He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Psalm 107:14
Words: Gottfried Arnold, Göttliche Liebes-Funcken (Frankfurt am Main, Germany: 1698), number 169 (O Durchbrecher aller Bande). Translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, Lyra Germanica, second series, 1858, page 140.
Thou, who breakest every chain,
Thou, who still art ever near,
Thou, with whom disgrace and pain
Turn to joy and heaven e’en here;
Let Thy further judgments fall
On the Adam strong within,
Till Thy grace hath freed us all
From the prison-house of sin.
’Tis Thy Father’s will toward us,
Thou shouldst end Thy work at length;
Hence in Thee are centered thus
Perfect wisdom, love, and strength,
That Thou none shouldst lose of those
Whom He gave Thee, though they roam
’Wildered here amid their foes,
Thou shouldst bring them safely home.
Ah Thou wilt, Thou canst not cease,
Till Thy perfect work be done;
In Thy hands we lie at peace,
Knowing all Thy love hath won,
Though the world may blindly dream
We are captives poor and base,
And the cross’s yoke may deem
Sign of meanness and disgrace.
Look upon our bonds, and see
How doth all creation groan
’Neath the yoke of vanity,
Make Thy full redemption known;
Still we wrestle, cry, and pray,
Held in bitter bondage fast,
Though the soul would break away
Into higher things at last.
Lord, we do not ask for rest
For the flesh, we only pray—
Thou wouldst do as seems Thee best,
Ere yet comes our parting day;
But our spirit clings to Thee,
Will not, dare not, let Thee go,
Until Thou have set her free
From the bonds that cause her woe.
Ruler rule, and Conqueror conquer,
King assert Thy sovereign right,
Till there be no slavery longer
Spread the kingdom of Thy might!
Lead the captives freely out,
Through the covenant of Thy blood,
From our dark remorse and doubt,
For Thou wilt alone our good.
’Tis of our own fault, we own
We are slaves to self and sloth,
Yet oh leave us not alone
In the living death we loathe;
Crushed beneath our burden’s weight,
Crying at Thy feet we fall,
Point the path, though steep and strait,
Thou didst open once for all.
Ah how dearly were we bought
Not to serve the world or sin;
By the work that Thou hast wrought
Must Thou make us pure within—
Wholly pure and free, in us
Be Thine image now restored:
Filled from out Thy fullness thus
Grace for grace is on us poured.
Draw us to Thy cross, O Love,
Crucify with Thee whate’er
Cannot dwell with Thee above,
Lead us to those regions fair!
Courage! long the time may seem,
Yet His day is coming fast;
We shall be like them that dream
When our freedom dawns at last.