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Words: Margaret Jenkins Harris (b. July 31, 1865; d. Jan. 13, 1919)
Music: Margaret Jenkins Harris
Note: Margaret Harris and her husband (John Millard Harris) were both gospel song writers. The two of them often sang duets, and engaged in a musical evangelistic ministry. Margaret Harris was an organist, as well. She published the present song in 1903.
This gospel song is one of the most repetitious ones we have. Counting the refrains, it repeats the words “He took my sins away” (“He’ll take your sins away” in the last stanza) no less that twenty-eight times!
CH-1) I came to Jesus, weary, worn, and sad.
He took my sins away, He took my sins away.
And now His love has made my heart so glad,
He took my sins away.
He took my sins away, He took my sins away,
And keeps me singing every day!
I’m so glad He took my sins away,
He took my sins away.
Often repetitious songs are accused, with some justification, of being trite and shallow, dashed off without much thought. However, that’s not a given. Great songs with much repetition can flow quickly from the soul of a musical genius too. In Handel’s inspiring choral work Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus repeats the word “hallelujah” thirty-seven times, in the soprano score alone. Repetitious, yes. Trite and shallow, hardly!
If, for any reason, you should doubt that, take a look at the YouTube video here. Made back in 2010, it has since had over forty million visitors. On a regular day at a big city mall, just before American Thanksgiving, people are stopping for lunch in the food court, when suddenly one (brave) young woman stands up and starts singing Handel’s masterpiece. Soon, she is joined by others, more and more.
It’s a trained choir, of course, and it’s all been arranged. But it never ceases to elicit tears, and joyous laughter from me–the latter at the various expressions of non-singing patrons. Worship and praise from me too, as we hear John’s prophetic words, “The kingdoms of this world have become [then fortissimo] the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).
Now, I’m certainly not saying that Mrs. Harris’s little song is on the same level. Not even close. But it does say something of importance to every believer. What impression would singing the song leave? What truth would you go home with, ringing from your heart, if not sounding from your lips? He took my sins away! Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!
It is a truth that resounds through the pages of the holy Word of God. That our burden of sin can be lifted, through faith in Him. That we can receive perfect cleansing and forgiveness, and our debt of sin can be canceked. With the rich poetic imagery of the Scriptures, this wonderful truth is impressed upon us. Though, in Old Testament times, the work of the Saviour still lay in the future, it is seen there as well, rooted in the prospect of what the Lamb of God would accomplish.
¤ “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).
¤ “You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back” (Isa. 38:17).
¤ “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isa. 43:25; cf. Heb. 8:12; 10:17).
¤ “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jer. 31:34).
¤ “The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found” (Jer. 50:20).
¤ “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).
¤ “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin….If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I Jn. 1:7, 9).
CH-4) If you will come to Jesus Christ today,
He’ll take your sins away, He’ll take your sins away,
And keep you happy in His love each day,
He’ll take your sins away.
1) Is the joy of this truth ringing in your own heart today?
2) Is there some way you can share what God can do about sin with others?