Scripture Verse

Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Romans 2:13


Words & Mu­sic: Phi­lip P. Bliss, The Charm (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: Root & Ca­dy, 1871), num­ber 98 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Philip P. Bliss (1838–1876)

The verse in Rev. xxii, 14, sug­gest­ed this hymn. The tune was a fa­vo­rite with Mr. Bliss, but af­ter he learned more ful­ly the full­ness of the Gos­pel, he was dis­sa­tis­fied with the words on ac­count of the imp­ress­ion they left that the right to the tree of life was secured by our do­ing. It seemed clear to him that the trans­la­tion of the verse in ques­tion claimed by many of the com­men­ta­tors, Bless­ed are they that have washed their robes, that they may have right the tree of life, etc. must be the cor­rect one, and it took away all Scripture au­tho­ri­ty for the teach­ing of his hymn in that di­rec­tion.

The truth pre­sent­ed in the Scrip­tures as to saved ones walk­ing in the path of ob­ed­ience, he could with a lit­tle change have taught in the hymn, and this he in­tend­ed do­ing. Dur­ing his last week in Rome [Penn­syl­van­ia], he called the at­ten­tion of his bro­ther-in-law, Mr. Young, to the above points of ob­jec­tion to the words, and said: I can­not use it as it is. I see so clear­ly its con­tra­dic­tion of the Gos­pel that I have no li­ber­ty in sing­ing it, and must make a change in it be­fore it goes in­to an­oth­er book. This was the on­ly hymn he had writ­ten, that I am aware of, that is li­able to cri­ti­cism in this di­rec­tion.

Whittle, p. 131


Hear the words our Sav­ior hath spok­en,
Words of life, un­fail­ing and true;
Careless one, prayer­less one, hear and re­mem­ber,
Jesus says, Bless­èd are they that do.


Blessèd are they that do His com­mand­ments,
Blessèd are they, bless­èd are they;
Blessèd are they that do His com­mand­ments,
Blessèd, bless­èd, bless­èd are they.

All in vain we hear His com­mand­ments,
All in vain His promises, too;
Hearing them, fear­ing them, ne­ver can save us,
Blessèd, O bless­èd, are they that do.


They with joy may en­ter the ci­ty,
Free from sin, from sor­row and strife,
Sanctified, glo­ri­fied, now and for­ev­er,
They may have right to the tree of life.