Not What My Hands Have Done

Not What My Hands Have Done

This past week we introduced a new song that is really not so new. Not What My Hands Have Done is a text written in 1861 by Horatius Bonar, “the prince of Scottish hymn writers”, who authored more than 600 different hymn texts.

Karl Digerness has taken that old text and composed a new melody and added a refrain, focusing on the duel identity of believers as both sinners and saints. The result is a timeless truth set to music that truly captures the heart. Aaron Keyes has a very nice version of it with a string section accompaniment as well.

Not What My Hands Have Done

1. Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load


These guilty hands are raised, filthy rags are all I bring
And I have come to hide beneath Your wings  
These holy hands are raised, washed in the fountain of Your grace 
And now I wear Your righteousness.
2. Thy work alone O Christ can ease this weight of sin
Thy blood alone O Lamb of God can give me peace within
Thy love to me O God not mine O Lord to thee
Can rid me of this dark unrest and set my spirit free

3. Thy grace a lone O God to me can pardon speak
Thy power alone O Lamb of God can this sore bondage break
No other work save Thine, no other blood will do
No strength save that which is divine can bear me safely through

4. I praise the God of grace I trust His truth and might
He calls me His I call Him mine my God, my joy, my light
Tis He who saveth me and freely pardon gives
I love because He loveth me I live be cause He lives
from Fragments of Grace, released 15 June 2011
Words: Horatius Bonar, 1861 | chorus: Karl Digerness, 1999
Music: Karl Digerness, 1999
©1999 Karl Digerness Music