He heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth.@Mark 10:47
portrait
Theodore E. Perkins (1831–1912)

Em­ma F. R. Camp­bell, 1864. She wrote this song af­ter hear­ing R. J. Par­dee preach at a re­viv­al meet­ing in New­ark, New Jersey. In­i­tial­ly, the song was pub­lished un­der the pseu­do­nym Eta (the Greek let­ter), lead­ing ear­ly hym­nals to give the au­thor as Miss Eta Camp­bell. De­cades lat­er, Camp­bell wrote a book de­scrib­ing the song’s or­i­gin.

Las Pal­mas The­o­dore E. Per­kins (🔊 pdf nwc).

An of­fi­cer of the Eng­lish ar­my sends me the fol­low­ing in­ci­dent: “A sol­dier was sta­tioned at Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle, and one ev­en­ing left his post on a pass un­til mid­night.

He had a week’s pay in one pock­et and the wash­ing mo­ney earned by his wife in the other, and was on his way to the pub­lic house to have a night in gam­bling. His eye caught the pos­ter out­side the Tol­booth Church, an­nounc­ing your meet­ings. The of­fi­cer liked the sing­ing, and went in just to hear one song.

As he en­tered, Mr. Moody was preach­ing on ‘The Blood.’ That had no in­te­rest for him. Af­ter the ad­dress you sang, ‘Je­sus of Na­za­reth pas­seth by.’ He lis­tened with deep in­te­rest to the hymn. ‘Too late, too late,’ was God’s ar­row to his soul.

An of­fic­er of his re­gi­ment and I went in­to the in­quiry-room, and among a great crowd we saw this com­rade’s red coat. He was in great dis­tress. We spoke to him, hold­ing to John 3:16.

That night the man went home in­stead of to the pub­lic house, and his wife was as­ton­ished to see him so ear­ly, and so­ber. He laid down all the mo­ney on the ta­ble, which as­ton­ished her still more. Then he went to bed, but was in too great dis­tress to be able to sleep. The words Too late, too late rang in his ears. About two o’clock in the morn­ing John 3:16 gleamed in­to his soul. He leaped from the bed, plead­ed that grand pro­mise, and Je­sus re­ceived him. This was told the fol­low­ing morn­ing by him­self at the Cas­tle. He held to his faith, and when the re­gi­ment left he was known through­out the camp as a man of God. The glorious Gospel with him began in song, and goes in song.

Sankey, pp. 180–81

What means this eager, anxious throng,
Pressing our busy streets along?
These wondrous gatherings day by day,
What means this strange commotion, pray?
Voices in accents hushed reply,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Voices in accents hushed reply,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

E’en children feel the potent spell
And haste their new-found joy to tell.
In crowds they to the place repair
Where Christians daily bow in prayer,
Hosannas mingle with the cry,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Hosannas mingle with the cry,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Who is this Jesus? Why should He
The city move so mightily?
A passing stranger, has He skill
To move the multitude at will?
Again the stirring tones reply,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Again the stirring tones reply,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Jesus! ’tis He who once below
Man’s pathway trod ’mid pain and woe;
And burdened ones where’er He came,
Brought out their sick and deaf and lame;
Blind men rejoiced to hear the cry,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Blind men rejoiced to hear the cry,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Again He comes—from place to place
His holy footprints we can trace;
He pauses at our threshold, nay,
He enters, condescends to stay:
Shall we not gladly raise the cry
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Shall we not gladly raise the cry
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Bring out your sick and blind and lame,
’Tis to restore them Jesus came;
Compassion infinite you’ll find
With boundless power in Him combined.
Come quickly while salvation’s nigh,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Come quickly while salvation’s nigh,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Ye sin-sick souls, who feel your need,
He comes to you, a Friend indeed;
Rise from your weary, wakeful couch,
Haste to secure His healing touch;
No longer sadly wait and sigh,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
No longer sadly wait and sigh,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Ho! all ye heavy laden, come!
Here’s pardon, comfort, rest, a home:
Ye wanderers from a Father’s face,
Return, accept His proffered grace;
Ye tempted ones, there’s refuge nigh:
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Ye tempted ones, there’s refuge nigh:
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Ye who are buried in the grave
Of sin, His power alone can save;
His voice can bid your dead souls live,
True spirit-life and freedom give.
Awake! Arise! for strength apply,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Awake! Arise! for strength apply,
Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

But if you still this call refuse,
And dare such wondrous love abuse,
Soon will He sadly from you turn,
Your bitter prayer for mercy spurn,
Too late! too late! will be the cry—
Jesus of Nazareth has passed by.
Too late! too late! will be the cry—
Jesus of Nazareth has passed by.