Hymn of the Rock

Continuing my project of setting John Newton and William Cowper’s Olney Hymns to new music, here is my latest, a hymn which Newton called “That Rock Was Christ”, after 1 Corinthians 10:4. Newton’s words are, as always, beautiful, verging on heartbreaking. I have tried to capture them with my tune. It is perhaps the recording I am the happiest with so far. I hope you enjoy and benefit from it like I have done in recording it. Here are Newton’s words below for you to read as you listen.


That Rock Was Christ - John Newton (Original Music by Matthew Pullar)

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. 

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.

Published by Matthew Pullar

Teacher, writer, blogger, husband, father, Christian. Living in Wyndham in Melbourne's west, on the land of the Kulin Nation. Searching for words to console and feed hearts and souls.

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