Monday, July 14, 2008

A Great Hymn on the Cross

Here's a great hymn of the ancient church (Middle Ages), including a verse I had never known about before:

O sacred head! now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thy only crown!
How pale art Thou with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish,
Which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
Was all for sinners' gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain:
Lo! here I fall, my Savior;
'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this, Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine for ever;
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love to Thee!

Be near me when I'm dying,
O show Thy cross to me,
And, for my succour flying,
Come, Lord, and set me free!
These eyes, new faith receiving,
From Jesus shall not move;
For he who dies believing,
Dies safely through Thy love.

-- Bernard de Clairvaux (1090-1153)


craig wieland said...


What a great hymn.

I have sang this many times. I love the descriptive language.

Great sermon sunday. Right on .

Douglas Phillips said...

Thanks, Craig, for your comments. I've loved this hymn for a long time, but had never seen the last verse before.

Thanks, too, for your encouraging words about the sermon.