Saturday, April 15, 2017

Jesus, a Man of Sorrows

The following hymn was printed in a number of (words only) Baptist hymn books in the 1800s. It often had a heading such as “Jesus, a Man of Sorrows,” or “His Sorrows.” The earliest printing I found so far is in A New Selection of Hymns especially adapted to Public Worship published in London in 1828. Its origin remains unknown; I have not found an attribution to the author.

Common Meter. Isaiah 53:3; John 19:30

1. Behold, the Son of God appears,
To save from sin and woe;
He leaves his radiant throne on high,
To dwell with men below.

2. Clothing himself with mortal flesh,
He flew to our relief;
Sorrows his chief acquaintance were,
And his companion, grief!

3. From Bethlehem's inn to Calvary's cross,
Affliction marked his road;
And many a weary step he took
To bring us back to God.

4. How keen the anguish and the smart
That pain’d His holy mind,
When all the pow’rs of earth and hell
Against Him were combin’d !

5. How heavier far the weighty load
(When sorrow filled His breast)
That in the garden’s gloomy scene
His mourning soul opprest.

6. But darker far the awful hour
When on the cross he cried,
“‘Tis finished,” the full ransom paid,
Then bowed his head and died.

7. And did my Saviour thus expire,
Nailed to the accursed tree?
To Him I give my soul away
Who bled and died for me.

A Selection of Hymns for the use of Baptist Congregations published in London in 1852 recommended the tune Walsal. Click HERE for a score and an instrumental rendition.

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