When God of old came down from heaven (Joseph Barnby)

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  • (Posted 2018-11-08)  CPDL #51781:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2018-11-08).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 50 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from the edition on IMSLP. Note values halved.

General Information

Title: When God of old came down from heaven
Composer: Joseph Barnby
Lyricist: John Keble

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1897 in Hymn Tunes, no. 22, p. 9

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came'
Before His feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;

2  But when He came the second time,
He came in power and love;
softer than gale at morning prime
Hover'd His holy Dove.

3  The fires that rush'd on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.

4  And as on Israel's awe-struck ear
The voice exceeding loud,
The trump, that angels quake to hear,
Thrill'd from the deep dark cloud;

5  So, when the Spirit of our God
Came down His flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing mighty wind.

6  It fills the Church of God; it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.

7  Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love, and Power,
Open our ears to hear;
Let us not miss the accepted hour;
Save, Lord, by love or fear.