Scripture Verse

The holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God. Revelation 21:10


Charles H. Steggall (1826–1905)

Words: Wal­ter R. Bow­ie, 1909. Bow­ie was rec­tor at the Em­ma­nu­el Pro­test­ant Epis­co­pal Church in Green­wood, Vir­gin­ia, when he wrote these words.

Music: Mor­well­ham Charles H. Steg­gall, 1890 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Bo­wie,

Walter R. Bowie (1882–1969)


O holy ci­ty, seen of John,
Where Christ the Lamb, doth reign,
Within whose four­square walls shall come
No night, nor need, nor pain,
And where the tears are wiped from eyes
That shall not weep again.

Hark, how from men whose lives are held
More cheap than mer­chan­dise,
From women strug­gling sore for bread,
From lit­tle child­ren’s cries,
There swells the sob­bing hu­man plaint
That bids thy walls arise.

O shame to us who rest con­tent
While lust and greed for gain
In street and shop and te­ne­ment
Wring gold from hu­man pain,
And bit­ter lips in blind des­pair
Cry Christ hath died in vain!

Give us, O God, the strength to build
The ci­ty that hath stood
Too long a dream, whose laws are love,
Whose crown is ser­vant­hood,
And where the sun that shin­eth is
God’s grace for hu­man good.

Already in the mind of God
That city ris­eth fair:
Lo, how its splen­dor chal­leng­es
The souls that great­ly dare;
Yea, bids us seize the whole of life
And build its glo­ry there.