Sr. Isaac Watts: Alas And Did My Savior Bleed
The Old Hymns
Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Churches today are getting away from the old Hymns. Which to me is sad. It was not that long ago that most of the songs sung in the church were written by men who lived more the 100 years ago. As a kid, I remember the congregational singing. I admit, strictly singing hymns was very boring. That says a lot given I was raised in a pentecostal church. I love the way music is done in churches today with live bands and choruses. I believe it gives the worshipers a better opportunity to make an emotional connection with the spirit of God.
That being said, I must admit that I feel a sense of loss. The old hymns have, to me, an appeal that I don't get from the newer hymns and choruses. They gave me a since of history and heritage. The old hymns are a connection to the godly men of the past. They are rich in doctrine and many times birthed out of persecution.
Knowing that my Father, My Grandfathers and my Great grandfathers sang these songs gives me a connection to my ancestors this in turn brings reassurance to my faith. The old Hymn titled "Give Me That Old Time Religion" says it best " If it was good enough for Grandpa, it is good enough for me!"
Striking A Balance
I believe that a healthy praise service must be able to balance the
emotions of our spirit and the soberness of God's Word. Give me the
choruses with passionate prayers and appeals that move my heart, along
with, deep doctrinal Hymns that instruct and admonish in righteousness.
Both are necessary.
One of my ministries is leading worship. I play the keyboard and sing. As a result, I am constantly looking for new songs to add to the churches worship list. Apart of the screening process is checking out the words to any given song to make sure there is nothing wrong with it scripturally or doctrinally. To do this I have to remove the appeal of the beautiful melody or music and simply examine the words. I have found that a beautiful melody can mesmerize people masking bad doctrine. As a result, I tend to pay more attention to words then most. Learning the old hymns have become a hobby of mine. When I hear one I really like I try to memorize it.
The following Hymn was pinned by Isaac Watts. He lived between 1674-1748 in England. He wasn't a casual Hymn writer. This is only one of 750 hymns Mr. Watts wrote in his lifetime.He is considered to be the Father of English Hymnody. This song is one of my favorites. To me it is just as moving when you read it, as it is when you sing it. In fact, it was not until I broke it down to just words that I realized the richness of what I was singing. I hope you will feel the same.
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.
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 my eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.