181. The Lord Draws Nigh, the Righteous Throne’s Assessor

The LORD draws nigh, the righteous Throne’s Assessor,
The just to save, to punish the transgressor:
Weep we, and mourn, and pray,
Regardful of that day;
When all the secrets of all hearts shall be
Lit with the blaze of full eternity.

Clouds and thick darkness o’er the Mount assembling,
Moses beheld the Eternal’s glory, trembling;
And yet he might but see
GOD’s feebler Majesty.

And I—I Needs must view His fullest Face:
O Spare me, LORD! O take me to Thy grace!

David of old beheld, in speechless terror,
The session of the Judge—the doom of error:
And what have I to plead
For mercy in my need?
Nothing save this: O grant me yet to be,
Ere that day come, renewed and true to Thee!

Here, fires of deep damnation roar and glitter:
The worm is deathless, and the cup is bitter:
There, day that hath no morrow,
And joy that hath no sorrow:
And who so blest that he shall fly the abyss,
Raised up to GOD’s Right Hand, and speechless bliss!

My soul with many an act of sin is wounded:
With mortal weakness is my frame surrounded:

My life is well nigh o’er:
The Judge is at the door:
How wilt thou, miserable spirit, fare,
What time He sends His summons through the air?

Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)
Author: Theodore, Studites, Saint, 759-826

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