I have a wonderful old Baptist Hymnal from the American Baptist Publication Society, printed in 1883. There is a "Certificate" section at the beginning with printed signatures by those who compiled the hymns. It includes several names including John A. Broadus, Basil Manly, and T.T. Eaton. There are over 700 hymns and chants, without music. For Easter weekend I have two hymns for you themed for the weekend: death and resurrection. I do love our great hymn-writing poets of the past and present.
Alas! and did my Saviour bleed?
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died,
For man, the creature's sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While his dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do.
(Isaac Watts, 1707)
The strife is o'er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
Oh, let the song of praise be sung.
The powers of death have done their worst,
But Christ their legions hath dispersed
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.
He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heaven's high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise his triumphs tell.
Lord, by the stripes which wounded thee,
From death's dread sting thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to thee.
(Francis Pott, 1860)