Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Law Ineffectual, but Love Amazing

This earliest appearance of this hymna seems to be in 1809, in A Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs by William Parkinson, with the heading “The law ineffectual to salvation.” Though this is often credited to Philip Doddridge, I did not find it in Hymns Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures. The Long Meter hymn is well combined with the very fine tune Amazing Love, by Thomas Franklin Sanders and Euva Priscilla Renfroe Sanders, and found in The Sacred Harp, 2012 Cooper Edition.

1. When Jesus for his people died,
The holy law was satisfied:
Its awful penalties he bore;
It can command nor curse no more.

2. He having suffered in their stead,
The law in cov’nant form is dead;
He rules them with a gentle sway,
And they with sweet delight, obey.

3. Amazing love!—how rich, how free!
That Christ should die for such as we!
From hence the holiest duties flow,
Of saints above and saints below.

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