Birds in Hymns – When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) by Dario Sanches

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) by Dario Sanches

Based on:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14 KJV)

Words by  Isaac Watts, 1707. Charles Wes­ley reportedly said he would give up all his other hymns to have written this one.
Music is Hamburg, by Lowell Mason, 1824;

Al­ter­nate tune: Rockingham (Miller), Edward Miller, 1790

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.

This hymn was used even though a bird is not mentioned specifically. The verse with “Were the whole realm of nature mine,” always reminds me of all the birds and other critters that God created. To me, it belongs in with the Birds in Hymns section. Also, the message of the whole hymn tells of the Savior’s love and death on the cross for our salvation.

The Gospel Message


2 thoughts on “Birds in Hymns – When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

  1. My favorite hymn. Never knew it had so many verses. I am reading about birds in hymns and I think you win for providing the most material. =) Thank you for all your good work.


    • I’m making a Christmas decoration for the front door. It’s a pine swag with pinecones, a bit of fake snow, and a couple cardinals. Wanting to maybe add a little word banner with a phrase from a Christmas carol. All I could think of was “Let every heart prepare Him room. And Heaven and Nature sing!” (Joy to the World)


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