The old rugged cross
St. Paul was not always a saint. In his younger years he was Sinner Saul, a violent persecutor of the Christian faith. By the mercy of God he was converted and gave his life to the proclamation of the gospel, but he always gave God all the credit. The cross of Christ was his personal life logo: “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (i.e., Jesus Christ), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19,20).
George Bennard had had a hard life, but his great passion, like Paul’s, was to be an evangelist. In response to some mockery and ridicule received at a revival meeting one night, he began a poem that crystallized his faith. Joined to a stately waltz melody, his hymn became one of the most recorded gospel songs in history.
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.
We will too.
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