When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (ROCKINGHAM)

Words:LM • Isaac Watts (1707)
Music:ROCKINGHAM • Adapted from TUNBRIDGE (c. 1770?) by Edward Miller (1790), with historical influences



When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.


Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.


See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?


His dying crimson like a robe
Spreads o’er His body on the tree,
Then am I dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.


Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Compared to Hymnals

The tune ROCKINGHAM is commonly used for “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” in Britain and Canada. In the United States, most hymnals use the tune HAMBURG.

For a comparison of the words, see our hymnal comparison for HAMBURG.



Although first published in 1707, Watts published a revised version in his 1709 second edition of Hymns and Spiritual Songs:

Original text from the Second Edition of “Hymns and Spiritual Songs” (1709)

It is this revision which has lasted.



Here are some representative recordings of the music (though with instrumental accompaniment):


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Through [Jesus] let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
— Hebrews 13:15