Scripture Verse

How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:18


Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676)

Words: Paul Ger­hardt, in Prax­is Pi­eta­tis Me­li­ca, by Jo­hann Crü­ger (Ber­lin: 1653) (O Je­su Christ, Mein Schön­stes Licht). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by John Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems, 1739, pag­es 156–59, alt.

Music: St. Ca­the­rine (Wal­ton) ar­ranged by James G. Wal­ton in Crown of Je­sus Mu­sic, by Hen­ri F. He­my (Lon­don: 1864) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of He­my or Wal­ton (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Jesus, Thy bound­less love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue de­clare:
O knit my thank­ful heart to Thee
And reign with­out a ri­val there;
Thine whol­ly, Thine alone I am;
Be Thou alone my con­stant flame.

O, grant that no­thing in my soul
May dwell, but Thy pure love alone;
Oh, may Thy love pos­sess me whole,
My joy, my trea­sure, and my crown.
Strange fires far from my heart re­move;
My ev­ery act, word, thought, be love.

O Love, how cheer­ing is Thy ray!
All pain be­fore Thy pre­sence flies;
Care, ang­uish, sor­row, melt away
Where’er Thy heal­ing streams arise.
O Je­sus, no­thing may I see,
And no­thing feel or think, but Thee!

Unwearied may I this pur­sue,
And daunt­less to high prize as­pire.
Hourly with­in my breast re­new
This ho­ly flame, this heav’n­ly fire;
And day and night be all my care
To guard this sac­red trea­sure there.

My Sav­ior, Thou Thy love to me
In want, in pain, in shame, hast showed;
For me, on the ac­curs­èd tree,
Thou pouredst forth Thy guilt­less blood;
Thy wounds up­on my heart im­press,
Nor aught shall the loved stamp ef­face.

More hard than mar­ble is my heart,
And foul with sins of deep­est stain;
But Thou the migh­ty Sav­ior art,
Nor flowed Thy cleans­ing blood in vain.
Ah! Soft­en, melt this rock, and may
Thy blood wash all these stains away.

O that my heart, which op­en stands,
May catch each drop, that tor­tur­ing pain,
Armed by my sins, wrung from Thy hands,
Thy feet, Thy head, Thy ev­ery vein:
That still my breast may heave with sighs,
Still tears of love o’er­flow my eyes.

O that I as a lit­tle child,
May fol­low Thee, nor ev­er rest,
Till sweet­ly Thou hast poured Thy mild
And low­ly mind in­to my breast.
Nor may we ever part­ed be,
Till I be­come as one with Thee.

O draw me, Sav­ior, after Thee,
So shall I run and ne­ver tire;
With gra­cious words still com­fort me;
Be Thou my hope, my sole de­sire;
Free me from ev­ery weight: nor fear
Nor sin can come, if Thou art here.

My health, my light, my life, my crown,
My por­tion, and my trea­sure Thou!
O take me, seal me for Thine own;
To Thee alone my soul I bow.
Without Thee all is pain; my mind
Repose in naught but Thee can find.

Howe’er I rove, wher­e’er I turn,
In Thee alone is all my rest.
Be Thou my flame; with­in me burn,
Jesu, and I in Thee am blest.
Thou art the balm of life: my soul
Is faint; O save, O make it whole!

What in Thy love pos­sess I not?
My star by night, my sun by day;
My spring of life when parched with drought,
My wine to cheer, my bread to stay,
My strength, my shield, my safe abode,
My robe be­fore the throne of God!

Ah love! Thy in­flu­ence with­drawn
What pro­fits me that I am born?
All my de­light, my joy is gone,
Nor know I peace, ’till Thou re­turn.
Thee may I seek ’till I at­tain;
And ne­ver may we part again.

From all eter­ni­ty with love
Unchangeable Thou hast me viewed;
Ere knew this beat­ing heart to move,
Thy ten­der mer­cies me pur­sued.
Ever with me may they abide,
And close me in on ev­ery side.

Still let Thy love point out my way,
How won­drous things Thy love hath wrought!
Still lead me, lest I go as­tray;
Direct my work, in­spire my thought;
And if I fall, soon may I hear
Thy voice, and know that love is near.

In suf­fer­ing be Thy love my peace,
In weak­ness be Thy love my pow­er;
And when the storms of life shall cease,
Jesu, in that im­port­ant hour,
In death as life be Thou my guide,
And save me, who for me hast died!