That Rock was Christ
Rock of my heart and my fortress tower,
Dear are thy thoughts to me,
Like the unfolding of leaf or flower
And on the edge of these thy ways,
Standing in awe as heretofore,
Thee do I worship, Thee do I praise,
Rock of my heart, and my fortress Tower,
Dear is thy love to me,
Search I the world for a word of power,
Find it at Calvary –
O deeps of love that rise and flow
Round about me and all things mine,
Love of all loves, in Thee I know
When Israel’s tribes were parch’d with thirst,
Forth from the rock the waters burst;
And all their future journey through
Yielded them drink, and Gospel too!
In Moses’ rod a type they saw
Of his severe and fiery law;
The smitten rock prefigur’d Him
From whose pierc’d side all blessings stream.
But ah! the types were all too faint,
His sorrows or his worth to paint;
Slight was the stroke of Moses’ rod,
But he endur’d the wrath of God.
Their outward rock could feel no pain,
But ours was wounded, torn and slain;
The rock gave but a wat’ry flood,
But Jesus pour’d forth streams of blood.
The earth is like their wilderness,
A land of drought and sore distress;
Without one stream from pole to pole,
To satisfy a thirsty soul.
But let the Saviour’s praise resound;
In him refreshing streams are found,
Which pardon, strength, and comfort give;
And thirsty sinners drink and live.
John Newton, from Olney Hymns, vol. 1, hymn 128
For e-mailing Dr. Ralph Gross