Posted by: rcottrill | July 15, 2013

Hallelujah! ‘Tis Done

Words: Philip Paul Bliss (b. July 9, 1838; d. Dec. 29, 1876)
Music: Philip Paul Bliss

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Bliss’s song was published in 1874, two years before his death. Actually, he was hoping to include another song (Hallelujah, Thine the Glory) in a book he was publishing. It was popular at the time, but the owners of the copyright refused to give him permission to use it, so he wrote the present song to put in its place.

Two stanzas of the hymn are not generally used today. The point they seem to make is that God’s salvation is for all. Not only for socially prominent adults, but little children too. Here are the two omitted stanzas:

CH-4) Little children I see standing close by their King,
And He smiles as their song of salvation they sing:

CH-5) There are prophets and kings in that throng I behold,
And they sing as they march through the streets of pure gold:

Mr. Bliss came to his love of music early on. His parents were musical. And when he was ten years old, in incident occurred that left a lasting impression on him.

Philip was big for his ten years, a large barefoot farm boy. One day he was walking down the road in his village. As he passed by a house, he heard beautiful music. Irresistibly drawn to it, he entered the house, and stood by the parlour door, watching and listening as a young woman played the piano–the first one he’d ever seen.

When she stopped playing, he cried out, “Oh, lady, play some more!” But instead of encouraging him, she retorted crossly, “Go out of here with your great feet!” Philip was crushed, but the memory of the harmonies he’d heard seemed like echoes of heaven, and they stayed with him. He went on to a significant career in sacred music, one of the outstanding gospel song writers of the nineteenth century.

Hallelujah, ‘Tis Done is one of those songs–of which there are a few–whose chorus (with its repeat) is longer than the stanzas. As a result, and because of the singable tune, the refrain will continue to echo in the minds of those who sing it, hours and days afterward, and help to instill an important truth.

The truth emphasized by the repetitive song is that God’s saving work is a historic fact. It has been “done.” On the cross, as He was dying, Jesus declared, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). Take note of the past tenses used in the Bible, as we look back on that.

Christ our Passover [Lamb] was sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7). “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). “Who gave Himself for our sins” (Gal. 1:4). “Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Eph. 5:2).

What is required of the sinner is that he trust in the Saviour, accepting the payment already made.

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (Jn. 1:12). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (Jn. 3:36). “Most assuredly, I [the Lord Jesus] say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (Jn. 6:47).

To the one who rejects Christ, no good works will gain him eternal life, no church membership or church ceremonies. Nor will being born into a Christian home transfer salvation to the children. When God says salvation is by His grace (Eph. 2:8-9), He means it’s a free gift that simply needs to be received in faith. If we could earn it, it wouldn’t be by grace (Rom. 4:4-5).

For those who do accept Christ, “the blood of Jesus Christ His [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin” (I Jn. 1:7). “‘Tis done!” And the theme of Philip Bliss’s song will echo in our songs of praise for all eternity (Rev. 5:11-14). How could we do otherwise in the presence of “Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5).

CH-1) ’Tis the promise of God, full salvation to give
Unto him who on Jesus, His Son, will believe.

Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One;
Hallelujah, ’tis done! I believe on the Son;
I am saved by the blood of the crucified One.

CH-6) There’s a part in that chorus for you and for me,
And the theme of our praises forever will be:

1) What are some things that keep so many from accepting the simple gospel and trusting Christ for salvation?

2) If you were talking to someone about his/her need of salvation, and how to be saved, what are three good verses of Scripture to use?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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