Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Old Rugged Cross

This from the book Christ and the Fine Arts by Cynthia Pearl Maus (1938) New York, NY: Harper & Brothers Publishers.


The Old Rugged Cross


Among the great hymns of the Church that center in the theme of the cross, none, perhaps, has had more widespread popularity than “The Old Rugged Cross.” Which was written by the Reverend George Bennard, and for which copyright was secured in 1913…It portrays the story of what happened on the cross—the shedding of the blood of God’s only begotten Son for the sins of the world—as He hung suspended there. For crucifixion, in the time of Jesus, was the most cruel an disgraceful method of killing that human skill knew how to devise, and the cross itself associated with all that was vile and unholy. Today the cross is cherished wherever Christianity has gone, because it became through suffering of the sinless son of God the emblem of humanity’s redemption from sin and degradation.


On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame,
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Chorus

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.


Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me,
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.

Chorus

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see
For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

Chorus

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share

(pp 415-417)

No comments: