The Church

When first, at God’s command,
The church came up in view,
In his eternal mind,
Chosen in Christ and true,
The Father gave her to his Son.
And Christ betrothed her for his own.

But when, in after day,
She broke his Holy Word,
And, as a treacherous wife,
Departed from her Lord,
He brought her back, though hell withstood,
And wash’d her sins in his own blood.

And now, renew’d by grace,
And saved from hell and sin,
She learns, by daily proof,
Her daily need of him;
Taught by the Spirit to confess
The Lord, her strength and righteousness.

Yea, more, to crown the whole,
And God’s decrees to prove,
Her marriage formed, ere time,
Eternity can’t move;
Her everlasting song is this,
Jesus is mine, and I am his.

Yes. we are one, she cries,
‘Midst all my leprous state,
And no man ever yet
Was known his flesh to hate;
And in his flesh our oneness proves,
In loving me himself be loves.

Nor can he cease to love;
‘Tis Jesus’ precept thus,
Ye husbands, love your wives ;
And will not Christ love his?
Shall others cherish and refresh,
And Jesus hide from his own flesh?

Oh, no! Christ loves his church;
His glory ’tis to bless;
He cannot love her more,
Nor can he love her less;
In his sight fair, cleansed by his word,
A bride adorned for her Lord.

(Gospel Standard – 1837)

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