Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Songs Of My Heart - AT THE CROSS
John 11: 25,26 ...I am the Resurrection, and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?
Words: Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707; Ralph E. Hudson wrote the refrain in 1885.
Watts’ father was Nonconformist imprisoned twice for his religious views. Isaac learned Greek, Latin, and Hebrew under Mr. Pinhorn, Rector of All Saints, and headmaster of the Grammar School in Southampton. Isaac’s taste for verse showed itself in early childhood, and his promise caused a local doctor and other friends to offer him a university education, assuming he would be ordained in the Church of England. However, Isaac declined and instead entered a Nonconformist Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690, under the care of Thomas Rowe, pastor of the Independent congregation at Girdlers’ Hall; Isaac joined this congregation in 1693.
Watts left the Academy at age 20 and spent two years at home; it was during this period that he wrote the bulk of his Hymns and Spiritual Songs. They were sung from manuscripts in the Southampton Chapel, and published 1707-1709.
The next six years of his life were again spent at Stoke Newington, working as tutor to the son of eminent Puritan John Hartopp. The intense study of these years is reflected in the theological and philosophical material he subsequently published.
Watts preached his first sermon at age 24. In the next three years, he preached frequently, and in 1702 was ordained as pastor of the Independent congregation in Mark Lane. At that time he moved into the house of a Mr. Hollis in the Minories. His health began to fail the next year, and Samuel Price was appointed as his assistant in the ministry. In 1712, a fever shattered his constitution, and Price became co-pastor of the congregation, which had moved to a new chapel in Bury Street. It was at this time that Isaac became the guest of Sir Thomas Abney. He lived with Abney (and later Abney’s widow) the rest of his life, mainly at Theobalds in Hertfordshire, then for 13 years at Stoke Newington.
THIS SONG has got to be in my top 10 songs of when I think about the Lord, it makes me want to SHOUT!! Knowing what a worm (yes, I said it) I was, and could be again if Jesus Christ were not in my life, brings tears to my eyes. That God loves us all so much that He sacrificed His son for us, for me. The crimes that I have done, the raunchiness of my actions, He paid for with His life. He died/I lived. His Father, my God, Our creator looked at Him and pronounced - GUILTY; God looked at me and said COME, I am forgiven, I am loved and precious in the sight of God through the shed blood of Jesus.
"But drops of grief can ne'er repay the debt of love I owe." No amount of sorrow for my actions can repay for the love that christ showed for me. I am so for real when I tell you Jesus is alive and well, and talks with us each day.
My first book, 'Meet Me At The Cross, One Woman's Testimony' (http://www.lulu.com/content/1911953) tells about going to the cross to meet the Savior. If you make the trip He will surely meet you there. You don't have to prepare, clean up, get straight - Just go with an open heart to recieve. NEVER, NEVER can I go back and take on all the burdens of my life before Christ. Whatever happens good or bad, losses or gains I know I can make it because of Christ.
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I.
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
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.