Posted by: rcottrill | May 25, 2016

Nothing but Thy Blood

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Words: Richard Slater (b. June 7, 1854; d. Dec. 7, 1939)
Music: Richard Slater

Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Richard Slater)

Note: Richard Slater was a gifted musician, he became a music teacher, and a member of the Royal Albert Hall Orchestral Society. After he put his faith in Christ, in 1882, he concentrated his efforts on a ministry of music with the Salvation Army. Slater wrote over five hundred songs, and came to be known as “the father of Salvation Army music.” He retired in 1913, a brigadier in the organization.

There are two related sayings we sometimes use, as the occasion requires. First, there’s anything but. After her surgery she could enjoy eating anything but very spicy food. Then, there’s nothing but. They wanted nothing but the best for their daughter.

It’s the second of these that we’ll look at here. “Nothing but” is the more exclusive of the two phrases. It eliminates all possibilities but one. The phrase is used in one of the proverbs found the Bible: “By pride comes nothing but strife” (Prov. 13:10), and we’ve all seen how the boastful know-it-all stirs up arguments and discord around him.

Other phrases in Scripture suggest something similar. “Nothing except,” and “no other,” say it. As do words such as only, or alone. Not surprisingly, such exclusive terms are used in the Bible of God. Transcendent, infinite, and eternal, there is no other being remotely like Him.

“We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one” (I Cor. 8:4).
“You shall have no other gods before [other than] Me” (Exod. 20:3).
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen” (I Tim. 1:17).
“Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy” (Rev. 15:4).

Similarly, the Bible speaks of God’s plan of salvation in the same way. All roads lead to Rome, they used to say of the mighty Roman Empire. Many different paths will get you there. But that won’t work with the path to God. There is only one, and He has spelled it out clearly in His Word. How can a sinner be forgiven, and merit the heavenly home the Lord is preparing?

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 13:6).
“This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I Jn. 5:11-12).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

God’s promise is, “that whoever believes in Him [Jesus, our Saviour] should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11).

That theme was taken up by hymn writer Richard Slater. For a number of years, the Army had been making frequent use of a gospel song by Robert Lowry (1826-1899):

“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Richard Slater tells us, “I wondered if I could be honoured in making a song on similar lines for Army use.” He didn’t simply want to imitate the song, but hoped to equal its simplicity and clarity. The result, from 1887, is a hymn for which he wrote both words and music.

1) Jesus, see me at Thy feet,
Nothing but Thy blood can save me;
Thou alone my need canst meet,
Nothing but Thy blood can save me.

No! No! Nothing do I bring,
But by faith I’m clinging
To Thy cross, O Lamb of God!
Nothing but Thy blood can save me.

4) As I am, oh hear me pray,
Nothing but Thy blood can save me;
I can come no other way,
Nothing but Thy blood can save me.

6) Lord, I cast myself on Thee,
Nothing but Thy blood can save me;
From my guilt, oh set me free,
Nothing but Thy blood can save me.

1) What other hymns do you know that speak of the need and power of the blood of Christ?

2) Are these hymns that your own church makes use of?

Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Richard Slater)


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