The sun had set in gloom—
The Hope of Israel lay-
Within a guarded tomb,
A form of lifeless clay;
And deep'ning shades of sorrow's night
Crept o'er the hopes till then so bright.
"The Saviour promised long,
We trusted had appear'd—
Our glad hopes, were they wrong?
Can it be as we fear'd?
He whom we hail'd our King and Guide
Hath been condemn'd and crucified!"
So spake, in failing faith,
Two sorrow-burthen'd men,
While musing of His death,
And traversing again,
In anguish'd thought, the hour of dread
That saw their Lord to prison led.
What were His birth to them,
His life of purity,
His bitter death of shame,
The "It is finish'd!" cry?
These had not proved Him strong to save,
Had He not risen from the grave.
But scarce had early dawn
Illumed His vaulted prison
On that third glorious morn,
Ere the blest words, "He's risen!"
"The Lord is risen!" Angels said,
"Why seek the living 'mong the dead?"
Oh, joy too deep to tell!
The victory is won!
Vanquish'd are death and hell
By God's beloved Son:
No charge against us can be made,
Our death-involving debt is paid!
No more desponding tears!
Nought hath been left undone,
No cause remains for fears:
All who in Jesus now believe,
Full pardon, endless life receive!
The Saviour lives for ever!
And we, in Him, are one,
Who is of life the Giver;
We shall arise, as He hath risen,
And meet Him in the clouds of heaven!
All doubts and fears
Firmly "within the veil"
Hope's "anchor" now is cast,
Where storms can ne'er assail:
The safety ours!—the love and praise
Be Thine, O Christ, through endless days!
Now calmly of the dead,
The faithful fallen asleep,
We think;—their risen Head
Will all His members keep:
Their lives and ours are "hid" with
Thee In God from all eternity.
Yes; and the time draws on
When, earth encampments o'er,
The battle fought, the victory won,
We shall "go out no more"
From the blest home the God of love
Hath made for His redoom'd above.
Reign Thou upon the throne
Of our affections, Lord!
No other king we own Save
Thee, the Living Word;
Through the wide world we would proclaim
The fragrance of Thy saving Name!