We sing the praise of Him who died

Full Text

1 We sing the praise of Him who died,
Of Him who died upon the cross;
The sinner's hope let all deride;
For this we count the world but loss.

2 Inscribed upon the cross we see,
In shining letters, "God is love."
He bears our sins upon the tree;
He brings us mercy from above.

3 The cross! It takes our guilt away;
It holds the fainting spirit up;
It cheers with hope the gloomy day
And sweetens ev'ry bitter cup.

4 It makes the coward spirit brave,
And nerves the feeble arm for fight;
It takes its terror from the grave
And gilds the bed of death with light;

5 The balm of life, the cure of woe,
The measure and the pledge of love,
The sinner's refuge here below,
The angels' theme in heav'n above.

6 To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.

Source: Lutheran Service Book #429

Author: Thomas Kelly

Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. H… Go to person page >


We sing the praise of Him Who died. T. Kelly. [Passiontide.] Appeared in Hymns by Thomas Kelly, not before Published, Dublin, 1815, No. 52, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross: Gal. vi. 14." Here stanza v. reads:β€”

"The balm of life; the cure of woe;
The measure and the pledge of love:
'Tis all that sinners want below;
'Tis all that angels know above."

In later editions of Kelly's Hymns this stanza is altered by Kelly to:β€”

”The balm of life, the cure of woe,
The measure and the pledge of love;
The sinner's refuge here below,
The angel's theme in heaven above.”

This authorised text is that usually found in modern collections. InHymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, an additional stanza was given by the Compilers. The use of this hymn in all English-speaking countries is extensive. It has also been translated into several languages. The Rev. L. C. Biggs's rendering into Latin of the Hymns Ancient & Modern text in his annotated edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1867, begins "Laudes canamus mortui." Lord Selborne [Sir R. Palmer] said at the York Church Congress, 1866 that this hymn "is distinguished by a calm subdued power, rising gradually from a rather low to a very high key [quotes, and continues], I doubt whether Montgomery ever wrote anything quite equal to this." In several collections this hymn begins with stanza ii., "Inscribed upon the Cross we see." An adaptation of the original text for use at Holy Communion is given in the Memoir of S. Medley, by his daughter, published in Liverpool in 1833. It begins with the same first line, and was probably made by Medley.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #45
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #248
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #405TextImage
Common Praise (1998) #200TextImage
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #125
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #739
Complete Mission Praise #738
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #471TextImage
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #138
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #146a
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #146b
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #146c
Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #804
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #536
Lutheran Service Book #429TextImage
Rejoice in the Lord #296TextImage
Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #390
Together in Song: Australian Hymn Book II #347