A.Toplady – Hymn XXV: “Surely Christ thy griefs hath borne”

For this Good Friday we also post this beautiful hymn of Augustus Toplady (1740-1778) based on Isaiah 53 and other passages. It is taken from  a collection of Toplady poems I have, titled Hymns and Poems by Augustus M. Toplady (Cross Publishing, 1971). He will notice from the dates given here that Toplady died at a young age (38 years). What is striking is that the hymns and poems he wrote were composed between the ages of 15 and 18. Here is a brief description of Toplady and some of his other hymns for which he is known taken from the website PoemHunter.com.

Augustus Montague Toplady was an Anglican cleric and hymn writer. He was a major Calvinist opponent of John Wesley. He is best remembered as the author of the hymn “Rock of Ages”. Three of his other hymns – “A Debtor to Mercy Alone”, “Deathless Principle, Arise” and “Object of My First Desire” – are still occasionally sung today, though all three are far less popular than “Rock of Ages”.

 

1.
Surely Christ thy griefs has borne;
Weeping soul, no longer mourn:
View Him bleeding on the tree,
Pouring out His life for thee;
There thy every sin He bore;
Weeping soul, lament no more.

2.
All thy crimes on Him were laid:
See, upon His blameless head
Wrath its utmost vengeance pours,
Due to my offence and yours;
Wounded in our stead He is,
Bruis’d for our iniquities.

3.
Weary sinner, keep thine eyes
On th’ atoning sacrifice;
There th’ incarnate Deity,
Number’d with transgressors, see;
There, His Father’s absence mourns,
Nail’d and bruis’d, and crowned with thorns.

4.
See thy God His head bow down,
Hear the Man of Sorrows groan!
For thy ransom there condemned,
Stripp’d, derided, and blasphem’d;
Bleed the guiltless for the unclean,
Made an off’ring for thy sin.

5.
Cast thy guilty soul on Him,
Find Him mighty to redeem;
At His feet thy burden lay,
Look thy doubts and cares away;
Now by faith the Son embrace,
Plead His promise, trust His grace.

6.
Lord, Thine arm must be reveal’d!
Ere I can by faith be heal’d!
Since I scarce can look to Thee,
Cast a gracious eye on me:
At Thy feet myself I lay;
Shine, O shine, my fears away!

Good Friday 2012: “Then said I, Lo, I come.”

On this Good Friday we meditate anew on the cross of Calvary where our dear Savior died for His elect people, sinners from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Psalm 40 prophesied of Jesus’ selfless attitude and action with regard to the need for an atoning sacrifice to cover the sins of His own:

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart (vss.6-8).

The writer to the Hebrews by the Spirit of Christ identified the fulfillment of these words with pinpoint accuracy and gave us the gospel of their significance:

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (10:5-10).

 

It is by that will of Jesus that our sins are covered and we are saved! Yes, because we are sinners through our selfish will, Christ became our sacrifice through His selfless will. Because we willingly give our bodies (and souls) to sin, more willingly yet He gave Himself body and soul to death to pay for those sins. Great sin we have, but greater grace our Savior has! And abundant pardon for every sinner who comes to Him in faith, trusting in Him alone for deliverance from his sin.

And because the power of Jesus’ willing sacrifice sanctifies us (notice that v.10 above), it also transforms our wills so that we willingly thank Him for His amazing grace and forgiveness, and willingly live unto Him that died for us. May that be evident in our hearts and lives this Good Friday also.

To assist us in seeing this saving will of Christ for us and in expressing our gratitude to our Savior for it, we post this video of the PR Psalm Choir singing a versification of Psalm 40, Psalter #109, titled “Personal Devotion to God.” I am indebted to Josh Hoekstra for making this video just for Good Friday. May God be praised for the gift of the Savior and the gift of our salvation.

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