Christ’s Passion. Matt. 26. 36-46; Mark 14. 32-41

J. Hart                                                             L.M.

Come, all ye chosen saints of God,
That long to feel the cleansing blood,
In pensive pleasure join with me,
To sing of sad Gethsemane.

[Gethsemane, the olive press!
(And why so called, let Christians guess;)
Fit name! fit place! where vengeance strove,
And griped and grappled hard with love.]

’Twas here the Lord of life appeared,
And sighed, and groaned, and prayed, and feared;
Bore all incarnate God could bear,
With strength enough, and none to spare.

The powers of hell united pressed,
And squeezed his heart and bruised his breast;
What dreadful conflicts raged within,
When sweat and blood forced through the skin!

[Dispatched from heaven an angel stood,
Amazed to find him bathed in blood;
Adored by angels, and obeyed,
But lower now than angels made.

He stood to strengthen, not to fight;
Justice exacts its utmost mite,
This Victim vengeance will pursue;
He undertook, and must go through.]

[Three favoured servants, left not far,
Were bid to wait and watch the war;
But Christ withdrawn, what watch we keep!
To shun the sight, they sank in sleep.]

Backwards and forwards thrice he ran,
As if he sought some help from man;
Or wished, at least, they would condole
(’Twas all they could) his tortured soul.

[Whate’er he sought for, there was none;
Our Captain fought the field alone;
Soon as the Chief to battle led,
That moment every soldier fled.]

Mysterious conflict! dark disguise!
Hid from all creatures’ peering eyes;
Angels, astonished, viewed the scene;
And wonder yet what all could mean.

O Mount of Olives, sacred grove!
O Garden, scene of tragic love!
What bitter herbs thy beds produce!
How rank their scent, how harsh their juice!

[Rare virtues now these herbs contain;
The Saviour sucked out all their bane;
My mouth with these if conscience cram,
I’ll eat them with the paschal Lamb.]

O Kedron, gloomy brook, how foul
Thy black, polluted waters roll!
No tongue can tell, but some can taste,
The filth that into thee was cast.

In Eden’s garden there was food
Of every kind for man while good;
But banished thence we fly to thee,
O garden of Gethsemane.

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