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.