When the great Builder arched the skies

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General information

This is an hymn by Isaac Watts, his Hymn 24 of Book 2, published 1709, entitled The evil of sin visible in the fall of angels and men.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

When the great Builder arched the skies,
And formed all nature with a word,
The joyful cherubs tuned his praise,
And every bending throne adored.

High in the midst of all the throng,
Satan, a tall archangel, sat;
Amongst the morning stars he sung,
Till sin destroyed his heavenly state.

'Twas sin that hurled him from his throne;
Grov'lling in fire the rebel lies:
"How art thou sunk in darkness down,
Son of the morning, from the skies!"


And thus our two first parents stood,
Till sin defiled the happy place;
They lost their garden and their God,
And ruined all their unborn race.

So sprung the plague from Adam's bower,
And spread destruction all abroad;
Sin, the cursed name, that in one hour
Spoiled six days' labor of a God!


Tremble, my soul, and mourn for grief,
That such a foe should seize thy breast;
Fly to thy Lord for quick relief;
Oh may he slay this treacherous guest!

Then to thy throne, victorious King,
Then to thy throne our shouts shall rise!
Thine everlasting arm we sing;
For sin, the monster, bleeds and dies.

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