Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee. 1 Kings 8:27
Words: Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book 1, 1707, number 146.
Characters of Christ, borrowed from inanimate things in Scripture.
Music: Truro from Psalmodia Evangelica, by Thomas Williams, 1789 (🔊 pdf nwc).
Go, worship at Immanuel’s feet,
See in His face what wonders meet!
Earth is too narrow to express
His worth, His glory, or His grace.
The whole creation can afford
But some faint shadows of my Lord;
Nature, to make His beauties known,
Must mingle colors not her own.
Is He compared to wine or bread?
Dear Lord! our souls would thus be fed:
That flesh, that dying blood of Thine,
Is bread of life, is heav’nly wine.
Is He a tree? The world receives
Salvation from His healing leaves:
That righteous branch, that fruitful bough,
Is David’s root and offspring, too.
Is He a rose? Not Sharon yields
Such fragrancy in all her fields:
Or if the lily He assume,
The valleys bless the rich perfume.
Is He a vine? His heav’nly root
Supplies the boughs with life and fruit:
O let a lasting union join
My soul the branch to Christ the vine!
Is He a head? Each member lives,
And owns the vital powers He gives;
The saints below and saints above,
Joined by His Spirit and His love.
Is He a fountain? There I bathe,
And heal the plague of sin and death:
These waters all my soul renew,
And cleanse my spotted garments, too.
Is He a fire? He’ll purge my dross;
But the true gold sustains no loss:
Like a refiner shall He sit,
And tread the refuse with His feet.
Is He a rock? How firm He proves!
The Rock of Ages never moves;
Yet the sweet streams that from Him flow
Attend us all the desert through.
Is He a way? He leads to God,
The path is drawn in lines of blood;
There would I walk with hope and zeal,
Till I arrive at Sion’s hill.
Is He a door? I’ll enter in:
Behold the pastures large and green;
A paradise divinely fair,
None but the sheep have freedom there.
Is He designed the corner-stone,
For men to build their Heav’n upon?
I’ll make Him my foundation, too,
Nor fear the plots of hell below.
Is He a temple? I adore
Th’indwelling majesty and power;
And still to His most holy place,
Whene’er I pray, I turn my face.
Is He a star? He breaks the night,
Piercing the shades with dawning light;
I know His glories from afar,
I know the bright, the morning star.
Is He a sun? His beams are grace,
His course is joy and righteousness;
Nations rejoice when He appears
To chase their clouds, and dry their tears.
O let me climb those higher skies,
Where storms and darkness never rise!
There He displays His powers abroad,
And shines and reigns th’incarnate God.
Nor earth, nor seas, nor sun, nor stars,
Nor Heav’n His full resemblance bears;
His beauties we can never trace
Till we behold Him face to face.