In 1750, after two earthquakes hit England, Charles Wesley wrote two small volumes of hymns on earthquakes. It is not too much to say that he developed a whole theology of earthquakes, in song. They answer the question, when a believer’s country is struck by such a disaster, what should that believer say, or sing, to God?
Here is hymn #5 from the first collection.
God of awful majesty,
Thy glorious name we praise!
Known are all thy works to thee
Of judgment, and of grace:
In thine only breast it lies
To raise or sink, revive or slay:
Wilt thou yet again chastise,
Or turn thy wrath away?
2 Vengeance on thy foes to take
Hast thou in anger sworn?
Sworn again our earth to shake,
And from its base oâ€™erturn?
Surely then to Abrahamâ€™s seed
Thou shalt reveal the wrath to come,
Speak the punishment decreed,
And warn us of our doom.
3 But if so thy will ordain
Its close design to hide,
Let us in thy work remain,
And in thy love abide;
Stand for all events preparâ€™d,
With reverence8 and godly fear;
Stand for ever on our guard,
â€™Till thy great arm appear.
4 Blessed are the servants, Lord,
Whom thou shalt watching find,
Hanging on thy faithful word,
And to thy will resignâ€™d;
Safe amidst the darts of death,
Secure they rest in all alarms,
Sure, their Lord hath spread beneath
His everlasting arms.
5 Should the earth this moment cleave,
And swallow up the just,
Jesus would their souls receive,
And guard their sleeping dust:
Thoâ€™ their dust the whirlwind sweep
To earthâ€™s profoundest center driven,
Soon, emerging from the deep,
They rise, they mount to heaven!