Scripture Verse

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


John B. Dykes (1823–1876)

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

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

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


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!