Scripture Verse

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34

Introduction

portrait
Cecil F. Alexander
(1818–1895)

Words: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1875, alt.

Music: Va­let Will Ich Dir Ge­ben Mel­chi­or Tesch­ner, 1613 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Tesch­ner (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

illustration
Elevation of the Cross
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669)

Lyrics

Forgive them, O my Father,
They know not what they do.

The Savior spoke in anguish,
As sharp iron nails went through.
No word of anger spoke He
To them that shed His blood,
But prayer and tenderest pity
Large as the love of God.

For me was that compassion,
For me that tender care;
I need His wide forgiveness
As much as any there.
It was my pride and hardness
That hung Him on the tree;
Those cruel nails, O Savior,
Were driven in by me.

And often I have slighted
Thy gentle voice that said:
Forgive me too, Lord Jesus,
I knew not what I did.
O depth of sweet compassion!
O love divine and true!
Save Thou the souls that slight Thee,
And know not what they do.