Posted by: rcottrill | February 8, 2010

Today in 1865 – Lewis Jones Born

Lewis Edgar Jones graduated from Moody Bible Institute, in Chicago, in the same class as famed evangelist Billy Sunday. Jones became actively involved in the YMCA, holding various positions in that organization over the years. His hymn writing (of both words and music) was a sideline, but he produced quite a few songs that were published, writing under a variety of pen names, such as Lewis Edgar, Edgar Lewis, Mary Slater, and more. The song for which he is best known today is There Is Power in the Blood.

One of the criteria I would look for in choosing a new hymn book for congregational use would be its inclusion of some hymns about the blood of Christ. There are many of them. For example:

Are You Washed in the Blood?
Blessed Be the Fountain of Blood
Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness
Not All the Blood of Beasts
Nothing but the Blood
Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One
There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
When I See the Blood

And, of course, there are many others that deal with the subject but do not have the word in the title (e.g. And Can It Be? and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross).

There has been a modern trend in some circles to remove references to the shed blood of Christ from our hymnody, and even from translations of the Word of God. It is considered to be in poor taste, and offensive to the tender sensibilities of modern worshipers. (I even heard one man argue that Jesus could have paid for our sins if He were strangled rather than crucified!) This is heretical folly. The Bible is very clear about it:

The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. (Lev. 17:11)

As gory and terrible a place as Calvary is, it also becomes for the believer a place of wonder and worship. Peter speaks of “the precious blood of Christ” (I Pet. 1:19), and Isaac Watts glories in the cross with these words from a little used stanza of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross:

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree.

“Till He comes” (I Cor. 11:26), we are to call to mind at His Table what Christ did for us on the cross. And part of that God-given ordinance is to remember that the New Covenant was sealed and ratified by the blood of Christ (vs. 25). We rightfully celebrate the saving power of the blood of our wonderful Saviour.

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder working power
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

(2) Today in 1874 – Jennie Hussey Born
Jennie Evelyn Hussey (1874-1958) grew up on a farm in New Hampshire, tilled by four generations of her Quaker ancestors. In spite of a life that had a large share of difficulties and pain, she maintained a cheerful attitude. Jennie began writing in her teens, producing such varied material as patterns for crocheting and needlework, articles about flowers, stories for children, and 150 hymns. The one hymn for which she is known today is Lead Me to Calvary.

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.


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