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“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Posted by on in They Knew Their God
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Today we are going to start a new series called “Songs of Revival”. We will be studying songs sung throughout the past revivals in history.


The first Great Awakening, which took place in the then British American Colonies, was led mostly by Jonathan Edwards. Both he and George Whitfield, who was also an important voice for God during the Great Awakening, were supporters of Isaac Watts who wrote over 500 hymns throughout his life. They often led his hymns during their revival meetings and Edwards led Watt’s hymns almost exclusively.


So today we take a look at one of Watt’s most well known hymns, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”.


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.


Forbid me Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to His blood.


See, from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did e'er such love and Sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.


Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.


Indeed, what can the Holy Spirit use to bring conviction to our hearts like that of bringing to remembrance the wondrous cross and the Sacrifice it held. These old hymns are often discounted in today’s society and called “old-fashioned,” “outdated” or “ancient.” However, if they were part of one of our nation’s largest revivals, doesn’t it seem only logical to consider them? Maybe you haven’t sung this old hymn in a long time, maybe you haven’t sung it ever, but I would urge you to consider this old song of remembrance and the beautiful message it holds.


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