Alas and Did My Savior Bleed, the Song and the Story

Composer Isaac Watts Writes Alas and Did My Savior Bleed

Jesus on the Cross with Criminals
Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748) wrote as many as 600 hymns, including Joy to the World and Alas and Did My Savior Bleed. The stories behind many of his songs are unknown, but the singing of his beautiful music over the past four centuries, has resulted in several heartwarming tales being documented. Below are two of those accounts.

John Vassar (1813-1878) was a lay pastor and missionary. He had the habit of going from house to house to distribute tracts and tell people about Jesus. At one particular house, when a woman slammed the door in his face, Mr. Vasser wearily sat down on her doorstep and began to sing the Isaac Watts song, Alas and Did My Savior Bleed. Upon hearing the beautiful words of the hymn, the woman opened the door, opened her home to the evangelist, and opened her heart to Jesus, accepting Him that day as her Savior.

During her lifetime, Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) was one of the best known women in America. She is still well known today as the blind woman who wrote more than 8,000 hymns, including Draw Me Nearer, Blessed Assurance, and Take the World but Give Me Jesus. In 1851, when Fanny was 31, she attended a Methodist revival meeting. It was there while the congregation sang the last line of Isaac Watt's song, Alas and Did My Savior Bleed, that Fanny prayed the words of the hymn "There Lord, I give myself away..." and found herself a changed woman. From that day until this, many souls have found their way into the Kingdom because of Fannies songs.

Alas and Did My Savior Bleed

Alas! and did my Savior bleed?
And did my Sov'reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for sins 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 sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
Tis all that I can do.

“There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

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Written by: Connie Ruth Christiansen



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