Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Old Rug­ged Cross




This is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, hymns. "The Old Rugged Cross" has always been a song that fills my heart with emotions of love, joy, and nostalgia. It's a very spiritually moving song, and for me it is the epitome of Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to The Lord.


The Old Rugged Cross

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it some day for a crown.


O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;

For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above

To bear it to dark Calvary.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it some day for a crown.


In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,

For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,

To pardon and sanctify me.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it some day for a crown.



To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

Then He'll call me some day to my home far away,

Where His glory forever I'll share.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it some day for a crown.


"The Old Rugged Cross" is certainly one of the most popular hymns of all time. Apart from "Amazing Grace," it may be the most recorded hymn ever. Performers known to sing "The Old Rugged Cross" include Al Green, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and June Carter. 

This popular Christian song was written in 1912 by George Bennard, an evangelist and song-leader. Though a native of Youngstown (Ohio), Bennard was reared in Iowa. He retired to Reed City, Michigan, and the town had honored him by maintaining a dedicated museum relating to his life and ministry.

As a Methodist evangelist, Bennard wrote the first verse of the hymn in Albion, Michigan, in the fall of 1912. He was helped by Charles H. Gabriel, a well-known gospel-song composer with the harmonies and it was published in 1915.

The song was popularized during Billy Sunday evangelistic campaigns by Homer Rodeheaver and Virginia Asher (members of his campaign staff).

The hymn tells about the writer experienced as a Christian rather than his adoration of God.

3 comments:

silvereagle said...

Thanks, once again, Professor. You also "write experienced as a Christian" and I appreciate it!!

Jay M. said...

I always enjoy learning about the hymns I love.
Peace <3
Jay

David Jeffreys said...

The Old Rugged Cross was my father's favorite hymn and my mother had it sung at his funeral. Every time I hear it, I think of both of them.