Having blogged for a few years on a blog generating over a half-million hits, I’ve enjoyed one of the great fruits of the labor–building relationships with readers. A number of readers have become friends of a sort. They interact on the blog to challenge my arguments, clarify my fuzziness, correct my errors, provoke ideas, and build with encouragement. I have a number of these readers and many I’ve been blessed to meet in person. Thank you for your input!
I must say that one of the my favorite readers is Tom Bombadil (a curiously Tolkienian username). Tom has posted a number of comments over the past year. He has wisely challenged me (on the value of patristic authors), entertained me (by reminding us of the ever-valuable Calvinus beer website), shocked me (by out-weighing the new 100-ounce Works of Andrew Fuller with his shelf-splintering, 126-ounce Bauer/Danker lexicon), and encouraged me with consistent kindness.
But I think it’s his last comment that I consider his most valuable. In the last post on cross-centered books, Tom posted the lyrics to two hymns by Hallgrímur Pétursson, a 17th century Lutheran poet, hymnwriter, priest/pastor, from Iceland. I pulled the quotes out of the comments in case you missed them.
Tom cites the origin of these quotes from Pétursson’s, Hymns of the Passion: Meditations on the Passion of Christ (1666 edition translated by Arthur C. Gook, 1978). The book is long out of print, rare, and expensive.
So, Tom, I know you’re reading. Thanks for these excerpts. Keep posting comments. I learn from the correction, I’m humored at the funny-business, edified by your cross-centeredness, and blessed by your kindness.
Here are the excerpts posted by Tom.
‘Arise, my soul, my heart, my mind,
And all that I within me find,
Come, help me, tongue, my Lord to own
And make His wondrous passion known!
Paul, the Apostle, chose the theme;
To preach it was his task supreme–
The Passion of the Crucified,
That sinners might be justified.
Since Jesus gave His latest breath
To save me from eternal death,
Should not the powers He thus renewed
Show forth to Him my gratitude?
At last repentance rends my heart,
How poorly have I played my part!
What Jesus suffered in my place
I oft forget, –to my disgrace!
My soul, behold the sacrifice
which paid our trespass’ awful price,
Restored the rebel sinner’s state–
What joy on this to meditate!
In sin’s dark dungeon lying
A helpless captive I,
My conscience crucifying,
Heave sigh on weary sigh.
My mortal wound no balm can find,
No help I see around me,
Or solace for my mind.
The Law with heavy lashes
Chastised me for my sin,
Brought me to dust and ashes
With cruel discipline.
No hope I saw; my case was lost,
My heart was bowed with sorrow;
My spirit tempest-tossed.
But Thou dist hear my groaning
And hasting to my aid,
For Thy poor child atoning
Thy sacrifice was made.
The spotless soul was chastened sore
That I should be delivered –
My pains by Thee were taken,
That healing might be mine.
In darkness Thou, forsaken,
Gav’st light on me to sine.
The chastisement on Thee was laid,
Wounded for my transgressions,
And thus my debt was paid.
My heart with grief is stricken
When I survey Thy woes.
Oh! That my love may quicken
To guage how much it owes!
The grief I caused Thee I lament,
My sin has brought Thee sorrow.
Oh! How I now repent.