Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

WHO IS A PARDONING GOD LIKE THEE?


When I was growing up hymns were an integral part of my life.  As we traveled our family would sing for long periods of time.  Those experiences, plus attending many church services, usually at least four times per week, gave me many opportunities to sing and learn the words to many great hymns.  But I must admit that during the early years it usually wasn't the words that drew me to a hymn.  More often it was the upbeat melody or some special musical feature that captured my attention.  That was brought back to me a few weeks ago when I heard this hymn which I had  not heard in many years.  But immediately I remembered the moving men's part in the chorus.  I can still hear the men singing "Who is a pardoning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free? Or who has grace so rich and free?"  But now that I am older I also appreciate the great words that center around our great God and His pardon and grace.  The words were written by Samuel Davies (1723-1761).  I can't find much about the actual writing, but he was an evangelist and Presbyterian minister.. He also served a term as the fourth President of Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, from 1759 to 1761. One of the first non-Anglican preachers in Virginia, he was a strong advocate for religious freedom, and helped to institute significant religious reforms in the colony. Davies was also a prolific writer, authoring several hymns and publishing a book of poetry. Musicologists credit Davies with being the first American-born hymn writer. Davies followed the lines of Isaac Watts although his verses are considered "solid, but somewhat dry and heavy".  In doing some research I found something about him that surprised me personally.  Davies was born in New Castle County, Delaware. His parents could not afford to send him to college but were determined that he should be trained for the ministry. He studied in Samuel Blair's famous school at Fagg's Manor, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Castle when he was twenty-two,  For over 25 years our family had a family ministry and several times we did family programs in the Presbyterian Church in Faggs Manor. I remember the old sanctuary, especially since we had to carry all of our heavy equipment up the stairs to get  to the sanctuary.  But little did I know then, until I recently found this information, that Faggs Manor had such a rich tradition dating back over two centuries ago.  Anyway, I hope that you are challenged by the words of this week's hymn choice.


(1)     Great God of wonders! All Thy ways
Are matchless, Godlike and divine;
But the fair glories of Thy grace
More Godlike and unrivaled shine,
More Godlike and unrivaled shine.
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

(2)     Crimes of such horror to forgive,
Such guilty, daring worms to spare;
This is Thy grand prerogative,
And none shall in the honor share,
And none shall in the honor share
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

(3)     Angels and men, resign your claim
To pity, mercy, love and grace:
These glories crown Jehovah's Name
With an incomparable glaze
With an incomparable glaze.
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

(4)     In wonder lost, with trembling joy,
We take the pardon of our God:
Pardon for crimes of deepest dye,
A pardon bought with Jesus' blood,
A pardon bought with Jesus' blood.
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

(5)     O may this strange, this matchless grace,
This Godlike miracle of love,
Fill the whole earth with grateful praise,
And all th'angelic choirs above,
And all th'angelic choirs above.
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

5 comments:

Alicia dominic-okobi said...

This is a choir piece I enjoyed singing as an alto singer. Happy indeed.

G Tar said...

What a beautiful truth(s) this song declares. The miracle that God made it possible for us to be forgiven through Jesus Christ and His finished work at Calvary. How Marvelous!

G Tar said...

Amen!

G Tar said...

Amen!

G Tar said...

What a beautiful truth(s) this song declares. The miracle that God made it possible for us to be forgiven through Jesus Christ and His finished work at Calvary. How Marvelous!