Great is the mystery hid during ages,
Secret of God made known unto all.
Hitherto hidden from seers and from sages,
Teachers of ethics, the great and the small.
Told now to men of God,
Writ now with pen of God,
Line upon line.
Glorious conception of wisdom eternal,
Marvellous thought for our glory designed,
Wonder unspeakable, searchless, supernal,
Counsel supreme of the infinite mind.
Ere shone a star or sun,
Ere were His works begun,
Ere this creation:
Born was the thought of God,
Project and plan of God,
Eye has not seen those things, ear has not heard of them,
Never has fancy the fringe of them reached;
Never to creature was uttered a word of them,
Till by the Spirit the gospel was preached.
Then in its glorious might
Broke forth the living light
Then from the heights above
Shone forth the thought of love,
Then the unveiling.
This to establish on stable foundation,
Needed the infinite work of the Son,
Righteousness satisfied—His exaltation
Tells of the worth of the work He has done.
Fortresses stormed and spoiled,
Dark machinations foiled,
Crushed their activities;
Smitten hell’s sources dread,
Captive fell forces led
Back from the battle saluted victorious,
See Him enthroned on the right hand of God,
Head over all things created, and glorious,
Centre and Sun of the universe broad.
Head of the Church, for which
He, in His grace so rich,
Suffered such sorrows,
Bore on the cross of shame,
When smote the sword of flame,
Part of Himself His loved members on earth are,
Part of Himself, His own flesh and His bone.
They in this world’s estimation no worth are,
But they will sit with Himself on His throne.
Then at the great decree,
When men must bend the knee
Lord Him confessing,
They shall what love has wrought
Learn, and the power that brought
Into such blessing.
One with Himself! Then our part is none other,
Than to be with Him where ever He be;
Not for the ages eternal another
Wish we to think of, to hear, or to see.
Bands all unbreakable!
Love all unspeakable,
Told when He died.
His in His love unknown,
His, ay, His very own,
Body and bride.