (the Judge commands)
Bring them, ye angels, from their distant lands.

Behold! my covenant stands for ever good,
Seal’d by the eternal sacrifice in blood,
And sign’d with all their names; the Greek, the Jew,
That paid the ancient worship or the new.
There’s no distinction here: come spread their thrones,
And near me seat my favorites and my sons.

I their almighty Saviour and their God,
I am their Judge: ye heavens, proclaim abroad
My just eternal sentence, and declare
Those awful truths that sinners dread to hear:
Sinners in Zion, tremble and retire;
I doom the painted hypocrite to fire.

Not for the want of goats or bullocks slain
Do I condemn thee; bulls and goats are vain
Without the flames of love: in vain the store
Of brutal offerings that were mine before;
Mine are the tamer beasts and savage breed,
Flocks, herds, and fields, and forests where they feed.

If I were hungry would I ask thee food?
When did I thirst, or drink thy bullocks blood?
Can I be flatter’d with thy cringing bows,
Thy solemn chatterings and fantastic vows?
Are my eyes charm’d thy vestments to behold,
Glaring in gems, and gay in woven gold?

Unthinking wretch! how couldst thou hope to please
A God, a spirit, with such toys as these?
While with my grace and statutes on thy tongue,
Thou lov’st deceit, and dost thy brother wrong;
In vain to pious forms thy zeal pretends,
Thieves and adulterers are thy chosen friends.

Silent I waited with lone-suffering love,
But didst thou hope that I should ne’er reprove?
And cherish such an impious thought within,
That God the righteous would indulge thy sin?
Behold my terrors now: my thunders roll,
And thy own crimes affright thy guilty soul.

Sinners, awake betimes; ye fools, be wise;
Awake, before this dreadful morning rise;
Change your vain thoughts, your crooked works amend,
Fly to the Saviour, make the Judge your friend;
Lest like a lion his last vengeance tear
Your trembling souls, and no deliverer near.