1. Blow the trumpet loud and clear,
    Let all know the judgment’s near,
Sanctify the holy fast,
    Taking in the poor outcast.
Call the solemn assembly,
Haste to end Christ’s agony.

2. Gather all to Zion’s hill,
    Judgment day’s demands fulfill.
Congregation sanctify,
    Worldly pleasures crucify,
Elders, children, groom and bride,
    Look upon His pierced side.

3. Come O priests at altar weep,
    Judgment hour’s no time to sleep.
Spare Thy people, gracious Lord,
    Give them hearts of one accord.
Judge Thy poor, break heathen’s reign;
Seal them with the latter rain.

4. Pour out crowning gift of grace,
    Blessing of the holiest place.
Sons and daughters prophesy;
    Earth’s Redeemer glorify.
Holy bride Jerusalem
Wed to King of Bethlehem.


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The text for this solemn hymn comes from Joel 2:

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, ‘Where is their God?'”

18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:

20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.

23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

In the Jewish harvest year, there was an early rain and a latter rain to help the crops grow.

So likewise in the Christian era, there are two special bestowals of spirit, represented by the rain (“I will pour out my spirit” -vs. 28 above), one at the beginning and one at the end. The “early rain” was the descent of the Holy Spirit on the church of the apostles.

But there is to be another outpouring before the “terrible day of the Lord” , a special bestowal of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s church, in order to fit it for the finishing of the gospel work. This is the “latter rain.”

Just as there was a searching of heart, confession of sin, and putting away of differences in the early church, before they received this endowment, so there will be again. This song points to that experience, and the latter rain that follows.

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