Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much features a scene that takes place during a church service.
To identify much more about than that may than that may constitute a spoiler.
While it may sound like generic droning, the congregation are singing an actual hymn, chosen with Hitchcocks usual care and sense of humour.
The spiritual testimony and challenge that Charles Wesley intended in the lyrics of From Whence These Dire Portents Around is marginal to the master director’s intent, but the first line is pointedly appropriate.
This youtube clip is from the movie and apparently features the first and last verses.
From whence these dire portents around,
That strike us with unwonted fear?
Why do these earthquakes rock the ground,
And threaten our destruction near?
Ye prophets smooth, the cause explain,
And lull us to repose again.
“Or water swelling for a vent,
Or air impatient to get free,
Or fire within earth’s entrails pent”;
Yet all are ordered, Lord, by Thee;
The elements obey Thy nod,
And nature vindicates her God.
The pillars of the earth are Thine,
And Thou hast set the world thereon;
They at Thy threatening look incline,
The center trembles at Thy frown;
The everlasting mountains bow,
And God is in the earthquake now!
Now, Lord, to shake our guilty land,
Thou dost in indignation rise;
We see, we see Thy lifted hand
Made bare a nation to chastise,
Whom neither plagues nor mercies move
To fear Thy wrath or court Thy love.
Therefore the earth beneath us reels,
And staggers like our drunken men,
The earth the mournful cause reveals,
And groans our burden to sustain;
Ordained our evils to deplore,
And fall with us to rise no more.