Friday, April 16, 2010


Yesterday I posted a brief writing on Balm in Gilead by Ken Wimer. Variation of the old refrain "balm in Gilead" has been used with several hymns, including the two below.

There's balm in Gilead,
To make the wounded whole.
There's power enough in Jesus—
To save a sin-sick soul.

The Good Physician by John Newton

1. How lost was my condition
Till JESUS made me whole!
There is but one Physician
Can cure a sin-sick soul.
Next door to death he found me,
And snatched me from the grave,
To tell to all around me,
His wondrous pow'r to save.

There is balm in Gilead,
To make the wounded whole.
There's power enough in heaven—
To cure a sin-sick soul.

2. The worst of all diseases
Is light, compared with sin;
On every part it seizes,
But rages most within:
'Tis palsy, plague, and fever,
And madness--all combined;
And none but a believer
The least relief can find.

3. From men great skill professing
I thought a cure to gain;
But this proved more distressing,
And added to my pain:
Some said that nothing ailed me,
Some gave me up for lost;
Thus every refuge failed me,
And all my hopes were crossed.

4. At length this great Physician,
How matchless is his grace!
Accepted my petition,
And undertook my case:
First gave me sight to view him,
For sin my eyes had sealed;
Then bid me look unto him,
I looked, and I was healed.

5. A dying, risen Jesus,
Seen by the eye of faith;
At once from danger frees us,
And saves the soul from death:
Come then to this Physician,
His help he'll freely give;
He makes no hard condition,
'Tis only--look and live.

[Washington Glass attached this refrain to John Newton's hymn with the title "The Sinner's Cure" in his The Revivalist of 1854.]

Father, I stretch my hands to Thee by Charles Wesley

1. Father, I stretch my hands to Thee,
No other help I know;
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me,
Ah! whither shall I go?

There's balm in Gilead,
That cures the sin sick soul;
There's balm in Gilead,
That makes the wounded whole.

2. What did Thine only Son endure
Before I drew my breath?
What pain, what labour, to secure
My soul from endless death!

3. O Jesus, could I this believe,
I now should feel Thy power;
And all my wants Thou wouldst relieve
In this, the accepted hour.

4. Author of faith, to Thee I lift
My weary, longing eyes:
O let me now receive that gift!
My soul without it dies.

5. How would my fainting soul rejoice,
Could I but see Thy face!
Now let me hear Thy quickening voice,
And taste Thy pardoning grace!

(Number 223 in Harp of Ages)


Anonymous said...

The natural balm of man is found wanting in that it only supresses the flesh temporarily. The whole man it cannot cure.

This Balm of Gilead will make the lost man found again and headed in the right direction on the highway of peace and understanding. When applied, it will renew and cleanse the soul that may have need of healing. It cannot be bought at the local market, but is found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

R. L. Vaughn said...