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Hymn History: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
In November, 1850, thirty year old Fanny Crosby had been at tending numerous revival meetings and had answered the altar call, hoping to find peace for her soul. But on the 20th of the month, the audience began to sing Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed, a hymn written by Isaac Watts in 1707. It was when they sang the words, Here, Lord I give myself away - tis all that I can do, that Fanny realized that all she needed was to yield herself. She said: I surrendered myself to the Saviour, and my very soul flooded with celestial light. I sprang to my feet, shouting Hallelujah.
Isaac Watts said of his hymn writing, I have made no pretence to be a poet. But to the Lamb that was slain, and now lives, I have addressed many a song, to be sung by the penitent and believing heart.
Alas! and did my Saviour bleed, and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown! and love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide, and shut His glories in,
When Christ, the Mighty maker, died for man, the creature's sins.
Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine - and bathed in its own blood -
While the firm mark of Wrath Divine His soul in anguish stood.
Thus might I hide my blushing face while his dear Cross appears;
Dissolved my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne'er repay the debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away- tis all that I can do.