Thy sins are forgiven.@Luke 7:48
portrait
Isaac B. Woodbury (1819-1858)

Jeremiah J. Callahan, in Lyra Catholica (New York: E. Dunigan & Brothers, 1851). However, in Ira Sankey’s Sacred Songs and Solos, the words are attributed to Emma J. Butler.

Isaac B. Woodbury (1819-1858) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Mr. F. Markham, connected with a large and well-known piano factory, was leading an ungodly and heedless life, says a London periodical. One day he saw an announcement that Moody and Sankey were to open a mission at St. Pancras that evening. Instantly he resolved to go and hear the singing. He and a companion reached the hall in good time, as they thought, only to find it crowded to the doors. An overflow meeting was announced at a neighboring church, and thither they went. By and by Mr. Sankey sang ‘To the hall of the feast came the sinful and fair.’ As Markham listened, his past life seemed to rise before him; the tears rushed into his eyes; his heart seemed broken. Coming out, he asked his companion what he thought of it. ‘Oh,’ was the careless reply, ‘he is a nice singer.’ ‘Is that all? It has broken my heart.’ Ere long he could say, in the words of the song, ‘He looked on his lost one; my sins are forgiven.’ When he got home his wife was amazed at what had come over him, and could not make out where he had been. She had been converted years before, but had backslidden. She accompanied him to the mission on the following evening, and was happily received. The man became a Christian worker, and is the founder and superintendent of the Tahall Road Factory Lads’ Home and Institution.

Sankey, pp. 107-08

To the hall of the feast came the sinful and fair;
She heard in the city that Jesus was there;
Unheeding the splendor that blazed on the board,
She silently knelt at the feet of the Lord,
She silently knelt at the feet of the Lord.

The frown and the murmur went round thro’ them all,
That one so unhallowed should tread in that hall;
And some said the poor would be objects more meet,
As the wealth of her perfume she showered on His feet,
As the wealth of her perfume she showered on His feet.

She heard but the Savior; she spoke but with sighs;
She dared not look up to the heaven of His eyes;
And hot tears gushed forth at each heave of her breast,
As her lips to His sandals were throbbingly pressed;
As her lips to His sandals were throbbingly pressed.

In the sky, after tempest, as shineth the bow,
In glance of the sunshine, as melteth the snow,
He looked on that lost one: her sins were forgiv’n,
And the sinner went forth in the beauty of Heav’n;
And the sinner went forth in the beauty of Heav’n.