Those of you who read Worship Matters through a blog aggregator won’t notice that I’ve finally changed the free song on my side bar. For a limited time (which usually turns out to be a couple months…) you can download a free MP3 of the song, The Look. For years, C.J. Mahaney referred to a John Newton hymn that began with the lines, “In evil long I took delight.” Newton imagines the Savior looking down at him twice from the cross. The first look communicates our guilt and responsibility for the death of Christ. The second look assures us that this sacrifice forever secures our forgiveness before God. The two looks together fill us with a “pleasing grief and mournful joy.” I was so affected by the lyrics that I eventually set an adapted version of the text to music, and added a chorus that gives us an opportunity to respond in joyful praise to this demonstration of “pure atoning grace.” Here are the lyrics:
I saw one hanging on a tree
In agony and blood
Who fixed His loving eyes on me
As near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath
Will I forget that look
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke
My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said
“I freely all forgive
this blood is for your ransom paid
I died that you might live”
Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place
Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed.
Original lyrics by John Newton. New and alternate lyrics and music by Bob Kauflin. © 2001 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)
You can see the original lyrics here. You can download the music for my version at the Sovereign Grace web store.
This is indeed a remarkable hymn… and not to brag, but your musical setting perfectly corresponds to the lyrical content. I highly commend the singing of this great song!
With that in mind, there are a couple of stanzas that cyberhymnal has left off of Newton’s original. For those that are interested, you can find the original in Olney Hymns.
Those stanzas are as follows:
“Alas! I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the LORD have slain.
A second look he gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I die, that thou may’st live.
“Thus, while his death my sin displays,
In all its blackest hue;
(Such is the mystery of grace)
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by him I killed.”
Thanks for the encouragement and the heads-up about the Cyberhymnal version. I changed the target for the full hymn to the on-line Olney hymnal.
This one by William Cowper needs to be done…
What a blessing this song is to my heart. Thank you, Bob for this beautiful setting to a great hymn. I’d love to share it with the church. How may I obtain the song sheets for this?
I added a link to the music in the original post. Thanks for your encouragement.
This really does seem like the perfect blend of lyrics and music. I did it for my church’s Good Friday service last year.
And I wanted to say that I SO appreciate y’all making the piano scores available for your music. I’ve started automatically buying the whole set every time a new CD comes out. And speaking of CDs, what’s the next project???
I’m not sure what CD we’re going to do next. We’re considering a number of options. I’ll post something on the blog when things firm up. Thanks for asking.
Do you happen to know if there is a recording available of “The Look / I Was There” with Kurt Allen from the WorshipGod 04 conference?
Thanks for your beautiful setting of this song, Bob, and for the exultant chorus. We’ve been using it in our congregation for several months now, and it really serves to focus our minds and emotions on the fullness of Christ’s work on Calvary.
I echo Lindele’s appreciation for the piano scores! They are incredibly useful to the few of us leading music at our small church in bringing the pieces before the congregation.
I’m checking on whether or not there’s a recording of the Curtis Allen (aka “Voice”) version of The Look. I’ll let you know. Thanks for asking.
SGM’s music has ministered to me significantly. I just wanted to check–is it legal for me to download these mp3’s from this blog?
Thanks for asking if it’s legal to download MP3’s from this site. Since I only offer Sovereign Grace songs, it’s not only legal – it’s encouraged!
Does anyone know how we can get a copy of the sheet music with the cello and violin parts? We would love to play it for an Easter church service. Thanks,
E-mail me at email@example.com and I can send the string parts to you.
This comment isn’t particularly related to the post above (though I am listening to and being blessed by this free download right now) — however, there was an upbeat version of “O Happy Day” that was played during the Easter celebration at Covenant Life this year and I was wondering if that was a Sovereign Grace song or if it could be found on an album by another artist.
O Happy Day is by Tim Hughes. It’s on his Holding Nothing Back CD. Great song.
How could I contact Bob Kauflin to thank him? I was so blessed by this song. Actually I finished a painting which tells about the lyrics of the song, but this is beyond my knowledge. I was 90% done with my painting when a copy of the song “The Look” showed up in my old bible.
I am so blessed and I can’t wait to share this to others, especially the songwriter.
Rejoicing in Christ,
bob, if you dont mind, could you please post the song again? i heard it in the player of a friends’ friend… im dying to hear the song again!! plz….. thank you…
Jenny, you should be able to download the song again. Let me know if you have problems.
thanks soooo much!!!! i can’t tell you how happy i am… thanks a million!!! :)
Is there an accompaniment track version? I have heard this for the first time today and I totally fell in love with this song!! I would love to sing it at church.
Bobbie, you can purchase the accompaniment track for The Look as part of a download for Songs for the Cross Centered Life for $6 here: http://sovereigngracemusic.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-the-cross-centered-life-accompaniment-tracks