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Jan 2011

Sighing and Singing

This Sunday, we will be performing a song new to our corporate gathering, Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace. The song was written by Daniel Herbert (1751-1833), a congregational minister who served at Sudbury in Suffolk. Not much is known about him, apart from a few volumes of hymns he wrote, and what information can be gleaned from his obituary. The editor of Gospel Magazine said of him after his death in 1833:

    He was a plain, unadorned, though faithful and honest, messenger to dispense the word of eternal life to the helpless family of Zion.

Based on Hebrews 4:14-16, Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace is a passionate and comforting call to all who feel the weight of their sin to come and find mercy at the feet of Christ. Here is the text:

    Come boldly to the throne of grace
    Ye wretched sinners come
    And lay your load at Jesus’ feet
    And plead what He has done

    “How can I come?” Some soul may say
    “I’m lame and cannot walk
    My guilt and sin have stopped my mouth
    I sigh, but dare not talk.”

    Come boldly to the throne of grace
    Though lost, and blind, and lame
    Jehovah is the sinner’s Friend
    And ever was the same

    He makes the dead to hear His voice
    He makes the blind to see
    The sinner lost He came to save
    And set the prisoner free

    Come boldly to the throne of grace
    For Jesus fills the throne
    And those He kills He makes alive
    He hears the sigh or groan

    Poor bankrupt souls, who feel and know
    The hell of sin within
    Come boldly to the throne of grace
    The Lord will take you in

In Christ, we can all “draw near” to God. And we can do this boldly, with both freedom and confidence, and without hesitation or inhibition. Made possible only by the blood of Jesus. In Jesus, we have a “sympathetic” High Priest. One who literally has suffered along with us, and has now made it his own. He was tempted in every way that we are, yet remained totally blameless and without sin. This qualifies him to be our merciful and faithful High Priest. One who is able to aid those who are tempted. When we “come boldly to the throne of grace,” we find a graceful God and a sympathetic High Priest in Jesus.

In the preface to his 1801 volume of hymns, Herbert says:

    I flatter myself that the hymns will be received by those who know the plague of their own hearts and have felt the power of efficacious grace. While the poor saved sinner, who is enabled to credit the report of the gospel of salvation, full and free, without money and without price, will find satisfaction in reading these lines, whatever the man untaught of God may say will give the writer no concern.

May we always consider it a privilege to draw near to God. May we always sigh over our inconsistencies, broken promises, and powerful appetites for sin. Then, because of Christ, may we always boldly sing about how, through His shed blood, He made it possible to draw near to God.

If you would like to hear and download the song, the arrangement we will be singing is based on Red Mountain Music’s version included on The Gadsby Project album.



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