Attend ye saints and hear me tell

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General information

This is an American folk hymn, first appearing in the early nineteenth century. "This song, with its insistent text burden of union of man with God, seems peculiarly Baptistic and Methodistic. It appeared in the very earliest publication of spiritual folk-songs, that is, in Ingalls’ Christian Harmony of 1805. With its usual ten stanzas … the song romped through the more than six decades following the time of the Ingalls book and up to its appearance in the Revivalist of post-Civil War times. Its … popularity was not confined to America" (Jackson 1953b, No. 9).

Settings by composers

External websites:

References:

  • Keller, Kate V. W. No date (ca. 2012). The Union. Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project, No. 246. Published online. Worcester, Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society. Accessed 2017-07-17.

Text and translations

English.png English text

Elias Smith, Collection of Hymns for Christians (1804)

1. Attend, ye saints, and hear me tell
The wonders of Immanuel;
Who saved me from a burning hell,
And brought my soul with him to dwell,
And feel a blessed union,

2. At first. he saw me from on high,
Beheld my soul in ruin lie;
He looked on me with pitying eye,
And said to me as he passed by,
With God you have no union,

3. Then I began to mourn and cry,
I looked this way and that to fly;
It grieved me sore that I must die,
I strove salvation for to buy,
But still I had no union.

4. But when my Savior took me in,
And with his blood did wash me clean,
Twas then I hated every sin;
And O! what seasons I have seen,
E'er since I felt this union.

5. I praised the Lord both night and day.
From house to house I went to pray;
And if I met one on the way,
I always had some word to say
About this blessed union.

6. I wonder why old saints don't sing,
And praise the Lord upon the wing,
And make the heavenly arches ring,
With loud hosannas to their King,
Who brought their souls to union.

7. O come, backsliders, come away,
And learn to do as well as say;
And mind to watch as well as pray:
Come, bear your cross from day to day,
And then you'll feel this union.

8. Soon we mall break all nature's ties,
On wings of love our souls shall rise,
And shout salvation through the skies,
And gain the mark and win the prize,
And feel a heavenly union.

9. Then every saint that's here below,
Will leave these climes of pain and woe;
And they will home to glory go;
And there they'll hear and see and know,
And feel this perfect union.

10. There we the glorious Lamb shall see,
Who groaned and died upon the tree,
For sinners such as you and me,
That we might his salvation see,
And feel a heavenly union.

11. When we recount life's dangers o'er,
Review the labors which we bore;
And see ourselves safe on the shore,
With love our Conqueror we'll adore,
And feel increasing union.

12. When countless years have rolled away,
Our vigor suffering no decay,
We'll all as one with rapture say,
We still remember well the day
Our souls first felt this union.

13. Reign, glorious Jesus, reign on high,
Tis thou that brought us rebels nigh;
We'll shout redemption through the sky,
And praise thee to eternity
For such a glorious union.

14. The hosts of heaven shall all agree,
In purest strains of symphony;
And shout, Eternal glory be
To Three in One, and one in Three,
Crying, O this glorious union.

 

Jeremiah Ingalls, Christian Harmony (1805)

1. Attend ye saints and hear me tell
The wonders of Emmanuel,
He plucked me from the jaws of hell,
And took my soul with him to dwell,
And feel this blessed union.

2. When first he saw me from on high,
Beheld my soul in ruin lie.
He looked on me with pitying eye,
And said to me as he passed by,
With God you have no union.

3. Then l began to mourn and cry,
I took this way and that to fly,
It grieved me sore that I must die,
I strove salvation for to buy;
But still I had no union.

4. But when I had left off my sin,
My dear Redeemer took me in,
And with his blood he washed me clean,
And O, what seasons I have seen.
Since I enjoyed this union.

5. I praise the Lord both night and day,
From house to house I went to pray,
And if I met one in the way,
I always found some thing to say,
About this blessed union.

6. I wonder why old saints don’t sing,
And praise the Lord upon the wing,
And make the heavenly arches ring.
With loud hosannas to their King,
Who brought their souls to union.

7. O come, backsliders, come away,
And mind and do as well as say,
And learn to watch as well as pray,
And bear the cross from day to day,
And feel the blessed union.

8. Soon we shall break all nature’s ties.
On wings of love our souls shall rise,
And shout salvation through the skies,
And gain the mark and win the prize,
And feel the blessed union.

9. Soon we the glorious Lamb shall see,
Who groaned and died upon the tree.
Who spilt his blood for you and me.
That we might his salvation see.
And feel this blessed union.

10. O come, poor sinners, come and taste
The sweetness of redeeming grace,
And quit the world’s delusive charms,
And quickly fly to Jesus’ arms.
And feel this blessed union.

11. O why, poor sinners, will you stay.
And never learn to praise nor pray,
But seek those things that won’t decay
The conscience, in a burning day,
And never feel the union.

12. If you go on as you’ve begun,
And still the downward road do run,
In misery you must soon lie down,
And never more behold the sun.
Nor ever feel the union.

13. O come, poor souls, to Jesus flee.
And seek, in him, the joys that be
Prepared from all eternity,
Which can’t be found in earth nor sea,
And feel the blessed union.

14. But if you do refuse to eat
The bread of life, at Jesus’ feet,
Then soon you must prepare to meet
Him, on his awful judgment seat.
Nor share this glorious union.

15. Then let us all, with one accord,
Set out to seek and serve the Lord;
Then we shall meet in worlds above,
And sing and praise redeeming love,
And feel eternal union.

 

The Lexington Collection (Lexington, Kentucky), 1811

1. Come saints and sinners, hear me tell
The wonders of Emmanuel,
Who saved me from a burning hell,
And brought my soul with him to dwell,
And gave me heavenly union.

2. When Jesus saw me from on high,
Beheld my soul in ruin lie,
He looked on me with pitying eye,
And said to me, as he passed by,
" With God you have no union."

3. Then I began to weep and cry,
I looked this way and that to fly;
It grieved me so that I must die,
I strove salvation for to buy,
But still I had no union.

4. But when I looked to Christ the way,
I saw my sins all flee away!
Washed in his blood this very day!
And O! my God, is grace thus free!
Here is the heavenly union.

5. Glory to God, that took me in,
And saved my soul from hell and sin:
Praise to the Lamb that washed me clean;
And O, what seasons I have seen
Ever since I felt this union.

6. I praised the Lord both night and day,
And went from house to house to pray;
And if I met one on the way,
I always found 1 had something to say
About this heavenly union.

7. I wonder why the saints don't sing,
And praise their God upon the wing,
And make the heavenly arches ring
With loud hosannas to their King,
Who brought their souls to union.

8. O! come backsliders, come away,
And learn to do as well as say,
See that you watch as well as pray,
And bear your cross from day to day,
And then you'll feel this union.

9. We soon shall leave all things below,
And quit the climes of pain and woe;
And then we will to glory go,
There shall we see, and hear, and know,
And feel a perfect union.

10. Come heaven and earth, unite your lays,
And give to Jesus endless praise;
And O my soul look on and gaze,
He bleeds, he dies, your souls he saves,
And gives you heavenly union.

11. O could I, like an angel, sound
Salvation through the earth around,
The Devil's kingdom to confound,
I'd triumph o'er Emanuel's ground,
And spread this glorious union.

12. And then to heaven I would go,
Jesus to see, my God to know;
My love to him shall ever grow;
I'll sing and praise as angels do,
This is th'eternal union.

 

Mercer's Cluster, Fourth Ed., 1823


1. Come saints and sinners hear me tell
The wonders of Immanuel,
Who snatched me from a burning hell,
And brought my soul with him to dwell;
To dwell in sweetest union.

2. When Jesus, from his throne on high,
Beheld my soul in ruin lie,
He looked on me with pitying eye.
And said to me, as he passed by,
"With God you have no union."

3. This information made me cry,
I strove salvation hard to buy,
And with my tears to satisfy ;
I looked this way and that to fly,
For still I lacked this union.

4. But when depressed and lost in sin,
My dear Redeemer took me in,
And with his blood he washed me clean,
And O what seasons I have seen.
Since first I felt this union.

5. I praised the Lord both night and day.
And went from house to house to pray,
And if I met one on the way,
Something I always found to say
About this heavenly union.

6. O come ye lukewarm, come away,
And learn to do, as well as say,
And bear your cross from day to day,
And mind to walk the narrow way,
And then you'll feel this union.

7. I wonder that the saints don't sing.
And make the hills and valleys ring.
With loud hosannas to their King,
Who saved their souls from hell and sin.
And brought about this union.

8. We soon shall leave these climes below.
And every scene of pain and woe !
We all shall then to glory go.
And there we'll see, and hear, and know,
And join in perfect union.

9. Come heaven and earth unite your lays.
And give Jehovah-Jesus praise:
And thou my soul look up and gaze.
He bleeds, he dies, your debt he pays!
To give you heavenly union.

10. O were I like an angel found.
Salvation through the earth I'd sound,
The devil's kingdom to confound,
I'd triumph on Immanuel's ground,
And spread this glorious union.

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