Christ My Song - 595
For the first time I see - The eye opening on the cross
(Horatius Bonar/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
The eye opening on the cross.
1. For the first time I see
the glory of the cross; how dark before!
thanks to the mighty hand that swept away the mist,
and from before my eyes the veil so kindly tore. PDF - Midi)
2. The Son of God is there,
the holy One is hanging on that tree.
He took on him, in love, my sins, and bore them all:
the Just for the unjust has paid the penalty.
3. My Surety hangeth there,
my Substitute, who gave his life for mine;
who died my death that I should live; transferring all
my guilt to him, to me his excellence divine.
4. He died my awful death;
therefore I know that I shall never die;
and from that death divine, to me, flows righteous love,
the love that cannot change, the love of God most high.
5. How brightly now that cross
shineth; in splendour like a new-made sun!
All light is there; no gloom, no terror, and no wrath;
the grace that floweth out has heights and depths unknown.
6. That cross, – it suits me well:
it soothes my fears, and speaks true words of peace;
it breaks my bonds in twain, and liberates my soul;
it healeth all my wounds, and bids my sorrows cease.
7. It gives me heavenly strength,
and in that strength I fight the fight of God;
it draws me on; it lifts me up from sin and dust;
it lightens all my path, and shows the heavenly road.
8. It giveth peace with God!
It gives the peace of God that passeth thought;
it shows the Christ of God, himself our only peace, –
the sure and perfect peace, which the world knoweth not.
9. At morn and even it shines!
It is our matin and our vesper song.
Like Israel's desert cloud, it will abide with us;
'twill cheer our earthly path, however rough and long.
10. It is our resting-place,
where we behold the piercèd hands and side,
and where the wondrous cry, 'Tis finished!' we can hear:
there safe as in the rock of God we would abide.
11. It is our meeting-place,
where righteousness and grace have met in love;
where God the holy can unholy man embrace,
where earth saluteth heaven descending from above.
12. No cross of gold or gems,
graven to adorn, by man's device and art,
is that in which my soul delights and ever trusts, –
with which, in guilt's dread hour, I calm my trembling heart.
13. The all-atoning death,
in shame and agony for sinners here.
The finished work of love, the reconciling blood, –
that is the cross which in my heart of hearts I wear.
14. I need no earthly cross,
no carnal emblem of a dying Lord;
it seemeth but to mock his shame, and blood, and cries:
with closèd eyes I muse upon the awful word, –
15. awful, yet blessed still, –
'TIS FINISHED, the atoning work is done!
all righteousness fulfilled, all shadows passed away;
shines now all clear and fair the one unsetting sun.
16. I glory in the cross!
There with the Son of God the death I died.
By it this evil world is crucified to me,
and I unto this evil world am crucified.
17. O Christ the Son of God!
reveal thyself to me, thy truth and grace,
that I, partaking of thy fulness daily here,
may, when thy kingdom comes, behold thy glorious face.
Horatius Bonar, The Song of the New Creation, 1872, 113-117.