Scripture Verse

The Gospel of the kingdom of God. Mark 1:14


Michael Praetorius (1571–1621)

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Ad­am of St. Vic­tor, cir­ca 1170 (Plau­su cho­rus lae­ta­bun­do). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Jack­son Ma­son, 1889.

Music: Prae­to­ri­us 7 com­pos­er un­known, 1536. Adapt­ed by Mi­chael Prae­to­ri­us, 1609 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Ma­son (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Come sing, ye choirs ex­ult­ant,
Those mes­sen­gers of God,
Through whom the liv­ing Gos­pels
Came sound­ing all abroad!
Whose voice pro­claimed sal­va­tion
That poured up­on the night,
And drove away the shadows,
And filled the world with light.

He chose them, our Good Shep­herd,
And, tend­ing ev­er­more,
His flock through earth’s four quar­ters,
In wis­dom made them four;
True Law­giv­er, He bade them
Their heal­ing mes­sage speed—
One char­ter for all na­tions,
One glo­ri­ous title deed!

In one har­mo­ni­ous wit­ness
The chos­en four com­bine
While each his own com­miss­ion
Fulfills in ev­ery line;
As, in the pro­phet’s vi­sion,
From out the am­ber flame
In form of vis­age di­verse
Four liv­ing crea­tures came.

Lo, these the wing­èd cha­ri­ots,
That bring Em­ma­nu­el nigh,
The gold­en staves, up­lift­ing
God’s ve­ry ark on high;
And these the four­fold ri­ver
Of pa­ra­dise above,
Whence flow for all the na­tions
New mys­te­ries of love.

Foursquare on this foun­da­tion
The Church of Christ re­mains,
A house to stand un­shak­en
By floods or winds or rains.
O glo­ri­ous hap­py por­tion
In this safe home to be,
By God, true man, unit­ed
With God eter­nal­ly.