Family Lessons 38: Phyllis

My 8x great-grandmother was Phyllis Balderstone of Chapel House, Ingleton. This is an unusual name for one born in the seventeenth-century, though she came from a family that had a taste for unusual girls’ names, her mother and daughter being Ursulas. Phyllis was a character from Greek mythology, who killed herself for love, and was turned into an almond tree. Mistakenly believing her beloved Demophon to be dead, she hangs herself; when he visits the grave, the tree blossoms. Sentimental tragedy, yet a moving picture of love: Phyllis loved her Demophon so much she could not live without him. I cannot gainsay the happiness of Phyllis and Robert’s marriage at Ingleton, though she certainly lived beyond him another decade.

I always marvel at God’s incredible desire to share His love, His company and His heaven with fallen humans. Calvary demonstrates the extraordinary price He would pay for our redemption; the eternal covenant between Father, Son and Spirit shows His determination to secure for Himself a people. Christ Jesus surrendered heavenly glory and earthly life that we might be His beloved for ever.

1. O Love divine, what has thou done!

The immortal God hath died for me!

The Father's coeternal Son

bore all my sins upon the tree.

The immortal God hath died for me!

My Lord, my Love, is crucified!


2. Is crucified for me and you,

to bring us rebels back to God.

Believe, believe the record true,

ye all are bought with Jesus' blood.

Pardon for all flows from his side:

My Lord, my Love, is crucified!


3. Behold him, all ye that pass by,

the bleeding Prince of life and peace!

Come, sinners, see your Saviour die,

and say, "Was ever grief like his?"

Come, feel with me his blood applied:

My Lord, my Love, is crucified!


-Charles Wesley

Image by Hands off my tags! Michael Gaida from Pixabay