“When In Our Music God Is Glorified”
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.
This poem, penned in 1707 by Isaac Watts, is one of the most prolific hymns in our collection of hymnody. Watts was considered a trailblazer when it came to writing music for the church. Until Watts, congregants would chant the psalms. Many hymnologists agree that music in the church had become monotonous. Only the scriptures were sung in worship, often times making it difficult for the congregation to participate. It was with Watts’ writing that church music experienced a revival.
For perhaps the first time in the history of church music, a hymn was written that spoke of the human connection between God and humankind. The subject was not simply doctrinal decrees or ideals but rather the personal experience between Christ and the individual.
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.
I often think of this hymn during the season of Lent. I turn my eyes to the cross thinking of the sacrifice that was given for me. For me. It is such an overwhelming thought to think that it was for my sins that Jesus died. How could anyone love us so much that he would lay down his life for us? None but the Lamb of God.
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.
Grace and Peace,