Friday, 11 April 2008

Songs of my fundamentalist youth (1)

When we, the gang of Plymouth Brethren teens, were in our mid teens, Mr. Eddie Iles, one of our youth leaders, made us sing the song below.

We protested, and hated the thing, especially the refrain. We despised the idea of a final judgment, and eternal hell.

Already we were resisting Fundamentalist tenets.

But “cursed be memory”, I have never forgotten the song. I woke up the other morning with it ringing through my mind.

And it is a bit more radical that I could have remembered.

That’s not to say that I recommend it!

I dreamed that the great judgment morning
Had dawned, and the trumpet had blown;
I dreamed that the nations had gathered
To judgment before the white throne;
From the throne came a bright shining angel,
And he stood on the land and the sea,
And he swore with his hand raised to Heaven,
That time was no longer to be.


And O, what a weeping and wailing,
As the lost were told of their fate;
They cried for the rocks and the mountains,
They prayed, but their prayer was too late.

The rich man was there, but his money
Had melted and vanished away;
A pauper he stood in the judgment,
His debts were too heavy to pay;
The great man was there, but his greatness,
When death came, was left far behind!
The angel that opened the records,
Not a trace of his greatness could find.


The widow was there with the orphans,
God heard and remembered their cries;
No sorrow in Heaven forever,
God wiped all the tears from their eyes;
The gambler was there and the drunkard,
And the man that had sold them the drink,
With the people who gave him the license,
Together in hell they did sink.


The moral man came to the judgment,
But self righteous rags would not do;
The men who had crucified Jesus
Had passed off as moral men, too;
The soul that had put off salvation,
“Not tonight; I’ll get saved by and by,
No time now to think of religion!”
At last they had found time to die.


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