1. There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all. 2. 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. 3. He died that we might be forgiv'n, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to Heav'n, Saved by His precious blood. 4. There was no other good enough, To pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate Of Heav'n and let us in. Chorus: Oh, dearly, dearly has He loved, And we must love Him too; And trust in His redeeming blood, And try His works to do.
Lyrics: Cecil Frances Humphreys
Music: George Coles Stebbins
Tune: GREEN HILL
Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823–1895
When Mrs. Cecil Alexander, one of England’s finest hymn writers, was attempting to explain to her Sunday school class the meaning of the phrase from the Apostles’ Creed, “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried,” she felt inadequate. She had always believed that one of the most effective ways to teach sound spiritual truths to children is through the use of appropriate hymns. She decided, therefore, to put the details of Christ’s suffering and death on the cross into a simply worded but appealing song that could be easily understood by the children in her class. Although the hymn with its direct style of wording and clearly expressed thoughts was originally intended for youth, it had an immediate appeal to adults as well. After the melody was composed for the text in 1878 by George C. Stebbins, the hymn became widely used in the Moody-Sankey evangelistic campaigns.