Scripture Verse

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever. Psalm 89:1

Introduction

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John G. Whittier
1807–1892

Words: John G. Whit­ti­er. This hymn, and We May Not Climb the Hea­ven­ly Steeps, come from Whit­tier’s po­em The Mas­ter, in The Pa­no­ra­ma, and Oth­er Po­ems, 1856.

Music: Se­ren­i­ty adapt­ed by Uz­zi­ah C. Bur­nap, 1856, from Waft, Ye Winds, by Will­iam V. Wall­ace, 1836 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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William V. Wallace
1812–1865

Lyrics

Immortal love, for­ev­er full,
Forever flow­ing free,
Forever shared, for­ev­er whole,
A ne­ver ebb­ing sea!

Our out­ward lips con­fess the name
All oth­er names above;
Love only know­eth whence it came,
And com­pre­hend­eth love.

Blow, winds of God, awake and blow
The mists of earth away:
Shine out, O light di­vine, and show
How wide and far we stray.

We may not climb the heav­en­ly steeps
To bring the Lord Christ down;
In vain we search the lowest deeps,
For Him no depths can drown.

But warm, sweet, ten­der, even yet,
A pre­sent help is He;
And faith still has its Ol­iv­et,
And love its Ga­li­lee.

The heal­ing of His seam­less dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life’s throng and press,
And we are whole again.

Through Him the first fond pray­ers are said
Our lips of child­hood frame,
The last low whis­pers of our dead
Are bur­dened with His name.

O Lord and mas­ter of us all,
Whate’er our name or sign,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine.

The let­ter fails, the sys­tems fall,
And ev­ery sym­bol wanes;
The Spi­rit ov­er brood­ing all,
Eternal love re­mains.