Friday, April 02, 2010

The Look

When our church choir and orchestra went to the U.K. in 2007 for the bicentenary of John Newton's death, one of the songs we sang was called "The Look." It was an arrangement of the Newton hymn below, taken from the Olney Hymnal. I thought it would be an appropriate Good Friday meditation.

Looking at the Cross

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw one hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
Who fixed his languid eyes on me,
As near his cross I stood.

Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with his death,
Though not a word he spoke.

My conscience felt, and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt,
And helped to nail him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the LORD have slain.

A second look he gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I die, that thou may’st live.”

Thus, while his death my sin displays,
In all its blackest hue;
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by him I killed.
You can hear a sample of the song here (although the arrangement we did was a little different).

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