Ere the blue heav’ns were stretched abroad,From everlasting was the Word:With God He was; the Word was God,And must divinely be adored.
By His own power were all things made;By Him supported all things stand;He is the whole creation’s Head,And angels fly at His command.
Ere sin was born, or Satan fell,He led the host of morning stars:Thy generation who can tell,Or count the numbers of Thy years?
But lo! He leaves those heav’nly forms,The Word descends and dwells in clay,That He may hold converse with worms,Dressed in such feeble flesh as they.
Mortals with joy beheld His face,Th’ eternal Father’s only Son;How full of truth! how full of grace!When through His eyes the Godhead shone.
Archangels leave their high abodeTo learn new mysteries here, and tellThe loves of our descending God,The glories of Immanuel.
Life of ages, richly poured,Love of God, unspent and free,Flowing in the prophet’s word,And the people’s liberty.
Never was to chosen raceThat unstinted tide confinedThine is every time and place,Fountain sweet of heart and mind.
Breathing in the thinker’s creed,Pulsing in the hero’s blood,Nerving noblest thought and deed,Fresh’ning time with truth and good.
Consecrating art and song,Holy book and pilgrim way,Quelling strife and tyrant wrong,Widening freedom’s sacred sway.
O Thou, the eternal Son of God,The Lamb, for sinners slain,We worship, while Thy head is bowedIn agony and pain.
None tread with Thee the holy place;Thou sufferest alone;Thine is the perfect sacrificeWhich only can atone.
Thou great High Priest, Thy glory robesToday are set aside;And human sorrows, Son of Man,Thy Godhead seem to hide.
The cross is sharp, but in Thy woeThis is the lightest part;Our sin it is which pierces Thee,And breaks Thy sacred heart.
Who love Thee most, at Thy dear cross,Will truest, Lord, abide;Make Thou that cross our only hope,O Jesus crucified.