O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

Full Text

1 O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.

2 O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
my heart restores its borrowed ray,
that in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be.

3 O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be.

4 O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be.

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #833

Author: George Matheson

Matheson, George, D.D., was born at Glasgow, March 27, 1842, and although deprived of his eyesight in youth he passed a brilliant course at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated M.A. in 1862. In 1868 he became the parish minister at Innellan; and subsequently of St. Bernard's, Edinburgh. He was the Baird Lecturer in 1881, and St. Giles Lecturer in 1882. He has published several important prose works. His poetical pieces were collected and published in 1890 as Sacred Songs, Edinburgh: W. Blackwood. In addition to his hymn "O Love that wilt not let me go" (q. v.), four others from his Sacred Songs are in Dr. A. C. Murphey's Book of Common Song, Belfast, 1890. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)… Go to person page >

Notes

O Love that wilt not let me go. G. Matheson. [Jesus All and in All.] Dr. Matheson says this hymn was "written in the Manse of my former parish (Innellan, Argyleshire) one summer evening in 1882. It was composed with extreme rapidity; it seemed to me that its construction occupied only a few minutes, and I felt myself rather in the position of one who was being dictated to than of an original artist I was suffering from extreme mental distress, and the hymn was the fruit of pain." [L. MSS.] This hymn first appeared in the Church of Scotland magazine, Life and Work, in 1883. From thence it passed into the Scottish Hymnal 1884; and there set to special music by Dr. A. L. Peace. It is a beautiful and tender hymn and worthy of extensive use.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)

Timeline

Media

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #292
The Cyber Hymnal #5160
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Timeless Truths #392
  • O_Love_That_Will_Not_Let_Me_Go.sib (SIB, Scorch)
The United Methodist Hymnal #480
Worship and Rejoice #446

Instances

Instances (28)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #292TextImageAudioScore
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #110TextImageFlexscore
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #631Image
Celebration Hymnal #606Image
Chalice Hymnal #540Text
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #592
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #557Text
Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New #528
Complete Mission Praise #515
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #833TextImageAudioFlexscore
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #486
Hymns of Faith #26TextImage
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #384
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #457Image
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #384TextImage
Revival Hymns and Choruses #313Audio
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #76
Sing Joyfully #439TextImage
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #438
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #374
The New Century Hymnal #485Image
The United Methodist Hymnal #480TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
The Worshiping Church #531TextImageFlexscore
Together in Song: Australian Hymn Book II #602
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #708TextImage
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #658Text
Worship and Rejoice #446TextImageAudioScore
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #177



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