The Voice of Jesus

  Hark, I hear a voice from heaven
    Like to bells celestial tolled,
  Or immortal hosts, awaking
    Twice ten thousand harps of gold;
  High above the noise of nations
    Battling o’er the earth abroad,
  Louder than the ceaseless tumult
    Of a world away from God—

  “I have loved thee, I have loved thee,
    All thy creature thoughts above,
  I have loved thee, I have loved thee
    With an everlasting love.

  “From the courts of light I saw thee
    Bound by Satan, death and sin,
  Came compassionate to loose thee,
    Liberty for thee to win;
  Brought with Me the light of heaven
    And the grace and love of God,
  Gave My life for thy redemption,
    Death’s deep fastness for thee trod.
  … “I have loved thee, etc.

  “Doubt it not. Behold My sorrow!
    Lone Gethsemane shall tell;
  Where in view of wrath I grappled
    With the prince and powers of hell.
  Bid the grave tell out the secret,
    Where thy Lord for thee has been;
  Ask thy thousand dark offences
    What Thine agonies may mean.
  … “I have loved thee, etc.

  “Ask the lords of gloom and darkness
    Smitten thro’ to set thee free,
  Desolation, death, destruction—
    Ask these, they have heard of Me.
  Heard of Me when indignation
    Clothed with black the brow of heaven,
  Tempests raved and thunders rumbled,
    Rocks were rent and earth was riven.
  … “I have loved thee, etc.

  “Doubtest thou My deep compassion?
    See it in yon purple tide,
  Cross, and curse, cloud-swathed Golgotha,
    Wounded hands; and feet, and side.
  What remains still unaccomplished?
    Yet what deed has love to do?
  Trembling soul, why unbelieving
    In My love so tried and true?
  … “I have loved thee, etc.

  “O, bid unbelief be banished,
    Rest thy feeble faith on Me,
  Leave the darkness and the distance,
    To My bosom, loved one, flee.
  Bid the world farewell forever,
    Cast no longing look behind,
  Glory, honour, incorruption,
    With the Friend of sinners find.
  … “I have loved thee,” etc.