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Easter Greetings

Easter is a time of very mixed feelings.

Isaac Watts published this Hymn (Alas and did my Saviour bleed) in 1707. His original heading for the text was….

“Godly sorrow arising from the suffering of Christ,”

How do you feel about these Words?

Do you know anything about Godly sorrow because of the sufferings of Christ?

Do you identify yourself as the one who caused HIS Anguish?

To my mind, this hymn expresses exactly what a Christian partly feels at Easter.

I will be quick to say that it is not all a Christian feels at Easter-time, before I am misunderstood.

A Christian also knows great rejoicing, assurance, and comfort, because of the Saviour’s Resurrection, proving His Wonderful, Triumphant Victory over Death, defeating the Devil and all his works, and bringing us to newness of Life.

Samuel Medley wrote a hymn that concentrates our minds on what it means for Jesus to live “Triumphant from the grave” . It was published in George Whitefield’s Psalms and Hymns 1775. We often sing a shortened, altered version today. At the end I have added an alternative verse for stanza 7, that is often sung today and in some respects could be said to an improvement.

Have you any experience of S Medley’s hymn in your life today?

Does it have an echo in your own heart?

Would you be happy to sing all the words of both these hymns, with real acceptance of the truths illustrated?

I leave you to answer honestly from the depths of your own heart.

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed!
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

*[2 Thy body slain sweet Jesus thine,
And bathed in its own blood,
While all exposed to wrath divine
The glorious Sufferer stood!]

3 Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

4 Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When God, the mighty Maker, died
For man the creature’s sin.

5 Thus might I hide my blushing face,
While his dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

6 But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love we owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
‘Tis all that I can do.

Isaac Watts 1674-1748

*Can be omitted when singing, if desired

1 I know that my Redeemer lives,
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead,
He lives, my everlasting Head.

2 He lives, triumphant from the grave,
He lives, eternally to save;
He lives, all-glorious in the sky,
He lives, exalted there on high.

3 He lives to bless me with his love,
He lives to plead for me above,
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives to help in time of need.

4 He lives and grants me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with his eye,
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

5 He lives to crush the powers of hell,
He lives that he may in me dwell,
He lives to heal and make me whole
He lives to guard my feeble soul.

6 He lives to silence all my fears;
He lives to stop and wipe my tears,
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
he lives all blessings to impart.

7 He lives my kind, my heavenly friend,
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while he lives I’ll sing,
He lives my Prophet, Priest and King.

8 He lives and grants me daily breath,
He lives, and I shall conquer death,
He lives my mansion to prepare,
He lives to bring me safely there.

9 He lives all glory to his name,
He lives, my Jesus still the same;
O the sweet joy this sentence gives,
I know that my Redeemer lives.

Samuel Medley 1738-1799

Stanza 7 alternative today.

He lives, my kind, wise ,constant Friend

Who still will keep me to the end;

He lives, and while He lives I’ll sing,

Jesus my prophet, Priest, and King.

©Jeff Maxwell 2011



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