"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hymn: The content of the message of the Word

I think this hymn cries out for what we should long for in worship every week. From the prayers. From the hymns and songs. From the sermon. From communion.

If we do not hear the name of Christ from all those sources, we should leave the service despondent from the burden of a law that kills. If we are only given imperatives, and not an indicative, a truth of gospel done on our behalf, we die under the curse of the punishment of a law we will never fully keep. But as the weight of the law alone kills, the salve of the gospel of Christ revives. If we think all we need is more advice and imperatives, and that our need of the gospel is past and merely a once applied event, then we do not know our need. In word, sacrament and prayer, in all these forms we want, we mortally need one substance: Give me Christ or else I die.

Give me Christ or Else I Die
A hymn by
William Hammond.
(From Gadsby's Hymnal)

Gracious Lord, incline thy ear;
My requests vouchsafe to hear;
Hear my never-ceasing cry;
Give me Christ, or else I die.

Wealth and honor I disdain,
Earthly comforts, Lord are vain;
These can never satisfy:
Give me Christ, or else I die.

Thou dost freely save the lost;
In thy grace alone I trust.
With my earnest suit comply;
Give me Christ, or else I die.

Thou dost promise to forgive
All who in thy Son believe;
Lord, I know thou canst not lie;
Give me Christ, or else I die.

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