A Gospel Hymn Of Grace -- By: Frances A. Mosher
JOTGES 7:1 (Spring 94) p. 89
A Gospel Hymn Of Grace
Pianist, Christ Congregation
Years I spend in Vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.
Now I’ve given to Jesus everything;
Now I gladly own Him as my King;
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary
Oh, the love the drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the might gulf that god did span, at Calvary!
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary.
William P. Newell (1868–1956)
The lyrics of “At Calvary” affirm Paul’s assertion in 1 Cor 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” The author, William R. Newell, contrasts his attitude toward the Cross of Calvary before his conversion, at the point of his conversion, and since his conversion.1 Prior to his conversion he lived in pride, apparently unaware of, and unconcerned about, his own sinful
JOTGES 7:1 (Spring 94) p. 90
condition. He may have been one of the multitude of people who vaguely agree with the idea that our Lord somehow died for “sinners,” but who fail to see that they themselves are among those sinners and therefore in need of Christ’s atoning blood.
In the second stanza, Newell testifies that it was through the Word of God that he finally became aware of his personal sinful state. This brings to mind Psalm 119:130: “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” The author’s realization of the seriousness of his failure to meet the standards required by God’s law and his subsequent turning to the Cross of Christ echoes Gal 3:24: “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Newell’s experience of the validity of this truth should remind the believer who desires to win souls that he must depend upon the Holy Spirit working through the written Word of God to bring conviction of sin and the need for a Savior to the unbeliever’s spirit.
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