Song of Salvation

Thee will I praise, O Lord, with my whole heart!
While I have breath and being I will sing
Salvation’s song, attributing to Thee
The glory and the greatness of that work,
By which the tyrant, who the human race
Had cruelly enslaved, has low been laid;
That wondrous work that hath redemption wrought,
And torn a passage right thro’ death’s domain
Into the realm of everlasting life,
For every soul that to our fallen head
Existence owes, and over whom doth hang
The righteous judgment of the One who shall,
Whatever patience He may exercise,
Take action in the end against the foe
Who lifts his head in opposition to
His exorable and beneficent
Autocracy, and with unhallowed hand
Strikes at the throne of the Omnipotent,
And spreads sedition in this lower world;
That work by means of which God, so defamed
By creature criminal and obstinate,
Has in His nature and His attributes
Been brought to light, exalted, glorified,
In such a way that sinners might receive
True thoughts of Him with whom we have to do,
And that the heart so alienated and
So long estranged might in its Maker find
Eternal satisfaction and delight.
Thee will I praise! Thou art my strength and song!
No longer earthly songs shall foul my lips.
Let potsherds praise the potsherds of the earth,
My praise shall be of Thee, Thy prowess and
Thy words and works. From deeps of love divine—
From fountains by Thy fulness fed—from springs
Which mock at days of drought and summer’s heat—
From wells and channels digged by heavenly grace
Within my soul—shall ceaseless song arise,
And in Thy Spirit’s power like incense sweet
Ascend to Thee. The world shall hear Thy name,
Thy peerless name confessed with joyful lips,
Saviour divine! Son of the living God!
Lord of the vast and searchless universe!
Creation’s Architect! Maker of sun,
And moon, and star, and planetoid of light!
Around whose feet the worlds that stud the blue
Revolve in countless hosts! Whose fiat all
Obey! The moaning, and mysterious deep
Is Thine, for Thou hast made it, with its wealth
Of creatures numberless, which swarm within
Its watery wastes and plough its briny depths.
The day, the night, the darkness, and the dawn—
The seasons are from Thee; the winter’s cold,
The summer’s warmth and cheer; the calm, the storm,
The thunder-flash which from the inky cloud
Cleaves thro’ the welkin dark its fiery way—
These all are Thine; Thou hast them made, and all
Feel the control of Thine almighty hand.
Yet not of potence creatorial
Shall I Thy glory celebrate, tho’ this
Must never be forgotten; He who gave
His back to smiters, and His cheeks to those
Who in their blind and brute malevolence
Plucked off the hair; and who averted not
His face from shame and spitting, was the One
Who made the worlds and everything therein.
Of this we must again and yet again
Remind our hearts, lest when we contemplate
The depths to which in lowly grace He came,
His majesty and might we do forget.
But not creation’s marvels manifest
The moral excellencies which adorn
His peerless person, and which claims with force
Resistless all the homage of my heart
And adoration. The illustrious traits
Of that divine and heavenly life, on earth
Developed in this region of dissent
And lawlessness and contrariety,
My inmost being charm. Truth, holiness,
Obedience, goodness, kindness, gentleness,
Mercy, love, meekness, patience, righteousness,
Grace, faith, and lowliness, the opposite
Of all that ever had before been seen
Amongst men current, came to light in Him.
Was it a thing to wonder at, that when
These moral glories of the Saviour gleamed
Upon the vision of that Benjamite
And haughty Pharisee from Tarsus, he
Should cast his own unsullied, blameless life
(Blameless as far as human eye could see),
Upon the dunghill, as a loathsome robe,
Spotted with leprosy, that he might gain
That Christ for both his righteousness and life?
Great Son of God, before Thy feet my soul
Bows in the dust, and all her secret springs
Well forth in worship. As I meditate
Upon Thy majesty, omnipotence,
Glory immortal, power, supremacy,
Riches beyond all thought, ere ever Thou
Didst take upon Thyself a servant’s form;
And as I follow Thee from form of God
To form of man and contemplate the wealth
Of moral excellencies that adorn
Thy sacred person, which tho’ loathed by man
Ravished the heart of God; and when I see
Thee give Thyself, in love unspeakable,
To die my death, to suffer in my stead
The judgment of a sin-detesting God:
When by the Holy Spirit this is brought
Before my mental vision language fails,
And speechless in this holiest of all
I bow and worship! Oh, all powerful love!
Love that the many waters could not quench,
Nor floods of wrath immeasurable drown,
Evinced amid Golgotha’s horrors, brought
To light amid the darkness and the doom
Of cross, and curse, and loneliness, and loss,
And gloom, and gall, and God-abandonment,
And rage, and ribald jest, and jeer, and gibe
Of man’s insanity, and hell let loose.
Love vast, immortal, infinite, divine,
Unfathomable, incorruptible!
Love that surpasses knowledge, yet well-known,
And in the Spirit’s power the joy, the boast
The life, the light, and comfort of my heart!
The love of God, of Christ, the Father’s love!
My portion now! My portion when I meet
My Saviour on the cloud, when He shall come
To bring me to love’s everlasting home.
Oh, for a tongue to tell it, for a voice
Powerful enough to carry it with all
Its precious, life-imparting sweetness to
The utmost limits of the utmost world!