Have you ever heard a popular 'praise song' proclaim the Biblical doctrine of Original Sin? Probably not. But, that is exactly what one wonderful old hymn from the early 16th century does. It is entitled, "All mankind fell in Adam's fall" and it worships the Lord by proclaiming what scripture reveals regarding humanity's fallen sinful nature. It then proclaims Christ and his death in our place as the solution for our fallen sinfulness.
This hymn is reproduced below.
All mankind fell in Adam's fall
by Lazarus Spengler
Performance by Clyde McLennan of smallchurchmusic.com
All mankind fell in Adam's fall,
One common sin infects us all;
From one to all the curse descends,
And over all God's wrath impends.
Through all our powers corruption creeps
And us in dreadful bondage keeps;
In guilt we draw our infant breath
And reap its fruits of woe and death.
From hearts depraved, to evil prone,
Flow thoughts and deeds of sin alone;
God's image lost, the darkened soul
Nor seeks nor finds its heavenly goal.
But Christ, the second Adam, came
To bear our sin and woe and shame,
To be our Life, our Light, our Way,
Our only Hope, our only Stay.
As by one man all mankind fell
And, born in sin, was doomed to hell,
So by one Man, who took our place,
We all received the gift of grace.
We thank Thee, Christ; new life is ours,
New light, new hope, new strength, new powers:
This grace our every way attend
Until we reach our journey's end!
The theological depth of ancient hymns commend themselves to us as more faithful expressions of the truths of God's Word and more reverent than most of today's shallow and theologically vapid praise songs. These are good reasons why we should not despise them but cherish and gaurd them and continue to give them voice in our congregations today.