1. On this morn we see the dawning
Of a bright and glorious Sun;
Night is banished, shadows fleeing,
Demons scatter, devils run.
To the garden come the women,
Bringing spices for the dead,
Wondering how to plead with soldiers,
Guards of empire, armed and dread.
2. See, the empty sepulcher greets them,
Heavy rock now rolled away;
No more soldiers, nor a body,
Only grave cloths where He lay.
Seal of Caesar could not hold Him,
Nor a mighty door of stone;
King of kings, the Lord has triumphed,
He has trampled Satan’s throne.
3. From the tomb a light is streaming,
Proving faith is not in vain;
In the morning joy befriends us,
Sacred mystery now made plain.
Can it be? The dead is living?
Yes, the Son has hell overcome;
Angel messenger proclaiming:
See the power of death undone!
4. From the silent, stone cold prison,
God erupts in glorious might;
Suffering over, Christ has risen,
Ends the age of gloom and night.
Death, the final enemy, conquered,
Now we no more fear the grave;
Jesus died in place of sinners,
And He lives, almighty to save.
Richard W. Adams:
During my morning commute, I was contemplating a hymn by William Adams (no relation), which I had seen set to Zundel's tune Beecher. As I drove, whistling the tune, it occurred to me that this exuberant melody would be well suited to a joyous Easter sunrise service. Then the words Seal of Caesar could not hold Him entered my mind, and I began to believe God was speaking a new hymn to me. I wrote the words down in a notebook from the glove compartment, and almost finished them in the parking garage over lunchtime. The fourth and final verse arrived before I got home that evening.
John Zundel's BEECHER (named after Henry Ward Beecher, his pastor) was first published in his Christian Heart Songs (1870) as a setting for Charles Wesley's "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" (568). The tune is also known as ZUNDEL. Approximating the shape of a rounded bar form (AA'BA'), BEECHER is…