Hymn: On Zion’s Glorious Summit

I grew up in a church that had a good music program. On Sunday evenings, Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell played the piano and organ to accompany our hymn singing. I learned to sing bass by listening to the organ’s low notes and to this day can pick out the bass part with little trouble. (Sadly, what I can sing and what can be heard are two separate entities.)

This beautiful hymn was written many years ago by an English shipwright by the name of John Kent (1766-1843). Hymnary.org says that, “as a working shipwright his opportunities for acquiring the education and polish necessary for the production of refined verse were naturally limited. His hymns are strongly worded, very earnest and simple, and intensely Calvinistic.” Despite his limited education, he published more than 200 hymns during his lifetime.

When you read the words to this song, replace the word Zion with heaven and it will make the song come alive for you. For those who know the Lord, this song expresses the emotions stirred up by Scripture passages such as Revelation 5:11-12 and 7:9-10. What a great reunion that will be when Christians from different times, cultures, and languages join together to sing the praises of Jesus!

On Zion’s glorious summit stood
A numerous host redeemed by blood
They hymned their King in strains divine
I heard the song and strove to join
I heard the song and strove to join

Here all who suffered sword or flame
For truth, or Jesus’ lovely name
Shout victory now and hail the Lamb
And bow before the great I AM
And bow before the great I AM

O what a sweet exalted song
When every tribe and every tongue
Redeemed by blood with Christ appear
And join in one full chorus there
And join in one full chorus there

(after last verse)

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of hosts, on high adored
Who like me Thy praise should sing
O Almighty King

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of hosts, on high adored
Holy, holy, holy