When I Survey
the Wondrous Cross
This is another Isaac Watts hymn. I believe it was Matthew Arnold, no friend of Christianity, who said that the third verse of this hymn was as pure poetry as has ever been achieved in the English language. The traditional tune, which fits the words well, is from an ancient Gregorian chant.
When I survey the
on which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, 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 a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.
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