THE VISION OF THE GODHEAD

 

Unchanging and Unchangeable, before angelic eyes, 

The Vision of the Godhead in its tranquil beauty lies; 
And, like a city lighted up all gloriously within, 
Its countless lustres glance and gleam, and sweetest worship win. 
On the Unbegotten Father, awful well-spring of the Three, 
On the Sole Begotten Son's coequal Majesty. 
On Him eternally breathed forth from Father and from Son. 
The spirits gaze with fixed amaze, and unreckoned ages run.

                         

Chorus:

 

Myriad, myriad angels raise

Happy hymns of wondering praise,
Ever through eternal days,
Before the Holy Trinity,
One Undivided Three!

Still the Fountain of the Godhead giveth forth eternal being: 
Still begetting, unbegotten, still His own perfection seeing, 
Still limiting His own loved Self with His dear coequal Spirit, 
No change comes o'er that blissful Life, no shadow passeth near it. 
And beautiful dread Attributes, all manifold and bright, 
Now thousands seem, now lose themselves in one self-living light; 
And far in that deep Life of God, in harmony complete, 
Like crowned kings, all opposite perfections take their seat. 
And in that ungrowing vision nothing deepens, nothing brightens, 
But the living Life of God perpetually lightens; 
And created life is nothing but a radiant shadow fleeing 
From the unapproached lustres of that Unbeginning Being; 
Spirits wise and deep have watched that everlasting Ocean, 
And never o'er its lucid field bath rippled faintest motion; 
In glory undistinguished never have the Three seemed One, 
Nor ever in divided streams the Single Essence run. 
There reigns the Eternal Father, in His lone prerogatives, 
And, in the Father's Mind, the Son, all self-existing, lives, 
With Him, their mutual jubilee, that deepest depth of love, 
Lifegiving Life of two-fold source, the many gifted Dove! 
0 Bountiful! 0 Beautiful! can Power or Wisdom add 
Fresh features to a life, so munificent and glad? 
Can even uncreated Love, ye angels! give a hue 
Which can ever make the Unchanging and Unchangeable look new? 
The Mercy of the Merciful is equal to Their might, 
As wondrous as Their Love, and as Their Wisdom bright! 
As They, who out of nothing called creation at the first, 
In everlasting purposes Their own design had nursed,--- 
As They, who in their solitude, Three Persons, once abode, 
Vouchsafed of Their abundance to become creation's God,- 
What They owed not to Themselves They stooped to owe to man, 
And pledged Their glory to him, in an unimaginable plan. 
See! deep within the glowing depth of that Eternal Light. 
What change bath come, what vision new transports angelic sight? 
A creature can it be, in uncreated bliss? 
A novelty in God? Oh what nameless thing is this? 
The beauty of the Father's Power is o'er it brightly shed, 
The sweetness of the Spirit's Love is unction on its head; 
In the wisdom of the Son it plays its wondrous part, 
While it lives the loving life of a real Human heart! 
A Heart that hath a Mother, and a treasure of red blood, 
A Heart that man can pray to, and feed upon for food! 
In the brightness of the Godhead is its marvellous abode, 
A change in the Unchanging, creation touching God! 
Ye spirits blest, in endless rest, who on that Vision gaze, 
Salute the Sacred Heart with all your worshipful amaze, 
And adore, while with ecstatic skill the Three in One ye scan, 
The Mercy that hath planted there that blessed Heart of Man! 
All tranquilly, all tranquilly, doth that Blissful Vision last, 
And Its brightness o'er immortalized creation will it cast; 
Ungrowing and unfading, Its pure Essence doth it keep,
In the deepest of those depths where all are infinitely deep; 
Unchanging and Unchangeable as It hath ever been, 
As It was before that Human heart was there by angels seen, 
So is it at this very hour, so will it ever be, 
With that Human Heart within It, beating hot with love of me!

 

Chorus:

 

Myriad, myriad angels raise

Happy hymns of wondering praise,
Ever through eternal days,
Before the Holy Trinity,
One Undivided Three!

  - Frederick William Faber, 1814-1863

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