Scripture Verse

I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

Introduction

portrait
John B. Dykes
(1823–1876)

Words: Will­iam Cow­per, in Max­field’s New Ap­pen­dix, 1768.

Music: St. Bees John B. Dykes, 1862 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
William Cowper
(1731–1800)

Mr. Ben­net Kaye, who was as­sis­tant or­gan­ist with Dr. Dykes, says that the doc­tor would of­ten come to the boys’ re­hear­sals be­fore morn­ing ser­vice and prac­tice with them the mu­sic for the day. Some­times he would wan­der off in­to a new mel­ody, and all would lis­ten with rapt at­ten­tion.

One day he played ov­er an air sev­er­al times. It made a great im­pres­sion on Mr. Kaye, who af­ter­wards re­cog­nized it as ‘St. Bees,’ the tune which has become wed­ded with Cow­per’s hymn. It takes its name from a place where the doc­tor had passed ma­ny plea­sant hours.

Telford, p. 263

Lyrics

Hark, my soul, it is the Lord!
’Tis thy Savior, hear His Word;
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee,
Say, poor, sinner, lovest thou Me?

“I delivered thee when bound,
And, when bleeding, healed thy wound;
Sought thee wandering, set thee right,
Turned thy darkness into light.

“Can a woman’s tender care
Cease toward the child she bare?
Yes, she may forgetful be,
Yet will I remember thee.

“Mine is an unchanging love,
Higher than the heights above,
Deeper than the depths beneath,
Free and faithful, strong as death.

Thou shalt see My glory soon,
When the work of grace is done;
Partner of My throne shalt be:
Say, poor sinner, lovest thou Me?

Lord, it is my chief complaint
That my love is weak and faint;
Yet I love Thee, and adore:
O for grace to love Thee more!