The Firstborn

Glorious Image of the King Eternal!
Firstborn! Maker of all creatures made!
Greater than all the Hierarchs supernal!
Powers with empyrean light arrayed!
Gladly we hail Thee, at Thy footstool bending,
Glorious in praises unto worlds unending.
Higher than heaven’s height,
Stronger than creature might,
One with the Highest!
Object supreme Thou art!
Thou every human heart
Searchest and triest.
Head and beginning of redeemed creation!
Fountain of living water crystal clear,
Bread from above for our appropriation,
Light for our path upon this desert drear.
God and Man seen in Thee for ever blended,
Mystery never to be comprehended.
No one the Son can know,
God in this world of woe,
God the Creator.
God found in man’s estate,
Who could this penetrate?
Great Mediator!
Alpha and Omega of revelation!
Image of Him who must unseen remain!
Centre of blessing for the whole creation!
Son of the Father come our hearts to gain.
Word that expresses His essential being,
Word from the dicta of the darkness freeing.
Spoken in truth and deed,
Heard by the soul in need,
Trespass forgiving:
Come from the throne above
Warm with the Father’s love,
Searching and living.
Arm of Jehovah, bringing forth salvation,
Power to set the groaning captive free,
Yet Thou must bow and bear our condemnation,
If that salvation ours shall ever be.
Not all Thy wisdom, everlasting Lover,
Other than this could life for us discover.
Lone on the altar bound
While black the heavens frowned,
Earth dark and quaking.
Thou wast for us made sin,
Thou hast our souls to win,
Felt the forsaking.
Object of universal adoration,
Lord of the multitude of angels strong,
Head of Thy Church—O marvellous relation!
One with Thyself above the shining throng!
Love such as Thine her worship sweet commanding,
Love that surpasses all her understanding.
Proved in Thy cross of shame,
When Thou didst bear the blame
Dying to make her
Thine, throughout endlessness
Thine, for love limitless
Cannot forsake her.
Blessings innumerable, Lord Immortal,
In Thee are resident for all below,
Till the day dawn when through the heavenly portal,
Pass we to part with every earthly woe.
Thou art our Life, our faithful Friend and Leader,
Mighty Redeemer! Glorious Interceder!
Son of the Father’s love!
Lord of the hosts above!
Kneel we before Thee.
Longing till from the curse
All the vast universe
Joins to adore Thee.
Not in the universe is there another
Able to succour us when we are faint;
Not an acquaintance, not a friend or brother,
Knows how to diagnose our woeful plaint.
Base the ingratitude that dares to doubt Thee!
What under heaven could we do without Thee?
Faithful, unfailing Friend—
Love that can never end—
Love faithless never—
Love unto cross and death—
Love to the latest breath—