What Wondrous Love Is This

Full Text

1 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

2 When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God's righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

3 To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM -
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
while millions join the theme, I will sing.

4 And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
and through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on.

Source: Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #164

Author: Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >

Notes

Scripture References:
all st. = Rev. 5

Although various sources have attributed this text to a number of different writers, it remains anonymous. "What Wondrous Love" was first published in both Stith Mead's hymnal for Methodists, A General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1811), and in Starke Dupuy's hymnal for Baptists, Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1811).

Like 103 and 305, the text is addressed to the soul. It meditates on Christ's wonderful love (st. 1), which brought about our salvation (st. 2), a love to which we and the "millions" respond with eternal praise (st. 3-4).

Liturgical Use:
Lent; stanzas 1-3 for services of confession/forgiveness; funeral services (entire hymn); stanza 2 with preaching about Jonah; stanza 3 as a doxology.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

WONDROUS LOVE (Southern Harmony)

WONDROUS LOVE was first set to this text in William Walker's (PsH 44) second edition of Southern Harmony (1840). Publication of the hymn in B. F. White's The Sacred Harp (1844) further promoted the combination of text and tune. The meter of "What Wondrous Love" derives from an old English ballad abo…

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