A Vision of the Future

O Thou eternal Lover, who ere the earth was framed,
Ere on the heights of heaven cherub or seraph flamed,
Didst thro’ the unborn ages, and all the things that are,
Behold in Godhead vision glories as yet afar;
Teach Thou our hearts to fathom those mysteries profound,
And guide us while we traverse such high and holy ground;
Those mysteries which hidden remained while ages ran
Their courses in Thy dealings with Thy lost creature man.
Keep us, O Lord, from stumbling, and guide our steps aright:
To traverse plains celestial give us celestial light.
From that eternal radiance of light immaculate,
Into which no mere creature has power to penetrate;
Before time’s wondrous ages, before the lapse of years
Ere had the sages fathomed the secrets of the spheres,
Before this vast creation, ere sun and moon was formed,
Before the tides had swollen, or oceans raged and stormed,
Before the great Creator His labours had begun,
Or through the void passed creature, for yet there was not one.
From that unblemished brightness rose visions of the days
When Thou wouldst fill creation with God’s eternal praise;
When Thou with fingers cunning wouldst touch creation’s soul,
And mighty hallelujahs throughout all realms would roll.
Bright on Thy soul was shining with joy unfathomed then,
For Thy delights were centred upon the sons of men,
And sons of men subsisting in all the power of God,
Not in a legal fealty with fear of wrath and rod.
But in a song ascribing to God eternal might,
In favour everlasting and blessing infinite.
And round Thee, ay, and like Thee those sons in multitude
Where never foot defiling dare venture to intrude.
But something in the distance, a masterpiece of art,
Glorious enough, Lord Jesus, to captivate Thy heart;
Arrayed in holy splendour and bliss beyond compare,
Love’s marvellous conception, all thought surpassing fair.
This star of new creation arose with purest ray,
And shone o’er all things brightest in that all-glorious day.
With matchless grace resplendent, for ever Thine to be
Thy Bride, Thy loved companion, Thy Father’s gift to Thee.
As Eve from bone of Adam smote on his waking sight,
And thro’ his artless being rushed rays of pure delight,
And in his joy confessed her his very flesh and bone,
Part of himself, his consort, henceforward not alone.
This holy heavenly vision a glorious prospect cast,
So on the second Adam, the second and the last;
Bride of eternal purpose, Bride of the Lamb to be,
Slow shall the ages vanish ere she shall stand with Thee.
By the eternal Father to thee as Love-gift given
Whiter than snow that falleth down from the heart of heaven.
Thy Bride! Thy holy Body! What pen of mortal may
Her infinite perfections, her comeliness portray?
Fails all that has been written, fails all that has been sung:
Fails every thought of mortal, fails every human tongue;
Thy beauty put upon her, Thine excellency hers,
This fills my soul with singing, this all my spirit stirs.
We wait for Thine appearing, we wait this sight to see,
We cry, Come Star of Morning, and that with bended knee.
Oh, high and holy calling! Oh, purpose good and great!
Oh, love surpassing knowledge! Oh, grace compassionate!
Oh, wisdom, secret, searchless! Oh, power omnipotent!
Resources without limit! Our joy and wonderment!
We wonder and adore Thee as on Thy work we gaze,
We ponder o’er Thy counsels, we contemplate Thy ways.
This joy for Thee was purposed, and in The Book was writ,
Not one thing to be added, nor be erased from it.
And this before Thou movedst the heavens and earth to frame,
Ere at Thy powerful fiat worlds into being came.
Ere yet Thy voice almighty had into being brought
Sun, moon, or star, or planet, creating all from nought.
Love’s purpose then was written to have us with Thee there,
To bear Thy heavenly image, Thy glory great to share.
To see where is no veiling the living Father’s face,
To be in Thine acceptance, relationship, and place.
As sons brought home to glory, as sons to be with Thee
Within those halls of holy and sweet felicity.
Thy brethren, Bride and Body, Thy fellows all blood-bought,
Who were for Thee rejected, for Thee were set at nought.
This was Thy Father’s counsel, this was His mind divine,
The work, His thoughts to perfect in righteousness, was Thine.
Well do we know that nothing can stay Thy mighty hand,
That infinite resources spring up at Thy command,
Yet oft we stand astounded when faith with trembling scans
The obstacles which threaten to circumvent Thy plans.
But when we see the wisdom bring forth the power to lay
In dust the thing obstructing Thy good and perfect way,
We realize that even the rebel human will
Must bend thro’ Thy disposal Thy counsels to fulfil.
To bring to pass those counsels it cost Thee tears and woes:
Thy sorrows none can fathom, Thy griefs no mortal knows.
From form of God Thou camest Thy creature man to serve,
And tho’ despised, rejected, from this Thou didst not swerve.
The death that was our merit Thou hadst to undergo,
The wrath that lay upon us Thy soul was made to know.
Derided by Thy creature, abandoned by Thy God,
Thro’ cross and curse terrific death’s fastness Thou hast trod.
But Thou hast gained the battle, the rest of God hast won
And Thou hast ransom given for that which we had done.
And Thou hast laid a basis on which Thy hand shall build
Thy thoughts of love eternal, yea, all that Thou hast willed.
To scenes of brightest glory Thy voice divine has called
Those to that love responsive by that same love enthralled.
And in the hope of being with Thee in that great day,
We wait with exultation joys that shall last for aye.
Thy heavenly grace sustains us throughout this bitter night
Which rules until we see Thee in everlasting light;
A day of joy unmingled with sorrow or distress,
A day of holy rapture that words can not express;
A day of mighty triumph for Father and for Son,
A day of celebration for battles fought and won;
A day Thy people long for when faith shall yield to sight;
A day of satisfaction and infinite delight,
When the redeemed creation shall be at home with Thee,
And when our raptured vision God’s face unveiled shall see;
A day when in Thine image we shall be where Thou art,
Thy brethren, Bride and Body, close to Thy faithful heart.
Haste, haste, that day eternal! Haste, Father, Spirit, Son!
Haste, for Thy saints are weary! Haste, Trinity in ONE!