Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hidden hymn verses

I am a big music buff. I love it, and it sometimes can be an idol in my life, so I have to ask for the Spirit's help to keep it in proper perspective. I really enjoy a lot of different genres of music as well. One genre that has been a part of my life for 31 years are hymns.

What is humorous to me is that I grew up almost always singing the first, second, and fourth verses of the hymns. Why was the third stanza the castaway? Who knows? But, I have come to discover another hymn phenomena. Verses of hymns are often left out of our modern hymnals. Why have these verses been 'left behind?' Once again, who knows? But, it is like a treasure to me when I recover an old verse of a hymn I love. One of my favorite hymns is And Can It Be. I found a couple of verses that are not in our hymnal. Shame on us for not singing them, and shame on the hymnal maker for not printing them (haha - only kidding). I have highlighted the verses that were 'left behind.'

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.