Story Behind The Hymn, Alas And Did My Saviour Bleed?

Isaac Watts was born July 17, 1674, at Southampton, England. He was born into the home of non-Conformists in the days when Dissenters and Independents were persecuted by the Church of England. Fortunately this intolerance lasted only a short while after his birth.

His father, twice jailed during the persecution, afterward prospered in his business and was able to give his son the best kind of education.

Isaac entered the ministry and preached his first sermon at the age of twenty-four. His utter lack of what is commonly known as handsomeness was probably responsible for the fact that he remained unmarried throughout his life. Yet Im sure this frail soul had learned the truth of the verse which begins this meditation.

He wrote many scholarly papers that were used in several institutions of higher learning. Yet one of the most memorable pieces that came from his pen was a simple hymn, Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed.

Fanny Crosby testified that this song helped her to find the Savior when believing came most difficult.

On one occasion John Vassar, the great soul winner, was going from house to house distributing tracts and talking with people about their souls. One woman who heard about this strange man and what he was doing said: If he comes to my house, he will get the door slammed in his face.

Without knowing that this woman had made such a statement, Mr. Vassar rang her doorbell the next day. When she saw that he was the man who had been described to her, she slammed the door in his face.

John Vassar sat down on her doorstep and sang:

But drops of grief can neer repay
The debt of love I owe,
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
Tis all that I can do.

The woman heard the earnest verse as he sang and was convicted a sinner. She opened the door and called Mr. Vassar in, who led her to Jesus Christ.

Alas and Did My Savior Bleed? – Hymn Lyrics

1) Alas and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sovreign die!
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Chorus Oh, come, sinner, you will hear
The Savior say, Weep not for me
See the Savior on the cross!
Oh, sinner, hear Him cry,
Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabacthani.

2) Thus might I hide my blushing face,
While His dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.

3) But drops of grief can neer repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
Tis all that I can do.

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