Behold the Saviour on the cross

Behold the Saviour on the cross

Published in 3 hymnals

Representative Text

Behold the Saviour on the cross,
a spectacle of woe!
See from his agonizing wounds
the blood incessant flow;

Till death’s pale ensigns o’er his cheek
and trembling lips were spread;
Till light forsook his closing eyes,
and life his drooping head!

’Tis finished—was his latest voice;
these sacred accents o’er,
He bowed his head, gave up the ghost,
and suffered pain no more.

’Tis finished—The Messiah dies
for sins, but not his own;
The great redemption is complete,
and Satan’s pow’r o’erthrown.

’Tis finished—All his groans are past;
his blood his pain, and toils,
Have fully vanquished our foes,
and crowned him with their spoils.

’Tis finished—Legal worship ends,
and gospel ages run;
All old things now are past away,
and a new world begun.

Scottish Psalms and Paraphrases

Text Information

First Line: Behold the Saviour on the cross


Behold the Saviour on the cross. Cento, 1781. [Passiontide.] First appeared] as No. 44 in the Draft Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, 1781, as a version of John xix. 30, in 6 stanzas of C.M. It is thus made up: stanza i. is altered from stanzas i. and iv., and stanza ii. is exactly stanza v. of Joseph Stennett's "Behold the Saviour of the world " in his Hymns on the Lord's Supper, 1705 (edition 1709, p. 57). Another hymn in that collection (edition 1709, p. 66), "Tis finished, the Redeemer cries," furnishes, in its stanza i., the ground of stanza iii., in its stanza iii. of stanza v., and in its stanza v. of stanza vi. The remaining stanza (stanza iv.).is a cento from Charles Wesley's "'Tis finish'd, the Messias dies" (q.v.). Thus though the hymn has generally been ascribed to “Blair", as in the markings by the eldest daughter of W. Cameron (q. v.), he can¬not be regarded as having done more than make the cento and rewrite the whole to C.M. In the public worship edition of that year issued by the Church of Scotland and still in use, it is unaltered. From the 1781 it has passed into a few modern hymnals, as in England, in Morrell and How's Collection, 1854, and the Irvingite Collection, 1864; and in America in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book, 1834, Presbyterian Psalms and Hymns, 1843, and Adams and Chapin's Collection, 1846. In Miss Leeson's Paraphrases and Hymns for Congregational Singing, 1853, No. 74, omitting stanza v., vi. In the English Presbyterian Psalms and Hymns, 1867, No. 484, and Church Praise, 1883, No. 80, stanzas iii.-vi. beginning " 'Tis finished! was his latest voice " were selected; and the same altered and beginning "'Tis finished—the Messiah cried " in the Free Church Hymn Book, 1873, No. 16. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.] -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 3 of 3)
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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship (10th ed.) #229

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A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship. 16th ed. #229


Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases #R44

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