Scripture Verse

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

Introduction

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns for Those That Seek and Those That Have Re­demp­tion in the Blood of Je­sus Christ 1747.

Music: Beech­er John Zun­del, Chris­tian Heart Songs 1870 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Zun­del (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

portrait
Charles Wesley
1707–1788

Background

In 1961, dur­ing the Man­ches­ter, Eng­land, cru­sade…just as the meet­ings were about to start, Bil­ly Gra­ham be­came quite ser­ious­ly ill…

Billy had been sched­uled to speak to the min­is­ters of Lon­don just be­fore the cru­sade opened. You can imag­ine my feel­ings when he sent word that I should rep­re­sent him and speak at that meet­ing. The Brit­ish pastors are them­selves thor­ough schol­ars and oft­en bril­liant preach­ers. And they were ex­pect­ing to hear Bil­ly Gra­ham, not me!

At the be­gin­ning of that meet­ing in West­min­ster’s Cen­tral Hall, the min­is­ters joined in sing­ing this great hymn of Charles Wes­ley. Most of these Brit­ish cler­gy­men were al­so well ac­quaint­ed with hymn texts and hymn tunes, and they sang glo­ri­ously. Ac­comp­a­nied by the grand pi­ano and the great pipe or­gan and us­ing the Welsh tune Blaen­wern, these fa­mil­iar words lift­ed our hearts in praise and pray­er to God. I felt God’s strength evi­dent through the sing­ing; He blessed our meet­ing to­ge­ther de­spite my fears and their di­sap­point­ment.

Barrows, p. 21

This hymn was also sung at the wed­ding of Bri­tain’s Prince Will­iam and Ca­the­rine Mid­dle­ton in West­min­ster Abbey, Lon­don, April 29, 2011.

Lyrics

Love di­vine, all loves ex­cel­ling,
Joy of Heav’n to earth come down;
Fix in us thy hum­ble dwell­ing;
All thy faith­ful mer­cies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all com­pas­sion,
Pure un­bound­ed love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy sal­va­tion;
Enter ev­ery trem­bling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy lov­ing Spi­rit,
Into ev­ery trou­bled breast!
Let us all in Thee in­her­it;
Let us find that se­cond rest.
Take away our bent to sin­ning;
Alpha and Ome­ga be;
End of faith, as its be­gin­ning,
Set our hearts at li­ber­ty.

Come, Al­migh­ty to de­liv­er,
Let us all Thy life r­eceive;
Suddenly re­turn and ne­ver,
Never more Thy tem­ples leave.
Thee we would be al­ways bless­ing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee with­out ceas­ing,
Glory in Thy per­fect love.

Finish, then, Thy new cre­ation;
Pure and spot­less let us be.
Let us see Thy great sal­va­tion
Perfectly re­stored in Thee;
Changed from glo­ry into glo­ry,
Till in Heav’n we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns be­fore Thee,
Lost in won­der, love, and praise.