Scripture Verse

I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Isaiah 63:1


Words: William Booth, 1893. Sal­va­tion Ar­my (SA) Com­mis­sion­er Theo­dore Kitch­ing said that one morn­ing he ar­rived at the house of the Foun­der (SA term for Will­iam Booth; Bound­less Sal­va­tion is al­so called The Found­er’s Song, though Booth wrote ma­ny songs).

Kitching found Booth in his stu­dy com­plet­ing the vers­es of this song. He wrote it to be sung at an ev­an­gel­is­tic camp­aign be­ing held at Exe­ter Hall in Lon­don. The cru­sade was called the Bound­less Sal­va­tion Cam­paign, and this song was first sung No­vem­ber 14, 1893, du­ring that cam­paign.

Originally, the cho­rus Hea­ven­ly Gales Are Blow­ing was sung be­tween each of the vers­es. The words were first pub­lished in the SA ma­ga­zine The War Cry, De­cem­ber 23, 1893.

Booth an­nounced this song the last time he ap­peared in pub­lic, at his 83rd birth­day ce­le­bra­tion in the Roy­al Al­bert Hall, Lon­don, May 9, 1912.

Music: My Je­sus I Love Thee J. Ellis (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know when the mu­sic was writ­ten, El­lis’ full name, or where to get a good pho­to of him (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

William Booth (1829–1912)


O bound­less sal­va­tion! deep ocean of love,
O full­ness of mer­cy, Christ brought from above,
The whole world re­deem­ing, so rich and so free,
Now flow­ing for all men, now flow­ing for all men,
Now flow­ing for all men, come, roll ov­er me!

My sins they are ma­ny, their stains are so deep,
And bit­ter the tears of re­morse that I weep;
But use­less is weep­ing; thou great crim­son sea,
Thy wa­ters can cleanse me, Thy wa­ters can cleanse me,
Thy wa­ters can cleanse me, come, roll ov­er me!

My tem­pers are fit­ful, my pass­ions are strong,
They bind my poor soul and they force me to wrong;
Beneath thy blest bil­lows de­liv­er­ance I see,
O come, migh­ty ocean, O come, migh­ty ocean,
O come, migh­ty ocean, and roll over me!

Now tossed with temp­ta­tion, then haunt­ed with fears,
My life has been joy­less and use­less for years;
I feel some­thing bet­ter most sure­ly would be
If once thy pure wa­ters, if once thy pure wa­ters,
If once thy pure wa­ters would roll ov­er me.

O ocean of mer­cy, oft long­ing I’ve stood
On the brink of thy won­der­ful, life giv­ing flood!
Once more I have reachèd this soul cleans­ing sea,
I will not go back, I will not go back,
I will not go back till it rolls ov­er me.

The tide is now flow­ing, I’m touch­ing the wave,
I hear the loud call of the Migh­ty to Save;
My faith’s grow­ing bold­er, de­liv­ered I’ll be;
I plunge ’neath the waters, I plunge ’neath the wa­ters,
I plunge ’neath the waters, they roll ov­er me.

And now, hal­le­lu­jah! the rest of my days
Shall glad­ly be spent in pro­mot­ing His praise
Who op­ened His bo­som to pour out this sea
Of bound­less sal­va­tion, of bound­less sal­va­tion,
Of bound­less sal­va­tion for you and for me.