Years ago when I was picking out worship songs for a church plant I was helping to establish I came across #23 in Gadsby’s Hymns. I was gripped by the simple beauty and unique subject matter of the song, and set it to the tune of How Sweet and Awful is the Place (#271, Blue Trinity Hymnal) for use in our worship. It quickly became a favorite. Here are the words:
A Man there is, a real Man
With wounds still gaping wide,
From which rich streams of blood once ran,
In hands, and feet, and side
[Tis no wild fancy of our brains,
No metaphor we speak;
That same dear Man in heaven now reigns
That suffered for our sake.]
This wondrous Man of whom we tell,
Is true Almighty God;
He bought our souls from death and hell;
The price, his own heart’s blood.
That human heart he still retains,
Though throned in highest bliss;
And feels each tempted member’s pains;
For our affliction’s his.
Come, then, repenting sinner come;
Approach with humble faith;
Owe what thou wilt the total sum
Is cancelled by His death.
His blood can cleanse the blackest soul,
And wash our guilt away;
He will present us sound and whole,
On that tremendous day.
The author is Joseph Hart, but I don’t know anything else about it. After I’d been using it for a bit I saw a post on challies.com also highlighting it, but again not knowing much about it. I’d love to see it set to a modern tune and used more frequently in the churches for worship. What an excellent meditation on an oft neglected truth- the incarnation was not temporary, even the risen Savior had physical nail wounds he could show to Thomas. When he ascended, the incarnate God-man took his seat at the right hand of the Father. A Man there is, a real Man… interceding for us there even now. It is that Man we worship, because that Man is true Almighty God. What a wondrous and glorious truth for the church to confess together in song!
(by: Nicolas Alford)