1. A world in awful darkness lay,
No ray of hope shone in;
And not a soul the price could pay
To cancel earth's dark sin.
No eye was found with pitying love;
No arm to save the lost,
Till Jesus came from realms above
To pay the fearful cost.
2. Within the shadow, dark and deep,
Of death, dwelt all the race;
Fear into every heart did creep
While Mercy hid her face.
But when among the host above
Was heard the pleading cry,
For one to go to men in love,
Our Lord said, "Here am I."
3. If Christ was willing thus to come
Down from his home on high
To leave his Father's glorious throne
For foreigners to die
Shall those who claim his own to be,
Refuse to send the light,
To foreign lands across the sea
Long wrapt in shades of night?
4. Still many souls in darkness wait,
And still is heard the cry
From sinful ones without the gate,
"O save us ere we die."
Then may the love of Christ inspire
Our souls with sacred zeal;
Till melting hearts with holy fire
Before his throne shall kneel.
Source: Carols of Hope: a compilation of select sacred songs for use in Sunday schools, praise and young people's services #23