Scripture Verse

My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Psalm 104:34

Introduction

portrait
William Tans’ur (1700–1783)

Words: Anne Steele, Hymns on Sub­jects Chief­ly De­vo­tion­al 1760. Re­deem­ing love.

Music: St. An­drew (Tan­s’ur) Will­iam Tan­s’ur, 1735 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Steele (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Lyrics

Come, heav’n­ly love, in­spire my song
With thy im­mor­tal flame,
And teach my heart, and teach my tongue
The Sav­ior’s love­ly name.

The Sav­ior! O what end­less charms,
Dwell in the bliss­ful sound!
Its in­flu­ence ev­ery fear dis­arms,
And spreads sweet com­forts round.

Here par­don, life and joys di­vine,
In rich ef­fu­sion flow,
For guil­ty re­bels, lost in sin,
And doomed to end­less woe.

In our first par­ents’ crime we fell;
Our blood, our vi­tal breath
Deep tinged with all the seeds of ill,
Sad heirs to sin and death.

Black o’er our wrath-de­vot­ed heads
Avenging jus­tice frowned;
While hell dis­closed her deep­est shades
And hor­rors rose around.

Wrapped in the gloom of dark des­pair,
We help­less, hope­less lay:
But so­ve­reign mer­cy reached us there,
And smiled des­pair away.

God’s on­ly Son (stu­pen­dous grace!)
Forsook His throne above;
And swift to save our wretch­ed race,
He flew on wings of love.

Th’Almighty for­mer of the skies
Stooped to our vile abode;
While an­gels viewed with won­der­ing eyes,
And hailed th’in­car­nate God.

The God in heav’n­ly strains they sung,
Arrayed in hu­man clay:
Mysterious love! what an­gel tongue
Thy won­ders can dis­play?

Mysterious love, in ev­ery scene,
Through all His life ap­pears:
His spot­less life ex­posed to pain,
And mi­se­ries and tears.

What bless­ings on a thank­less race
His boun­te­ous hand be­stowed!
And from His tongue what won­drous grace,
What rich in­struct­ion flowed!

The dumb, the deaf, the lame, the blind
Confessed His heal­ing pow­er;
Disease and death their prey re­signed,
And grief com­plained no more.

Infernal le­gions trem­bling fled,
Awed by His pow­er­ful word:
And winds and seas His voice ob­eyed,
And owned their so­ve­reign Lord.

But man, vile man, His love ab­used,
Blind to the nob­lest good;
Blasphemed His po­wer, His word re­fused,
And sought His sac­red blood.

Still His un­wear­ied love pur­sued
Salvation’s glo­ri­ous plan;
And firm th’ap­proach­ing hor­rors viewed,
Deserved by guil­ty man.

What pain, what soul-op­press­ing pain,
The great Re­deem­er bore;
While bloody sweat, like drops of rain,
Distilled from ev­ery pore!

And ere the dread­ful storm des­cends
Full on His guilt­less head,
See Him by His fa­mil­iar friends
Deserted and be­trayed!

While ruf­fi­an bands the Lord sur­round,
Relentless, mur­der­ous foes;
Meek, as a lamb for slaugh­ter bound,
The pa­tient Suf­fer­er goes.

Arraigned at Pi­late’s im­pi­ous bar,
(Unparalleled dis­grace!)
See spot­less in­no­cence ap­pear
In guilt’s de­test­ed place!

When per­ju­ry fails to stain His name,
The mob’s en­ven­omed breath
Extorts His sen­tence, Pub­lic shame
And pain­ful lin­ger­ing death.

Patient, the cru­el scourge He bore:
The In­no­cent, the Kind!
Then to the rab­ble’s law­less pow­er
And rud­est taunts con­signed.

With thorns they crown that aw­ful brow,
Whose frown can shake the globe;
And on their king in scorn be­stow
The reed and pur­ple robe.

Ah! see, the fa­tal cross ap­pears,
Heart-wound­ing, dread­ful scene!
His sac­red flesh rude ir­on tears,
With ago­niz­ing pain.

Exposed with thieves, to pub­lic view—
Could na­ture bear the sight?
The blush­ing sun his beams with­drew,
And wrapped the globe in night!

Then, Oh! what loads of wrath un­known
The glo­ri­ous Suf­fer­er felt;
For crimes un­num­bered to atone,
To ex­pi­ate mor­tal guilt!

The Fa­ther’s bliss­ful smile with­drawn,
In that tre­men­dous hour;
Yet still the God sus­tained the Man
With His al­migh­ty pow­er.

’Tis fin­ished, now aloud He cries,
No more the law re­quires;
And now (amaz­ing sac­ri­fice!)
The Lord of life ex­pires.

Earth’s firm foun­da­tion felt the shock,
With uni­ver­sal dread;
Trembled the mount­ain, rent the rock,
And waked the sleep­ing dead!

Now breath­less in the si­lent tomb,
His sac­red b­ody lies:
Thither His loved dis­ci­ples come,
With sor­row-stream­ing eyes.

But see the pro­mised morn ap­pear!
Their joy re­vives again;
The Sav­ior lives: adieu to fear,
To ev­ery anx­ious pain.

His kind­est words their doubts re­move,
Confirm their wa­ver­ing faith;
He bids them teach the world His love,
Salvation by His death.

Triumphant He as­cends on high,
The glo­ri­ous work co­mplete;
Sin, death, and hell, low van­quished lie
Beneath His aw­ful feet.

There with eter­nal glo­ry crowned,
The Lord, the Con­quer­or, reigns;
His praise the heav’n­ly choirs re­sound,
In their im­mor­tal strains.

Amid the splen­dors of His throne,
Unchanging love ap­pears;
The names He pur­chased for His own,
Still on His heart He bears.

Still with pre­vail­ing pow­er He pleads
Their cause, for whom He died;
His Spir­it’s sac­red in­flu­ence sheds,
Their com­fort­er and guide.

For them, re­serves a ra­di­ant crown,
Bought with His dy­ing blood;
And worlds of light, and joys un­known,
Forever near their God.

O the rich depths of love di­vine!
Of bliss, a bound­less store:
Dear Sav­ior, let me call Thee mine;
I can­not wish for more.

I yield, to Thy dear con­quer­ing arms
I yield my cap­tive soul:
O let Thy all-sub­du­ing charms
My in­most pow­ers con­trol!

On Thee alone my hope re­lies;
Beneath Thy cross I fall,
My Lord, my life, my sac­ri­fice,
My Sav­ior, and my all.