APRIL 16, 2017 Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

There is A Green Hill Far Away

Cecil Frances Alexander was just twenty-five when she published her Hymns for Little Children [1848]. The hymnal also contained other well-known hymns, among them, All things bright and beautiful and Once in Royal David’s City, written to celebrate the credal statements, Creator of heaven and earth and born of the Virgin Mary.

Two years after the publication she married the Rev. William Alexander. He was six years her junior and her husband later became Bishop of Derry and Archbishop of Armagh.  Her poetical works were much admired and came to the attention of Alfred Lord Tennyson. The composer Charles Gounod once remarked that There is a green hill was ‘the most perfect hymn in the English language because of its charming simplicity…. the lyrics seemed to set themselves to music.’ She is rightly regarded as one of the greatest of British women hymn writers.

Professor A. H. Hunter, once wrote, ‘It was given to an Irish woman, in a hymn she wrote for little children, to express better than many a learned tome, the purpose, the necessity and the challenge of that sacrifice which has in principle redeemed our prodigal race.’ The hymn ends with a call for us to ‘love as he has loved us.

Mrs. Alexander devoted her life to Christian education, to the care of the young and the poor. All the profits from the sale of her writings were donated to a home for deaf children.

There is A Green Hill Far Away

1. There is a green hill far away,

Without a city wall,

Where the dear Lord was crucified,

Who died to save us all.

2. We may not know, we cannot tell,

What pains he had to bear,

But we believe it was for us

He hung and suffered there.

3. There was no other good enough

To pay the price of sin.

He only could unlock the gate

Of heav’n and let us in.

4. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved!

And we must love him too,

And trust in his redeeming blood,

And try his works to do.

Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818-1895  Music: John H. Gower, 1855-1922

http://www.oystermouthparish.com/Lyrics