O Lord Thy Face was Set – Thou Lord to Death’s Domain

Full Poem by L G Milner

 

I do not know how I came across it, but I found this full poem amongst my papers.  Seven verses of this poem have been edited int two hymns in the Little Flock Hymn Book (1961 and 1973 editions)

 

Hymn 152 –  O Lord Thy face was set, Set steadfastly

Hymn 268  – Thou Lord to death’s domain, Didst go alone

    1. Centre of heaven’s delight,
      Angelic praise
      Heralds Thine advent night
      On Thee they gaze.
      Angels their God can see
      Robed in humanity,
      Veiling divinity,
      Yet all alone.
    2. Son of the carpenter,
      Man callèd Thee.
      God ever blest, divine.
      Eternally!
      Yes! here Thy glory shone,
      Thou meek and lowly One
      Fulness of God made known
      Only in Thee.
    3. Treading Thy path alone,
      Shame and despite
      From those who were Thine own,
      Shunning Thy light.
      Friend to the desolate,
      Sad and disconsolate,
      Pouring out love on hate,
      Thou wast alone.
    4. Yet joy did fill Thy heart
      Doing God’s will.
      Naught swerved Thee from Thy part
      All to fulfil.
      Perfect dependent Man,
      Thou didst completely span
      All God’s redemption plan,
    5. Yet wast alone.Thy face, O Lord, was set,
      Set steadfastly,
      Till God’s full claims should yet
      Accomplished be.
      Where men from God withheld,
      Thine offering excelled,
      What odours choice He smelled,
      So rich in Thee
    6. In dark Gethsemene,
      There all alone,
      None knew Thine agony,
      Not e’en Thine own.
      “Sleep on, disciples, sleep,
      Rest while your Lord doth weep,”
      None could His vigil keep;
      He was alone.
    7. Yet onward still to go,
      On to the Cross,
      Drink deep that cup of woe,
      Of grief and loss.
      All from Thee then did flee
      When on the accursèd tree
      God hid His face from Thee;
      Truly alone.
    8. Blessed and glorious Man!
      Thy lowly stoop
      Compassed God’s wondrous plan –
      Redemption’s scope.
      All that God’s holy mind
      Had sought in man to find
      All that his love designed
      Secured by Thee!
    9. Into death’s dark domain,
      Entered alone.
      Death had on Thee no claim,
      Thou sinless One.
      He who had death’s dread power
      Met thee in that dark hour,
      Vanquished by thee his power,
      By Thee alone.
    10. But Thou hast burst the grave,
      Risen art Thou!
      Death could not Thee enslave,
      Death had to bow.
      Victorious hast Thou come
      Out of the darksome tomb,
      Broken the bands of gloom;
      Beyond death now.
    11. What mighty triumphs, Lord,
      Thou didst achieve!
      What fruitfulness doth God
      From Thee receive!
      Out of Thy death has sprung
      A wondrous, living throng,
      All, all to Thee belong
      And in Thee live.
    12. Firstborn of all Thou art.
      Lowly we bow.
      Chief in Thy Father’s heart,
      Chief to us now.
      Thou art indeed supreme,
      Out great eternal theme,
      Worthy of all esteem,
      Worthy art Thou!
    13. Formed for Thy bride to be;
      Fashioned in death,
      Companion meet for Thee,
      Breathing Thy breath.
      Love gains its whole desire,
      Thy beauty her attire
      In her, all will admire
      Thy glories’ wealth.
    14. In Thy blest image, Lord,
      Living in Thee,
      Sons of the living God,
      Sons like to Thee.
      Thou in Thy wondrous grace
      Giv’st them Thy brethren’s place
      Before Thy Father’s face,
      Holy and free.
    15. Glory to God on high,
      Eternally.
      His Name to magnify
      All praises be.
      God will himself display
      Glory’s effulgent ray
      Within the church for aye,
      0 Lord by Thee.
    16. Hark! Through high heaven’s expanse
      Songs vibrant rise,
      Filling that sphere immense,
      Rending the skies.
      No angel’s song is this,
      But sons in heav’nly bliss
      Knowing the Father’s kiss,
      Hymn their replies.
    17. Softly a hush there falls –
      Deep holy awe.
      His contemplation calls
      All to adore.
      See, see his beauties shine!
      So human, so divine
      Then song before the shrine
      Rises once more
    18. Longing Thy all to hear,
      “Lord Jesus come!”
      Thy whisper in our ear,
      “Quickly I come!”
      Dawn of the morn is nigh,
      Spirit and bride reply
      That last ecstatic cry
      “Lord Jesus come.
    19. Perfect the end attained
      God glorified!
      Perfect the vessel gained
      Love satisfied!
      God in His love can rest
      With man supremely blest.
      Near, O how near His breast,
      Loved there in Thee.

    Lesley G Milner, (1884-1958)  lived in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  They had a ladies clothes shop in Gillingham (where I go for meetings) which was very popular amongst brethren.  Sadly, Gillinhgam boasts little more than charity shops!   According to My Brethren Eric Burr had said, “I do remember his taking a fellowship meeting in Glasgow in the late thirties”.

     

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