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Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory of The Coming of The Lord Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory of The Coming of The  Lord Hymn History

Chaplain Charles C. McCabe, afterward a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was confined in Libby Prison during a part of the Civil War. In his famous lecture on The Bright Side of Life in Libby Prison" he used to tell this story of the arrival of the news from the Battle of Gettysburg: 

Julia Ward Howe
"I had a relative in Richmond, a staunch rebel. The day they received the first tidings from Gettysburg he came to see me, his face wreathed in smiles: Have you heard the news? What news? Forty thousand Yankee prisoners on their way to Richmond! I was astounded! In dumb amazement, I listened to the Confederate officers speculating where the new prisoners should be stowed away, and how they were to be fed. I went upstairs and told the news. Despondency settled down into every heart. 

"That night as we assembled for family prayers and sang, as was always our wont, the Long-meter Doxology, it trembled out from quavering voices up to Him who has said, Glorify me in the fires. I slept none that night, listening wearily to the watch calling the hours and singing out as he did so, All is well. When the day broke I waited for the footsteps of Old Ben, a character well known to every inmate of Libby. He was the prison newsagent and sold papers at twenty-five cents apiece. At last, his footfall came. He pushed the door ajar, looked around for a moment on the sleepers, and then raising his arms he shouted, Great news in the papers! 

"Did you ever see a resurrection? I never did but this once. O, how those men sprang to their feet! And what was the news? The telegraph operator at Martinsburg, when putting those ciphers to the four, had clicked the instrument once too often. There was a mistake of thirty-six thousand! More yet! Lee was driven back, the Potomac was swollen, the pontoons were washed away! I have stood by when friends long-parted meet again with raining tears and fond embrace, but never did I witness such joy as swept into those strong men's faces, where the deepest sorrow sat but a moment before. Well, what did we do? Why, we sang; sang as saved men do ; sang till Captains Flynn and Sawyer, immured in the lowest dungeons below and doomed to die within ten days, heard us and wondered ; sang till the very walls of Libby quivered in the melody as five hundred of us joined in the chorus of Mrs. Julia Ward Howe's Battle Hymn of the Republic/ Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. " 


This hymn was written in 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War in the United States, inspired partly by the scene of troops hurrying from the North to Southern battlefields. All during that terrible struggle, it was the great war song of the Union armies. 

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory of The Coming of The  Lord Hymn Lyrics

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: 
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, Glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal";
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies[14] Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,[15]
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

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