Who Is This, So Weak and Helpless

Full Text

1 Who is this so weak and helpless,
child of lowly Hebrew maid,
rudely in a stable sheltered,
coldly in a manger laid?
'Tis the Lord of all creation,
who this wondrous path has trod;
he is God from everlasting,
and to everlasting God.

2 Who is this, a Man of Sorrows,
walking sadly life's hard way,
homeless, weary, sighing, weeping
over sin and Satan's sway?
'Tis our God, our glorious Savior,
who above the starry sky
now for us a place preparing,
where no tear can dim the eye.

3 Who is this? Behold him shedding
drops of blood upon the ground!
Who is this, despised, rejected,
mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
'Tis our God, who gifts and graces
on his church is pouring down;
who shall smite in holy vengeance
all his foes beneath his throne.

4 Who is this that hangs there dying
while the rude world scoffs and scorns,
numbered with the malefactors,
torn with nails, and crowned with thorns?
'Tis the God who lives forever
'mid the shining ones on high,
in the glorious golden city,
reigning everlastingly.

Source: Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #239

Author: William Walsham How

How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >


Who is this so weak and helpless? Bishop W. W. How. [Life and Death of Jesus.] This very beautiful hymn in the form of question and answer, on the Life and Death of our Blessed Lord, was published in the 1867 Supplement to Morrell and How's Psalms & Hymns, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. It was revised by Bishop How for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871. It is found in a large number of modern hymnals.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



John Ambrose Lloyd (b. Mold, Flintshire, Wales, 1815; d. Liverpool, England, 1874) [composed] EIFIONYDD. The tune...appeared in Ieuan Gwyllt's (John Roberts's) important tune book Llyfr Tonau Cynulleidfaol (1859). Largely self-taught, Lloyd was a major presence in the Welsh music scene of his day. H…

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ST. JOHN'S (54565)

EBENEZER (Williams)



The Cyber Hymnal #7424
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Instances (1 - 6 of 6)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #748Page Scan
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #556
Small Church Music #5954Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #7424TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #474TextPage Scan
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #239TextPage Scan
Include 33 pre-1979 instances