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The Word on the Week

Joseph Hart Word on the Week 29th July 2017.
Have you noticed that among the words which have dropped out of circulation or have lost much of their original meaning is the word ‘sin’. When it is used it usually restricted to trivia and is associated with excess or unwise eating or drinking.
Joseph Hart who lived in the 17th century had a good start in life coming from Christian parents but went his own way and ended up, like so many, blinded by pride. His conversion came at age 45 when he had a vivid impression of the scene in Gethsemane where Jesus went with his Disciples (St John Chapter 18 verses 1 and 2) and particularly where He went to pray before his betrayal (St Matthew Chapter 26 verses 36 to 46).
Later when as an established Preacher he wrote many hymns around this theme, the most famous taking the name of Gethsemane and running to 23 stanzas! It was as if Hart saw Jesus in the garden kneeling near the brook Kedron – the sewer of Jerusalem – wrestling with the fact that he was to be the sin-bearing lamb of God.
The full enormity of his sins dawned on him and also the enormity of God’s grace in providing in Jesus the only Saviour who could substitute his perfect life for his. It was out of deep repentance that he turned from his pride and arrogance to serve the risen Saviour. Out of gratitude for being
forgiven he wrote the following great hymn putting the Gospel invitation so powerfully to those holding back from coming to Christ.
1. Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus, ready, stands to save you,
Full of pity, joined with power.
He is able, He is able;
He is willing; doubt no more.

2. Come ye needy, come, and welcome,
God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
Without money, without money
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.

3. Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Bruised and broken by the fall;
If you tarry ’til you’re better,
You will never come at all.
Not the righteous, not the righteous;
Sinners Jesus came to call.

4. Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requires
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He gives you, this He gives you,
It is the Spirit’s rising beam.

5. View Him prostrate in the garden,
On the ground your Maker lies!
On the awful tree behold Him,
Hear Him cry before He dies,
It is finished!
Sinner, will this not suffice?

6. Lo! The Incarnate God, ascended;
Pleads the merit of His blood.
Venture on Him; venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.
None but Jesus, none but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good.