Firstpublished:1786 in The Suffolk Harmony Description: First published in The Suffolk Harmony, pp. 41-42. Words by James Relly, 1758, his Hymn 28, Part 2. Billings used the first two stanzas of Relly's hymn in his composition.
Original text and translations
Come ye lovers of the Lamb,
Praise the great almighty name;
To your God your songs begin,
To the Lamb, your bleeding King.
Jesus, thee we honors give;
Live, almighty Jesus, live;
Thou hast penned our songs with blood,
Thee we hail, incarnate God.
We were laden once with sin,
But the Lamb hath made us clean;
We, who once in darkness lay,
Now behold eternal Day.
Strangers once and far from God,
Now brought Home by Jesus' blood,
Shining in our wedding dress,
In the Lord, our righteousness.
Poor and low, we once did lie,
Full of wants, and sore oppressed;
Jesus now hath raised us high,
All our grievances redressed.
Deeply sinking once in Hell,
Without hope, and without God;
Now our tongues can greatly tell,
We are saved by Jesus' blood.
Freely we are saved by grace,
Heart and hand we this embrace;
This below fill every tongue,
This above is all the song.
Praises still to Christ we sing,
Christ our prophet, priest, and King;
The living waters in us flow,
Glory is begun below.