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The words and tune of this 19th century anthem, Before the Throne of God Above, recently brought to life again, have been working a powerful ministry of late. Written by Charitie Bancroft (an Irish woman, twice widowed) in 1863, and originally titled, “The Advocate”, the words reveal a rich comprehension of Biblical doctrine, as well as a deep well of experience of both sin and human weakness, and utter trust in the power of Christ as Advocate.
This song demonstrates the best of musical style, singability, memorability, and doctrinal precision. Like “Be Thou my Vision,” it appeals to head and heart without one diminishing the other. It also personalizes the singer’s relationship with Christ without being even slightly self-focused – a flaw of much so called “praise music.”
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea. (Heb 4:15-16)
A great High Priest whose Name is Love (Heb 4:14)
Who ever lives and pleads for me. (Heb 7:25)
My name is graven on His hands, (Isa 49:16)
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart. (Rom 8:34)
When Satan tempts me to despair (Luke 22:31-32)
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there (Acts 7:55-56)
Who made an end of all my sin. (Col 2:13-14)
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me. (Rom 3:24-26)
Behold Him there the risen Lamb, (Rev 5:6)
My perfect spotless righteousness, (1 Cor 1:30; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
The great unchangeable I AM, (Heb 13:8; John 8:58)
The King of glory and of grace,
One with Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood, (Acts 20:28)
My life is hid with Christ on high, (Col 3:3)
With Christ my Savior and my God! (Tit 2:13)