Poems

Hymn Xvi: Happy The Souls That First Believed

Happy the souls that first believed,
To Jesus and each other cleaved,
Joined by the unction from above
In mystic fellowship of love.

Meek, simple followers of the Lamb,
They lived, and spake, and thought the same;
They joyfully conspired to raise
Their ceaseless sacrifice of praise.

With grace abundantly endued,
A pure, believing multitude,
They all were of one heart and soul,
And only love inspired the whole.

O what an age of golden days!
O what a choice, peculiar race!
Washed in the Lamb's all-cleansing blood,
Anointed kings and priests to God!

Ye different sects, who all declare,
"Lo, here is Christ! " or, "Christ is here!"
Your stronger proofs divinely give,
And show me where the Christians live.

The gates of hell cannot prevail;
The church on earth can never fail;
Ah, join me to thy secret ones!
Ah, gather all thy living stones!

Scattered o'er all the earth they lie,
Till thou collect them with thine eye,
Draw by the music of thy name,
And charm into a beauteous frame.

For this the pleading Spirit groans,
And cries in all thy banished ones;
Greatest of gifts, thy love impart,
And make us of one mind and heart.

Join every soul that looks to thee
In bonds of perfect charity;
Now, Lord, the glorious fullness give,
And all in all for ever live!



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