Tuesday Hymns: “Not All the Blood of Beasts”

Last week I mentioned on Tuesday Hymns that Isaac Watts composed over 700 hymns during his life. One reason that we are still singing those hymns almost 300 years after his death is because of the Biblical foundation upon which his hymns were written. Today’s hymn, Not All the Blood of Beasts, is a picture of how the Old Testament sacrifices point forward to the “once for all” sacrifice of Christ written about in the book of Hebrews:

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)  12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12)

This particular hymn is a beautiful picture of the truth expressed by Augustine that “the Old [Testament] is in the New [Testament] revealed; the New is in the Old concealed.” 

Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain, could give the guilty conscience peace, or wash away the stain:

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb takes all our sins away, a sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they.

My faith would lay her hand on that dear head of thine, while like a penitent I stand, and there confess my sin.

My soul looks back to see the burdens thou dist bear, when hanging on the cursed tree, and knows her guilt was there.

Believing, we rejoice to see the curse remove; we bless the Lamb with cheerful voice, and sing his bleeding love.

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