I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Revelation 1:17–18
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702–1751). Published posthumously in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures, by Job Orton (Shropshire, England: Joshua Eddowes & John Cotton, 1755), number 350, alt.
Christ, the first and the last, humbled to death, and exalted to an eternal triumph over it.
What mysteries, Lord, in Thee combine!
Jesus, once mortal, yet divine!
The first, the last, the end, the head,
The source of life among the dead.
O love, beyond the stretch of thought!
What matchless wonders hath it wrought!
My faith, while she the grace declares,
Trembles beneath the load she bears.
Hail, royal Conqueror o’er the grave,
Tender to pity, strong to save!
For ever live, for ever reign,
And prosperous may Thy throne remain!
Thy saints, obedient to Thy word,
With humble joy surround Thy board;
And, long as time pursues its race,
Proclaim Thy death, and shout Thy grace.
In fullest choir, where angels join
Their harps of melody divine,
Thy death inspires a song of praise,
New through Thy life’s eternal days.