Scripture Verse

Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all His praise? Psalm 106:2


John Wesley (1703–1791)

Words: Ernst Lange, in Neu­es geist­reich­es Ge­sang­buch, by Jo­hann A. Frey­ling­hau­sen, 1714 (O Gott, du Tiefe son­der Grund). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by John Wes­ley, Col­lect­ion of Psalms and Hymns (Charles­ton, South Ca­ro­li­na: 1737), num­ber 16.

Music: War­ring­ton Ralph Har­ris­on, 1784 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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


O God, Thou bot­tom­less ab­yss!
Thee to per­fect­ion who can know?
O height im­mense! What words suf­fice
Thy count­less at­trib­utes to show?

Unfathomable depths Thou art;
O plunge me in Thy mer­cy’s sea!
Void of true wis­dom is my heart;
With love em­brace and co­ver me:

While Thee, all-in­fi­nite, I set
By faith be­fore my rav­ished eye,
My weak­ness bends be­neath the weight;
O’erpowered I sink, I faint, I die.

Eternity Thy fount­ain was,
Which, like Thee, no be­gin­ning knew;
Thou wast ere time be­gan his race,
Ere glowed with stars the ether­eal blue.

Greatness un­speak­able is Thine,
Greatness, whose un­dim­in­ished ray,
When short-lived worlds are lost, shall shine,
When earth and Hea­ven are fled away.

Unchangeable, all-per­fect Lord,
Essential life’s un­bound­ed sea,
What lives and moves, lives by Thy Word;
It lives, and moves, and is from Thee.

Thy parent-hand, Thy form­ing skill,
Firm fixed this uni­ver­sal chain;
Else emp­ty, bar­ren dark­ness still
Had held his un­mo­lest­ed reign.

Whate’er in earth, or sea, or sky,
Or shuns or meets the wan­der­ing thought,
Escapes or strikes the search­ing eye,
By Thee was to per­fect­ion brought.

High is Thy pow­er above all height,
Whate’er Thy will de­crees is done;
Thy wis­dom, eq­ual to Thy might,
Only to Thee, O God, is known!

Heaven’s glo­ry is Thy aw­ful throne,
Yet earth par­takes Thy gra­cious sway:
Vain man! Thy wis­dom fol­ly own,
Lost is thy rea­son’s fee­ble ray.

What our dim eye could ne­ver see,
Is plain and nak­ed to Thy sight;
What thick­est dark­ness veils, to Thee
Shines clear­ly as the morn­ing light.

In light Thou dwell’st; light that no shade,
No va­ri­ation, ev­er knew;
Heaven, earth, and hell, stand all dis­played,
And op­en to Thy pierc­ing view.