SOON we taste the endless sweetness
Of the Tree of life above;
Taste its own eternal meetness
For the heavenly land we love.
In eternal counsels founded,
Perfect now in fruit divine;
When the last blest trump has sounded,
Fruit of God for ever mine!
Fresh and ever new are hanging
Fruits of life on that blest Tree;
There is stilled each earnest longing,
Satisfied my soul shall be.
Safety, where no foe approaches;
Rest, where toil shall be no more;
Joy, whereon no grief encroaches;
Peace, where strife shall all be o’er –
“Holiness and love and joy characterize the land. They are the fruits which grow there spontaneously, as are the thanksgivings that arise in the hearts of those who are there through redeeming power.”
Various fruits of richest flavour
Offers still the Tree divine;
One itself, the same for ever,
All its various fruits are mine.
Where deceiver ne’er can enter,
Sin-soiled feet have never trod,
Free, our peaceful feet may venture
In the paradise of God;
Drink of life’s perennial river,
Feed on life’s perennial food,
Christ, the fruit of life, and Giver –
Safe through His redeeming blood.
Object of eternal pleasure,
Perfect in Thy work divine!
Lord of glory! Without measure,
Worship, joy, and praise are Thine!
But, my soul, hast thou not tasted
Of that Tree of life on high?
As through desert lands thou’st hasted,
Eshcol’s grapes been never nigh?
Ah! that Tree of life was planted,
Rooted deep in love divine,
Ere the sons of God had chanted
Worlds where creature glories shine.
Love divine without a measure
Godhead glory must reveal;
In the Object of its pleasure
All its ways of grace must seal.
As a tender sucker, rising
From a dry and stony land,
Object of man’s proud despising,
Grew the Plant of God’s right hand.
Grace and truth, in love unceasing,
Rivers on the thirsty ground –
Every step to God well pleasing –
Spread their heavenly savour round.
He the Father’s Self revealing –
Heavenly words none else could tell,
Words of grace, each sorrow healing,
On the ear of sorrow fell.
Yes! that Tree of life is planted;
Sweetest fruit e’en here has borne;
To its own rich soil transplanted,
Waits alone the eternal morn-
Fruits that our own souls have tasted
By the Spirit from above,
While through desert lands we’ve hasted,
Fruits of perfect, endless love!
John Nelson Darby,
Parts of the above are in Hymns for the Little Flock 1962 and 1973 – Nos 50 and 206
(Lord, in Thee we taste the sweetness Of the Tree of Life above)