Scripture Verse

Thou hast led captivity captive. Psalm 68:18

Introduction

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Isaac Watts
1674–1748

Words: Isaac Watts (1674–1748). Lead­ing Cap­ti­vi­ty Cap­tive. By Dr. Watts. In most ver­sions the first line is giv­en, He dies! the Friend of sin­ners dies! In this, the orig­in­al line of Watts is re­stored. All other de­vi­a­tions from the orig­in­al are by John Wes­ley, prob­ab­ly the most ju­di­cious men­der of hymns the Church has pro­duced. Hymns for All Chris­tians, ed­it­ed by Charles F. Deems & Phoe­be Ca­ry (New York: Hurd & Hough­ton, 1869), page 33.

Music: Acon­ca­gua Claude H. Bot­toms, in The Best Gos­pel Songs and Their Com­pos­ers (Dal­ton, Georgi­a: An­tho­ny J. Sho­wal­ter, 1904), num­ber 184 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a bet­ter pho­to of Bot­toms,

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Claud H. Bottoms
1878–1940

Lyrics

He dies! the heav’n­ly Lov­er dies!
Lo! Sa­lem’s daugh­ters weep around;
A so­lemn dark­ness veils the skies,
A sud­den trem­bling shakes the ground:
Come, saints, and drop a tear or two
For Him who groaned be­neath your load;
He shed a thou­sand drops for you—
A thou­sand drops of rich­est blood.

Here’s love and grief be­yond de­gree:
The Lord of glo­ry dies for man!
But lo! what sud­den joys we see:
Jesus, the dead, re­vives again.
The ris­ing God for­sakes the tomb;
In vain the tomb for­bids Him rise;
Cherubic le­gions guard Him home,
And shout Him wel­come to the skies.

Break off your tears, ye saints, and tell
How high your great de­liv’rer reigns;
Sing how He spoiled the hosts of hell,
And led the mon­ster Death in chains:
Say, Live for­ev­er, won­drous King!
Born to re­deem, and strong to save
;
Then ask the mon­ster, Where’s thy sting?
And Where’s thy vict’ry, boast­ing Grave?