1. Hail to the brightness of Zion’s glad morning!
Joy to the souls that in silence have lain;
Hushed be the accents of sorrow and mourning;
Zion in triumph begins her mild reign.
2. Hail to the brightness of Zion’s glad morning!
Long by the prophets of Israel foretold;
Hail to the millions from prison returning!
Abraham’s children, the vision behold.
3. “Wake! O awake from the dust, all you sleepers!”
Out from their graves, like the butterflies, appear:
Prophets and saints, children joined to their mothers;
“Victory!” shouts, as they rise through the air.
4. See the dead risen from land and from ocean,
Praise to the Saviour ascending on high;
Fall’n are the engines of war and commotion,
Shouts of salvation are rending the sky.
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Here’s a lovely hymn about the resurrection morning. We should let our imaginations grasp that scene often, and it will make all of our trials seem quite small in view of the reward, not just for us, but for all the sleeping saints who are waiting for us to do our work so they can enter into their heavenly rest.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
This song borrows a few verses from the James White version in Hymns for Second Advent Believers, but I added the third verse, and included parts of the fourth from the original hymn and parts from James White’s version.
The line about “children joined to their mothers” comes from the glorious description of the resurrection as written in the book, The Great Controversy, p. 644, 645:
Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: “Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!” Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live. And the whole earth shall ring with the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory, crying: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55. And the living righteous and the risen saints unite their voices in a long, glad shout of victory.
All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who stands among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in stature but little below the Son of God. He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race. But all arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth. In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will “grow up” (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in “the beauty of the Lord our God,” in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. Oh, wonderful redemption! long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood.
The living righteous are changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels “gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.