There is a green hill far away
|There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.
|Oh, dearly, dearly has He loved,
And died our sins to bear;
We trust in His redeeming blood,
And life eternal share.
|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.
|He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might from our sins be freed,
Saved by His precious blood.
|There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin,
He only could divine life give
And dwell Himself within.
Ryde, Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom
This hymn was sung by my school , at an outdoor Easter service, at Middlefield School, in the morning Scottish sunshine. When I was about 8-10 years old. The words touched my heart and mind that day, and led me on to Salvation. I'll never forget how it touched me abd my life!
Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander, one of the finest English women hymn writers, was born in Tyrone, Ireland. Before her marriage to Rev. William Alexander in 1850, who became archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Ireland, she was active in the Sunday School movement that had started in Great Britain. Cecil Alexander loved to teach children spiritual truths through the use of hymns suitable for them.
In 1848 she published a volume of children’s hymns that covered a wide range of doctrinal subjects such as Baptism, the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer. Almost all of the 400 poems and hymns that were written by Mrs. Alexander were intended for children. The language is direct and easily understood as it is in this hymn, yet this beautiful text expounds in a touching way the story of Christ’s redemption.
Mrs. Alexander wanted to teach her Sunday School class the meaning of “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried” (Apostles’ Creed). This hymn has also been greatly used by Christians in congregations for over a century.
After she married Rev. Alexander, she was involved in helping him in his parish duties as well as works of charity. Her husband once wrote this tribute about her, “From one poor home to another she went. Christ was ever with her, and in her, and all felt her influence. ” Those who knew her well said that her life was even more beautiful than her hymns and poetry. She was a very humble woman who disdained praise for her accomplishments. On one occasion, someone wrote to tell her of a worldly man whose heart and life had changed after hearing one of her hymns being sung. Mrs. Alexander exclaimed joyfully saying, “Thank God, I do like to hear that. ”
George Stebbins, well known in the field of American gospel music, composed the tune for this text. He was born on February 26, 1846 in Orleans County, about fifty miles northeast of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. When he was twenty-three he moved to Chicago to be associated with the Lyon and Healy Music Company. In 1874 he moved to Boston and became a music director of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church. It was there that he met D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey and partnered up with them. He also worked with evangelists such as George F. Pentecost and Major D. W. Whittle. After the untimely death of Phillip P. Bliss in 1876, Stebbins and James McGranahan assisted Ira Sankey in editing and compiling the third, fourth, fifth and sixth editions of the “Gospel Hymns” series.
Stebbins composed this tune for Mrs. Alexander’s text in 1878, and it first appeared that same year in “Gospel Hymns No. 3”. The hymn became one of the songs used in the evangelistic campaigns of Moody and Sankey and other similar gospel meetings during that era.
Colma, CA, United States
This is the favorite hymn of
J. Gresham Machen
Bellingham, WA, United States
Dear Susan, this hymn fits right into the Easter Season, but to be technical, it is a wonderful Good-Friday hymn. His resurrection is not expressly mentioned here but only taken for granted. His death and resurrection are of course the very core of our gospel message and thus the classification. This hymn invites us to meditate on the great cost to Him to save us and then to help us in life with Him in the Holy Spirit living in our heart and also to guarantee our future with Him. Thanks and all blessings to such a Savior!
Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
God bless the composer of this great hymn.
It's so rich with many messages.
We do use it in my high secondary school days.
It blessed my life this morning during my personal devotion.
St Albans, Herts, United Kingdom
I was surprised to see this categorised as Gospel. It is a classic Easter Hymn sung on Easter Day in Anglican churches.
Sandusky, OH, United States
So beautiful and it is a joy to know that the hill which was the inspiration for this piece became Creggan Estate and my home in Derry N. Ireland.
Waterlooville, Hampshire, United Kingdom
This hymn loved and remembered from my early school days has been on my mind for the last two days. I am nearing 87 and wonder if this is a message from my beloved family who will be waiting for me. Is this my time?
Rock Clarendon, Jamaica
It lifts my spirits thanks to those who found victory
my dead wife's well remembered words