Near The Cross

In 1869, Fanny Crosby was shown a tune by William Doane, for which she wrote this text. The text and tune were published together in Bright Jewels for the Sunday School in 1869. The first line of each stanza contains the phrase “near the cross,” emphasizing the value of Christ’s redeeming work there. Each stanza has a slightly different aspect of the main theme. The first stanza describes redemption through Jesus’ blood, and the second, the need of humanity for salvation. The third stanza is a prayer that the Christian would always remember God’s love as shown on the cross, and the fourth looks forward to heaven1. Enjoy

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain;
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed His beams around me.


Near the cross! O lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.


Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever;
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.


It Was Finished Upon That Cross

“Boldly I approach my Father, clothed in Jesus’ righteousness; there is no more guilt to carry, it was finished upon that cross.” This is one of my favourite stanzas in CityAlight’s song from their newest album. It tells us of the benefits we have because of what Jesus has done on the cross for us. The upbeat melody is also a great accompaniment to fill your heart with joy for all our Saviour Jesus Christ has done; enjoy!

How I love the voice of Jesus,
On the cross of Calvary;
He declares His work is finished,
He has spoken this hope to me.

Though the sun had ceased its shining,
Though the war appeared as lost;
Christ had triumphed over evil;
It was finished upon that cross.

Now the curse it has been broken,
Jesus paid the price for me;
Full, the pardon He has offered;
Great, the welcome that I receive.

Boldly I approach my Father,
Clothed in Jesus’ righteousness;
There is no more guilt to carry,
It was finished upon that cross.

Death was once my great opponent,
Fear once had a hold on me;
But the Son who died to save us,
Rose that we would be free indeed!

Free from every plan of darkness,
Free to live and free to love;
Death is dead and Christ is risen!
It was finished upon that cross.

Onward to eternal glory,
To my Saviour and my God;
I rejoice in Jesus’ victory,
It was finished upon that cross.

In The Cross of Christ I Glory

Sir John Bowring (1792-1872) was a distinguished scholar, ranked by some as one of the great minds of his day in the English-speaking world. Among his gifts was his ability as a linguist, publishing translations of poetry from such varied languages as Russian, Batavian, Spanish, Polish, Serbian, Bohemian, Magyar, Czech and Hungarian. Bowring also was twice a member of Parliament, a consul at Canton (in charge of trade in China) and a governor of Hong Kong. Despite a demanding political and diplomatic career, Bowring maintained an active avocation as a translator of poetry, composer of original poems and writer of essays on political and religious themes. “In the cross of Christ I glory” (1825) was composed while the author was in his early thirties. Appearing in Hymns by John Bowring (1825), the theme and language suggests a much more mature poet. Late 19th-century hymnologist John Julian suggests that Galatians 6:14 provides the basis for this hymn: “Far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV).

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me.
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
light and love upon my way,
from the cross the radiance streaming
adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

Isaac Watts wrote “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” in preparation for a communion service in 1707. Originally, the hymn was named “Crucifixion to the World by the Cross of Christ,” following the practice of the day to summarise a hymn’s theme in the title. It was first published in 1707 in Watt’s collection Hymns and Spiritual Songs. This hymn is considered one of the finest hymns ever written. It’s the first known hymn to be written in the first person, introducing expressing personal religious devotion rather than limiting itself to only doctrine1.

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

My Song Is Love Unknown

I was reminded of this hymn after listening to an episode of Ask Pastor John where John Piper explains that the words alone, without the wonderful accompanying music, is a beautiful poem. This was written by Samuel Crossman (1624-1683) who became Dean of Bristol Cathedral. He received a Bachelor of Divinity at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He then served both an Anglican parish at All Saints, Sudbury, and a Puritan congregation. This poignant meditation of the Passion of Christ was published just before Crossman’s ordination, in The Young Man’s Meditation (1664). This short book of poems was reprinted in 1683, and the poem appeared for the first time as a hymn in the Anglican Hymn Book in 1686, just two years after the author’s death1.

My song is love unknown,
my Saviour’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
Oh, who am I,
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow,
but such disdain! So few
the longed-for Christ would know!
But oh, my friend,
my friend indeed,
who at my need
his life did spend!

Sometimes they crowd his way
and his sweet praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King.
Then “Crucify!”
is all their breath,
and for his death
they thirst and cry.

Why? What has my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
he gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
themselves displease
and ‘gainst him rise.

They rise and needs will have
my dear Lord made away.
A murderer they save,
the Prince of life they slay.
Yet cheerful he
to suff’ring goes
that he his foes
from death might free.

In life, no house, no home
my Lord on earth might have;
in death, no friendly tomb,
but what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heav’n was his home
but mine the tomb
wherein he lay.

Here might I stay and sing;
no story so divine,
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like thine.
This is my friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend!

Drawn To The Cross, Which Thou Hast Blest

Genevieve Mary Irons, daughter of Dr. W. J. Irons, and granddaughter of J. Irons, was born at Brompton, Dec. 28, 1855. This hymn, “Drawn to the Cross which Thou hast blessed” (Consecration of Self to Christ) was written in 1880, and printed the same year in the Sunday Magazine. It was afterwards included in her Corpus Christi, 1884. Alluding to this hymn (which was included in the Primitive Methodist Hymnal, 1881) after converting to Catholicism, Miss Irons has written “I always feel that hymn is part of me … I am interested and gratified in knowing that the hymn speaks to the hearts of many who would probably differ from me on most points of doctrine.”1 Enjoy the words as a prayer below, and a piano piece to accompany 🙂

Drawn to the Cross which Thou hast blest,
With healing gifts for souls distressed,
To find in Thee my Life, my Rest,
Christ crucified, I come.

Stained with the sins which I have wrought
In word and deed and secret thought;
For pardon which Thy Blood hath bought,
Christ crucified, I come.

Weary of selfishness and pride,
False pleasures gone, vain hopes denied,
Deep in Thy wounds my shame to hide,
Christ crucified, I come.

Thou knowest all my griefs and fears,
Thy grace abused, my misspent years;
Yet now to Thee, for cleansing tears,
Christ crucified, I come.

I would not, if I could, conceal
The ills which only Thou canst heal;
So to the Cross, where sinners kneel,
Christ crucified, I come.

Wash me, and take away each stain,
Let nothing of my sin remain;
For cleansing, though it be through pain,
Christ crucified, I come.

To share with Thee Thy life divine,
Thy very likeness to be mine,
Since Thou hast made my nature Thine,
Christ crucified, I come.

To be what Thou wouldst have me be,
Accepted, sanctified in Thee,
Through what Thy grace shall work in me,
Christ crucified, I come.

Take Me To That Ancient Hill

 …and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them” – John 19:17-18. The classic hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’ takes us in our mind’s eye to Golgotha, the hill where Jesus died. Taking up the theme, this song expresses our daily need to be taken to the cross as the place where our guilt and shame are taken away, and our enemy, Satan, is defeated: “But there my wounded victor stood and crushed the serpent’s head that day”1. I hope you enjoy this hymn by Joyful Noise UK 🙂

Take me to that ancient hill
For towering waves of guilt engulf;
But there your steadfast mercy still
Is certain as your wounds of love.

Take me to that sacred tree,
For weary loads of shame oppress’
But there you bore it all for me,
And gave me life and joy and rest.

There I stand in awe
At your love for me.
Give my life and all
At the cross of Calvary.

Take me to that splintered wood,
For still the Tempter leads astray;
But there my wounded victor stood
And crushed the serpent’s head that day.


Take me to that ancient hill
And stay there all my earthly days.
Rejoicing in your love until
I join with heaven’s eternal praise.


The Power of the Cross

Stuart Townend wrote this song with Keith Getty, and it’s one of a number of story songs they have written together. Stuart feels it’s important we understand that our faith is not merely a philosophy, a series of transcendent thoughts about what God might be like, or even a collection of fables and allegories – our faith is rooted in history, in things that have actually happened on this planet, and are backed up by evidence. We have a true story to tell. The song paints the picture of that Good Friday when Christ was tried, beaten, nailed to a cross, suffered and died, and the chorus tries to explain the significance of it all. Then the last verse effectively paints us into that picture, for it is our name written in His wounds.1

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath:
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of sin;
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees,
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
‘Finished!’ the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Jesus Paid It All

On a hot summer Sunday morning in 1865, Mrs. Elvina Hall (1820-1889) was found in her accustomed place in the church choir loft. But as the minister Reverend Schrick’s prayer continued, her thoughts drifted to other things. She pondered the meaning of the cross, and wrote the first lines in the back of her hymnal. Afterward, she presented the pastor with some simple lines of poetry which reminded the pastor that the church organist, John Grape (1835-1915) had composed a new hymn tune, with no words in mind. Stepping into his study, the pastor laid Mrs. Hall’s poem next to the lines of music. In surprise, he saw they fit one another like hand in glove. “Indeed, God works in mysterious ways!” he thought. The words and tune have been partners ever since, in the hymn, “Jesus Paid It All.”1

I hear the Saviour say,
“Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.


For nothing good have I
Where-by Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.


And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
My lips shall still repeat.