Scripture Verse

He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. Psalm 72:8


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid 1719. Christ’s king­dom among the Gen­tiles.

Music: Duke Street at­trib­ut­ed to John Hat­ton, 1793 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:


Perhaps one of the most in­ter­est­ing oc­ca­sions on which this hymn was used was that on which King George, the sa­ble, of the South Sea Is­lands, but of blessed me­mo­ry, gave a new con­sti­tu­tion to his peo­ple, ex­chang­ing a hea­then for a Chri­stian form of gov­ern­ment.

Under the spread­ing branch­es of the ban­yan trees sat some thou­sand na­tives from Ton­ga, Fi­ji, and Sa­moa, on Whit­sun­day, 1862, as­sem­bled for Di­vine wor­ship.

Foremost amongst them all sat King George him­self. Around him were seat­ed old chiefs and war­ri­ors who had shared with him the dan­gers and for­tunes of ma­ny a bat­tle—men whose eyes were dim, and whose pow­er­ful frames were bowed down with the weight of years.

But old and young alike re­joiced together in the joys of that day, their faces most of them ra­di­ant with Chris­tian joy, love, and hope.

It would be im­pos­si­ble to des­cribe the deep feel­ing ma­ni­fest­ed when the so­lemn ser­vice be­gan, by the en­tire au­di­ence sing­ing Dr. Watts’ hymn…

Who so much as they could real­ize the full mean­ing of the po­et’s words? For they had been res­cued from the dark­ness of hea­then­ism and can­ni­bal­ism and they were that day met for the first time under a Chris­tian con­st­itu­tion, und­er a Chris­tian king, and with Christ Him­self reigning in the hearts of most of those pre­sent.

That was in­deed Christ’s king­dom set up in the earth.

Stevenson, pp. 351–52


Jesus shall reign wher­e’er the sun
Does his suc­cess­ive jou­rneys run;
His king­dom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

Behold the is­lands with their kings,
And Eur­ope her best trib­ute brings;
From north to south the princ­es meet,
To pay their hom­age at His feet.

There Per­sia, glo­ri­ous to behold,
There In­dia shines in east­ern gold;
And bar­bar­ous na­tions at His word
Submit, and bow, and own their Lord.

To Him shall end­less pray­er be made,
And prais­es throng to crown His head;
His name like sweet per­fume shall rise
With ev­ery morn­ing sac­ri­fice.

People and realms of ev­ery tongue
Dwell on His love with sweet­est song;
And in­fant voic­es shall pro­claim
Their ear­ly bless­ings on His name.

Blessings abound where’er He reigns;
The pri­son­er leaps to lose his chains;
The wea­ry find eter­nal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.

Where He dis­plays His heal­ing pow­er,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Ad­am boast
More bless­ings than their fa­ther lost.

Let ev­ery crea­ture rise and bring
Peculiar hon­ors to our king;
Angels des­cend with songs again,
And earth re­peat the loud amen.