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Sr. Isaac Watts: Alas And Did My Savior Bleed

Updated on December 23, 2011
Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
Sr. Isaac Watts:England 1674-1748
Sr. Isaac Watts:England 1674-1748

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.

In Christ
ABR

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    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      Thanks James for stopping by. I appreciate your contribution to this Hub. I am glad you enjoyed it. I am honored.

      In Christ

      ABR

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed this article. The old hymns have more complicated melodies and vastly more theologically complex lyrics. The simple sing-along song is in vogue today. Like you, I enjoy both. Thanks for the fine read.

    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      What a Great story Oscarwms. The image of you and your wife singing hymns together touches me. The speeding up of Hymnes to sing and dance brings back memories of my own LOL! I'll fly Away, There Is Power In The Blood. What great songs. You have made me smile as I remember. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

      In Christ

      ABR

    • oscarwms profile image

      Dr. Oscar A. Williams, Jr. 

      9 years ago from PA

      A man after my own heart. I too grew up in the Pentacostal Church and they used to sing mayby the first vers of a hymn and the speed it up so they can holy dance. I asked one of the church mothers why don't they sing the all four verses. she said this is the way we do it here. It wasn't until I joined a Baptist Church that I got to hear all three or four verses of the hymn. From then on I loved the old hymns. I really felt I was in church then. I bought me a hymn book and my wife and I would sing together during our devotions.

      Geat hub, keep up the good work

    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      Thanks Coffesnob :)

      In Christ

      ABR

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 

      9 years ago

      So many of the older hymns have thought provoking lyrics that stir the soul and move the mind into a response to God. I love many of them. I agree a balance is needed. I can lift my hands to the Lord with all music that is intended to lift Him up and draw me closer. Great hub -blessings!

    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      Thank you GS I feel we have much in common.

      Thank you for your encouragement. Your ministry is in my prayers and thoughts.

      In Christ

      ABR

    • Gicky Soriano profile image

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      Isaac Watts did pen a rich and beautiful hymn - boldly graphic, deeply searching, and emotionally charged. Just by reading it, it sings to my soul and brings me to my knees. I would have loved to hear the melody. I think that it is very wise of you to discern the doctrine behind the music. It's one thing to entertain the congregation, it's another to engage and edify them scripturally through the words of every selected song. Thank you for sharing this ABR. God bless your music ministry!

    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      Thanks Internpete I agree with you. we are forgetting our heritage

      In Christ

      ABR

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      9 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      I remember as i was growing up listening and singing some of the old classic hymns in church. Nowadays they are no more and everyone sings newer songs. I would like to see some of the older hymns come back, but maybe with a newer musical selection.

      Great hub!

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