Blessed be Christ, the Lord of earth and heaven!
Blessed be He who bore the cross and shame!
Blessed be He who has sin’s fetters riven!
Blessed forever 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!
Called us He has in His compassions tender
Out of the darkness into living light!
Who would not praise to the Redeemer render?
Glorious dispeller of our darksome night!
Merciful, marvellous, Divine Defender!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and might!
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, yes, 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.
Gave us His Spirit, that delights eternal
Might by His people be perceived and known.
Fair is the country and forever vernal
Thus to their spirits by His Spirit shown;
Leading their hearts from pleasures hodiernal,
Fading and failing, soon forever flown,
Up to a region and a rest unfading
Far from deceiver and deceit degrading.
Soon to that region He shall safely bring us,
There in that dwelling which is His and ours;
Sorrow envenomed never more shall sting us;
There shall felicity in faithful bowers
Dwell far eternity, while joys curing 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 ceaseless swelling,
Here where their offerings His altar load,
Here where with transport still their tongues are telling
Tales of His benefits on men bestowed.
Here in the structure 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 its 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 edits 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 wilt 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 Rephidim to living streams,
And to the fountains where are found abiding
Blessings beyond the boundary of dreams.
There, where with lavish hand His gifts dividing,
Love of the Father on its objects beam.
There shall we find eternal satisfaction,
Far from the 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 carlet,
Bending 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 be witnessed where in glory swam
God’s mighty masterpiece of fair creation,
Light of the Messianic dispensation.
Paul, carried upward to this land Elysian,
Heard things unspeakable; and how shall I
Tell what my soul has, in ecstatic vision,
Heard in those empyreal courts on high?
Things which to publish have I not permission,
Language of mortals things like these defy.
God, for His people, has in grace prepared them,
And by His Spirit have we seen and heard them.
There I have walked about the twelve foundations;
There have I gazed upon the golden street;
Watched the arisings, the transfigurations;
Saw the saints worship at their Saviour’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 rash of the seraphic legions
Mercy administered so far off regions.
O that my tongue could to the whole creation
Tell what my spirit has 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!