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The greatest, that thy dearest far might bleed.
Bold thought! shall I dare speak it, or repress ? Should man more execrate, or boast, the guilt Which roused such vengeance? which such love in
O'er guilt (how mountainous !) with out-stretched arms,
Stern justice, and soft-smiling love embrace,
Supporting, in full majesty, thy throne,
When seemed its majesty to need support,
Or that, or man, inevitably lost:
What, but the fathomless of thought divine,
Could labour such expedient from despair,
And rescue both ? Both rescue! both exalt!
O how are both exalted by the deed !
The wondrous deed ! or shall I call it more?
A wonder in Omnipotence itself
A mystery no less to gods than men !
Not thus, our infidels the eternal draw,
A God all o'er, consummate, absolute,
Full-orbed, in his whole round of rays complete :
They set at odds heaven's jarring attributes ;
And, with one excellence, another wound;
Maim heaven's perfection, break its equal beams,
Bid mercy triumph over-God himself,
Undeified by their opprobrious praise :
A God all mercy, is a God unjust.
Ye brainless wits ! ye baptized infidels !
Ye worse for mending! washed to fouler stains !
The ransom was paid down; the fund of heaven,
Heaven's inexhaustible, exhausted fund,
Amazing, and amazed, poured forth the price,
All price beyond : though curious to compute,
Archangels failed to cast the mighty sum :
Its value vast, ungrasped by minds create,
For ever hides, and glows, in the Supreme.
And was the ransom paid ? It was : and paid (What can exalt the bounty more?) for you.
T'he sun beheld it—no, the shocking scene
Drove back his chariot : midnight veiled his face ;
Not such as this; not such as nature makes ;
A midnight nature shuddered to behold;
A midnight new ; a dread eclipse (without
Opposing spheres) from her Creator's frown !
Sun ! didst thou fly thy Maker's pain ? or start
At that enormous load of human guilt,
Which bowed his blessed head ; o'erwhelmed his cross;
Made groan the centre; burst earth's marble womb,
pangs, strange pangs ! delivered of her dead ?
Hell howled ; and Heaven that hour let fall a tear;
Heaven wept, that man might smile! Heaven bled, that
Might never die !--
And is devotion virtue ? 'Tis compelled : What heart of stone but glows at thoughts like these ? Such contemplations mount us; and should mount The mind still higher; nor ever glance on man, Unraptured, uninflamed.- Where roll my thoughts To rest from wonders ? Other wonders rise ; And strike where'er they roll: my soul is caught : Heaven's sovereign blessings, clustering from the cross, Rush on her, in a throng, and close her round, The prisoner of amaze!—In his blest life, I see the path, and, in his death, the price, And in his great ascent, the proof supreme Of immortality. And did he rise ? Hear, O ye nations ! hear it, О ye dead ! He rose ! he rose ! He burst the bars of death. Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates! And give the king of glory to come in. Who is the king of glory? He who left His ihrone of glory, for the pang of death : Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates ! And give the king of glory to come in. Who is the king of glory? He who slew
The ravenous foe, that gorged all human race !
The king of glory, he, whose glory filled
Heaven with amazement at his love to man ;
And with divine complacency beheld
Powers most illumined, wildered in the theme,
The theme, the joy, how then shall man sustain ?
Oh the burst gates ! crushed sting! demolished throne !
Last gasp! of vanquished death. Shout earth and
This sum of good to man. Whose nature, then,
Took wing, and mounted with him from the tomb !
Then, then, I rose ; then first humanity
Triumphant passed the crystal ports of light,
(Stupendous guest !) and seized eternal youth,
Seized in our name. E’er since 'tis blasphemous
To call man mortal. Man's mortality
Was then transferred to death; and heaven's duration
Unalienably sealed to this frail frame,
This child of dust-man, all-immortal! hail ;
Hail, heaven! all lavish of strange gifts to man !
Thine all the glory; man's the boundless bliss.
Religion! thou the soul of happiness ;
And, groaning Calvary, of thee! there shine
The noblest truths; there strongest motives sting ;
There sacred violence assaults the soul;
There, nothing but compulsion is forborne.
Can love allure us? or can terror awe?
He weeps !--the falling drop puts out the sun;
He sighs--the sigh earth's deep foundation shakes.
If in his love so terrible, what then
His wrath inflamed ? his tenderness on fire ?
Like soft, smooth oil, out-blazing other fires
Can prayer, can praise avert it ?-Thou, my all!
My theme ! my inspiration ! and my crown!
My strength in age! my rise in low estate !
My soul's ambition, pleasure, wealth!--my world!
My light in darkness! and my life in death!
My boast through ti:ne! bliss through eternity!
Eternity, too short to speak thy praise !
Or fathom thy profound of love to man!
To man of men the meanest, even to me;
My sacrifice! my God !—what things are these !
HARPs of Eternity! begin the song, Redeemed and angel-harps! begin to God, Begin the anthem ever sweet and new, While I extol Him, holy, just, and good. Life, beauty, light, intelligence, and love Eternal, uncreated, infinite! Unsearchable Jehovah! God of truth, Maker, upholder, governor of all ! Thyself unmade, ungoverned, unupheld ! Omnipotent, unchangeable, Great God ! Exhaustless fullness ! giving unimpaired! Bounding immensity, unspread, unbound ! Highest and best ! beginning, middle, end ! All seeing Eye! all seeing, and unseen! Hearing, unheard ! all knowing, and unknown ! Above all praise ! above all height of thought ! Proprietor of immortality ! Glory ineffable! bliss underived ! Of old thou built’st thy throne on righteousness, Before the morning Stars their song began, Or silence heard the voice of praise. Thou laidst Eternity's foundation stone, and sawest Life and existence out of Thee begin. Mysterious more, the more displayed, where still Upon thy glorious Throne thou sit'st alone, Hast sat alone, and shalt for ever sit
Alone, Invisible, Immortal One!
Behind essential brightness unbeheld.
Incomprehensible ! what weight shall weigh,
What measure measure Thee! What know we more
Of Thee, what need to know, than Thou hast taught,
And bidst us still repeat, at morn and even ?-
God! Everlasting Father! Holy One!
Our God, our Father, our Eternal All!
Source whence we came, and whither we return;
Who made our spirits, who our bodies made,
Who made the heaven, who made the flowery land,
Who made all made, who orders, governs ali,
Who walks upon the wind, who holds the wave
In hollow of thy hand, whom thunders wait,
Whom tempests serve, whom flaming fires obey,
Who guides the circuit of the endless years,
And sits on high, and makes creation's top
Thy footstool, and beholds, below Thee, all-
All nought, all less than nought, and vanity.
Like transient dust that hovers on the scale,
Ten thousand worlds are scattered in thy breath.
Thou sit’st on high, and measurest destinies,
And days, and months, and wide revolving years ;
And dost according to thy holy will ;
And none can stay thy hand, and none withhold
Thy glory; for in judgment, Thou, as well
As mercy, art exalted, day and night.
Past, present, future, magnify thy name.
Thy works all praise Thee, all thy angels praise ;
Thy saints adore, and on thy altars burn
The fragrant incense of perpetual love.
They praise Thee now, their hearts, their voices praise,
And swell the rapture of the glorious song.
Harp! lift thy voice on high ! shout, angels, shout!
And loudest, ye redeemed! Glory to God,
And to the Lamb who bought us with his blood,
From every kindred, nation, people, tongue;