Before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal. Revelation 4:6
Words: Jeremiah E. Rankin, in Crystal Songs, edited by Otis F. Presbrey (Toledo, Ohio: Willard W. Whitney, 1877), number 84.
Music: John W. Bischoff (🔊 pdf nwc).
I sat alone with life’s memories
In sight of the crystal sea;
And I saw the thrones of the star-crowned ones,
With never a crown for me.
And then the voice of the Judge said,
Of the Judge on the great white throne;
And I saw the star-crowned take their seats,
But none could I call my own.
I thought me then of my childhood days,
The prayer at my mother’s knee—
Of the counsels grave that my father gave—
The wrath I was warned to flee;
Is it then too late, too late?
Shut without, must I stand for aye?
And the Judge, will He say,
I know you not,
Howe’er I may knock and pray?
I thought, I thought of the days of God
I’d wasted in folly and sin—
Of the times I’d mocked when the Savior knocked,
And I would not let Him in.
I thought, I thought of the vows I’d made
When I lay at death’s dark door—
Would He spare my life, I’d give up the strife,
And serve Him forever more.
I heard a voice, like the voice of God—
Remember, remember, my son!
Remember thy ways in the former days,
The crowns that thou might have won!
I thought, I thought—and my thoughts ran on,
Like the tide of a sunless sea—
Am I living or dead? to myself I said,
An end is there ne’er to be?
I seemed as though I woke from a dream,
How sweet was the light of day!
Melodious sounded the Sabbath bells
From towers that were far away.
I then became as a little child,
And I wept, and wept afresh;
For the Lord had taken my heart of stone,
And given a heart of flesh.
Still oft I sit with life’s memories,
And think of the crystal sea;
And I see the thrones of the star-crowned ones;
I know there’s a crown for me.
And when the voice of the Judge says,
Of the Judge on the great white throne—
I know mid the thrones of the star-crowned ones
There’s one I shall call my own.