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  • « Images of the Savior (29 - The Strange Fire of Nadab and Abihu) | Main | Regeneration v. The Idolatry of Decisional "Evangelism" by Paul Washer »

    mp3 | Not What My Hands Have Done

    At Intown Presbyterian Church (PCA) our Chief Musician Matthew Curl has released another rough cut from the studio, this time of "Not What My Hands Have Done" Lyrics by Horatius Bonar

    Not what my hands have done Can save my guilty soul;
    Not what my toiling flesh has borne Can make my spirit whole.
    Not what I feel or do Can give me peace with God;
    Not all my prayers, And sighs and tears Can bear my awful load.

    Thy work alone, O Christ,Can ease this weight of sin
    Thy blood alone O Lamb of God,Can give me peace within.
    Thy love to me O God, Not mine, O Lord, to Thee
    Can rid me of This dark unrest,And set my spirit free!

    Download the mp3 of the music directly here:

    Here is the sheet music in pdf format

    Posted by John on October 24, 2008 01:17 PM


    This type of instrumental music is another example of the cultural captivity of the modern church to the spirit of the age as regards its ungodly music. Bonar's beloved hymn does not deserve this kind of treatment. What a travesty. Bonar’s somber song attempts to instill repentance and holiness in our hearts. But it cannot do so in this modern re-writing because the overbearing musical tune counteracts what he wants believers to understand and experience. When will the church give up its addiction to modern pop music and realize that there is a difference between the sacred and the profane. I can’t judge Matthew Curl’s vocal talent. But his choice of musical tune to accompany Bonar’s thoughtful lyrics is most unpleasant, unfitting and, I believe ungodly, plain and simple. Please stick with the original music.

    The heavy beat and repetitiveness, the drums and guitar predominating, and the loudness are jarringly distracting to any tender conscience (or at least they should be) not totally sold out to this worldly musical genre. The musical tune distracts one from dwelling on the seriousness of Bonar’s words. The pulsating rhythms are sensuous and totally prohibit any possibility of a pious response to the subject matter. Such itching ears young people have (and the church leaders that cater to them) to bring into the church the profane music of the world.

    I love the adaption to these beautiful Christ-centered lyrics. Thank you for that.

    Wow, those words really set my mind on Christ and what he has done for us. So unlike much of the shallow music we hear today. I am so thankful people are re-writing old hymns that point to Christ rather than to self. Good work.

    Thank you for the thouroughly edifying music. Christ is truly honored in it.

    Without meaning any disrepect to the Caroline poster above, I have to disagree. There is nothing culturally captive or ungodly about the tune at all. I mean show me the chapter and verse in Scripture where such an assertion can be made. Those judgements are quite harsh for something so subjective as a sound. Sound is not sinful in itself. You may not personally like it but hey, since the Bible does not make such judgements about what constitutes worldly when it comes to sounds, neither should we. The above post is spoken as if the original musical sound was directly inspired and thus sacred in itself. If anything this kind of legalism (making up extra-bibical rules) should be the thing we are concerned about here.

    If the lyrics uplift to Christ and bring people to see their utter helplessness like this one does, then all the more too em.

    hmmmmm, I found it a wonderful way of modern interpretation of Bonar.

    We sing Bonar on occasion and I don't find this adaptation offensive.

    I suppose it will easily be concluded Caroline won't be listening to this adaptation anymore?

    I would want to point to a verse of Scripture that I believe underscores the "power" in the Words of Bonar:::>

    Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

    I do not hear any "death" in what I just listened to. Of course the mix of sound certainly could have been better, that is a given. All in all that was a nice way of putting a festive sense to Bonar.

    Keep bringing more songs forth is my encouragement to Curl!

    I love it, great lyrics. While I like it, I know the elderly in my congregation will find the rhythmic phrasing difficult and unusual, so maybe I'll count the syllables and find a meter to fit it into for them.

    Until then I'll enjoy at the house; but even so it will be a great song to simply read off from a bulletin printout like responsive reading etc. thanks that the mp3 is free. that means a lot.

    The link to the mp3 is not working..can you send me a better link? Thank you

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