The Tabernacles of God

Blessed be Christ, the Lord of earth and heaven!
Blessed be He who bore the cross and shame!
Blessed be He who hath sin’s fetters riven!
Blessed for ever be His holy name!
Blessed the glory that to Him is given!
Blessed be He of universal fame!
Blessed! Thrice blessed be the Lord of glory!
Blessed! Thrice blessed be the Gospel Story!
Has He not called us in compassion tender?
Wooed us and won us by His great love’s might?
Who would not praise to our Redeemer render?
Glorious dispeller of our darksome night!
Merciful, marvellous, Divine Defender!
Thine is the kingdom and the power by right!
Lord universal! Life’s Originator!
Than the best better, than the greatest greater!
Into this darkness He has brought the Father,
Made us to know Him in His matchless grace,
Died to be able the redeemed to gather
Home to His heavenly and hallowed place;
Drew us from distance and from death, yea, rather,
Set us as sons before the Father’s face,
There in the love and in the life eternal,
There in the brilliant beams of bliss supernal.
There in the favour of the Father placed us,
There in the light of everlasting love,
Love that allured us to itself, embraced us,
Gave us a place angelic hosts above;
Love that in God’s beloved Son has graced us,
There the immensity of love to prove.
Love that surpasses all our understanding,
Love, the true love of every heart, commanding.
Gave us His Spirit that delights eternal
Might by His people be perceived and known.
Fair is the country and for ever vernal
Thus to their spirits by His Spirit shown;
Leading their hearts from pleasures hodiernal,
Fading and failing, soon for ever flown,
Up to a region and a rest unfading,
Far from deceiver and deceit degrading.
Soon to that region He will safely bring us,
Once in that dwelling which is His and ours,
Sorrow envenomed never more shall sting us;
There shall felicity in peaceful bowers
Dwell for eternity, while joys enring us:
There shall we worship with supernal powers.
There shall we see Him who has died to save us,
And not the grace alone but glory gave us.
Yea, and on earth He has disclosed a dwelling,
Here where His Spirit has His blest abode;
Here where His saints their songs are ever swelling,
Here where their offerings His altars load;
Here where with transport still their tongues are telling
Tales of His benefits on men bestowed;
Here in this Temple every stone is living,
And in this darkness light of God is giving.
Great is the House, and great is He who built it,
Great is the Person Who within it dwells;
Great is the value of the Gold that gilt it,
Great is the wealth, which all the world excels;
Great was its price—the blood of Him who spilt it—
Great is the story which its glory tells.
Great is the mystery of its holy places,
Great is the wisdom its design embraces.
Yet tho’ the Spirit dwells on earth among us,
There is that better place for us in store:
Travellers thitherward nor crowd nor throng us,
Few haste to enter at the heavenly door.
Yet will our Saviour not so sadly wrong us,
As to declare it better is before,
Had He determined in this waste to leave us—
Never, no never would He thus deceive us.
Christ in the way of righteousness is guiding
Souls thro’ this Rephadim to living streams,
And to the fountains which are found abiding
Blessings beyond the boundary of dreams.
There, where with lavish hand His gifts dividing,
Love of the Father on His Chosen beams.
There shall we find eternal satisfaction
Far from this world’s disturbance and distraction.
John—from the desert where he saw the Harlot
Drunk with the purple blood of martyrs slain,
Covered with precious stones and gold and scarlet,
Proud o’er the rulers of the earth to reign;
King, prince and potentate and peer and varlet,
Standing before her in respect profane—
Rose to the City bright with jasper gleaming,
Rose from the nations and their mad blaspheming:
Saw the Metropolis, and heard the thunder
Peal with the praises of the heavenly Lamb,
Waking the welkin and the wide world under,
Rising as incense to the great I AM;
Wondered at Babylon’s pollution, wonder
Swelled as he witnessed where in glory swam
God’s mighty Masterpiece of new creation,
Light of the Messianic dispensation.
Paul carried upward to this land Elysian
Heard things unspeakable; and how shall I
Tell what my soul hath, in ecstatic vision,
Heard in those empyreal courts on high?
Things which to publish is there not permission,
Language of mortals those delights defy.
God, for His people, has in grace prepared them,
And by His Spirit have we seen and heard them.
There have I walked about the twelve foundations,
There have I gazed upon the golden street,
Watched the arisings, the transfigurations,
Saw the saints worship at their Father’s feet,
Marked the magnificent administrations
Saw where the heavenly and earthly meet,
Knelt in the kingdom of the Living Father,
Saw His sons glorified before Him gather.
Felt the pulsations of the heart of Jesus,
Felt the pulsations of the heart of God,
Felt on my spirit free the balmy breezes
Wafted from sanctuaries yet untrod;
Tasted the power that the soul releases
If for a moment from the earthly clod,
Heard in the rush of the seraphic legions
Mercy administered to far off regions.
Oh! that my tongue could to the whole creation
Tell what my spirit hath with joy explored,
Summits of ecstasy and exaltation!
Circles of mystery, admired, adored!
Heights to which never man’s imagination,
In its most elevated flights, has soared!
Heights which thro’ mercy we shall soon inherit,
Brought there in body and in soul and spirit.
Praise ye the Lord of life, the King eternal!
Praise Him who overthrew the forces fell!
Praise Him who rules amid the hosts supernal!
Praise Him who has the keys of death and hell!
Praise Him with gladness in your springtime vernal!
And in your praises of His virtues tell!
Praise Him in youth, and when your locks are hoary!
And in your weary way, and in the glory!