Thou hast led captivity captive. Psalm 68:18
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.
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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:
Live forever, wondrous King!;
Born to redeem, and strong to save
Then ask the monster,
Where’s thy sting?
Where’s thy vict’ry, boasting Grave?