The Law Commands and Makes Us Know

I ran across the wonderful hymn the other day by Isaac Watts written in 1709.

I love the way that Watts shows the difference and dynamic between the law and the gospel.

Here is the text from the Lutheran 1941 Hymnal:

1. The Law commands and makes us know
What duties to our God we owe;
But ’tis the Gospel must reveal
Where lies our strength to do his will.

2. The Law discovers guilt and sin
And shows how vile our hearts have been;
The Gospel only can express
Forgiving love and cleansing grace.

3. What curses doth the Law denounce
Against the man who fails but once!
But in the Gospel Christ appears,
Pardoning the guilt of numerous years.

4. My soul, no more attempt to draw
Thy life and comfort from the Law
Fly to the hope the Gospel gives;
The man that trusts the promise lives.

Text by: Isaac Watts
Tune: Old 100th from: Genevan Psalter 1551
Source: Lutheran 1941 Hymnal #289