Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Philip Bliss was born in 1838 to a father who loved both God and music. At the age of 22 he became an itinerant music teacher and travelled from community to community on horse back carrying a small accordion. When he was 29 he met evangelist D.L. Moody who encouraged him to become a music evangelist. He wrote dozens of hymns, including “It Is Well With My Soul”. Him and his wife tragically died when their train was crossing a bridge and collapsed, plunging the train into the river. Of this hymn, Iras Sankey, soloist of the Moody Crusades, wrote: “A few weeks before his death, Mr Bliss visited the Station prison in Michigan where after a very touching address on “The Man of Sorrows” he sung this hymn. Many prisoners dated their conversion to that day. Later, when Mr Moody and I were in Paris holding meetings, I frequently sang this hymn solo, asking the congregation to join in the single phrase “Hallelujah, what a Saviour” as “Hallelujah” is the same in all languages”1.

Man of sorrows, what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude
In my place condemned he stood
Sealed my pardon with his blood
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Guilty, helpless, lost were we
Blameless Lamb of God was he
Sacrificed to set us free
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

He was lifted up to die
“It is finished” was his cry
Now in heaven exalted high
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

When he comes, our glorious King
All his ransomed home to bring
Then anew this song we’ll sing
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

1 page 70 – Leeman, D. and Leeman, B., 2022. Our Hymns, Our Heritage: A Student Guide to Songs of the Church

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