Tuesday Hymns: “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed”

I must confess that Isaac Watts is one of my favorite hymn writers, and this would be as good a time as any to admit that I like the phrase “for such a worm as I!” as it is found in the first verse of our Tuesday Hymn for this week: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed. I grew up singing the 19th century revivalist version of this song entitled, At the Cross, whose tune is just a bit to too peppy and light (in my humble opinion) to be describing Christ bearing the wrath of God as our substitute. The tune, Martyrdom, captures the gravity of such an event much better.

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

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 mine eyes in tears.

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

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