How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:18
Words: Paul Gerhardt, in Praxis Pietatis Melica, by Johann Crüger (Berlin: 1653) (O Jesu Christ, Mein Schönstes Licht). Translated from German to English by John Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, pages 156–59, alt.
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Jesus, Thy boundless love to me
No thought can reach, no tongue declare:
O knit my thankful heart to Thee
And reign without a rival there;
Thine wholly, Thine alone I am;
Be Thou alone my constant flame.
O, grant that nothing in my soul
May dwell, but Thy pure love alone;
Oh, may Thy love possess me whole,
My joy, my treasure, and my crown.
Strange fires far from my heart remove;
My every act, word, thought, be love.
O Love, how cheering is Thy ray!
All pain before Thy presence flies;
Care, anguish, sorrow, melt away
Where’er Thy healing streams arise.
O Jesus, nothing may I see,
And nothing feel or think, but Thee!
Unwearied may I this pursue,
And dauntless to high prize aspire.
Hourly within my breast renew
This holy flame, this heav’nly fire;
And day and night be all my care
To guard this sacred treasure there.
My Savior, Thou Thy love to me
In want, in pain, in shame, hast showed;
For me, on the accursèd tree,
Thou pouredst forth Thy guiltless blood;
Thy wounds upon my heart impress,
Nor aught shall the loved stamp efface.
More hard than marble is my heart,
And foul with sins of deepest stain;
But Thou the mighty Savior art,
Nor flowed Thy cleansing blood in vain.
Ah! Soften, melt this rock, and may
Thy blood wash all these stains away.
O that my heart, which open stands,
May catch each drop, that torturing pain,
Armed by my sins, wrung from Thy hands,
Thy feet, Thy head, Thy every vein:
That still my breast may heave with sighs,
Still tears of love o’erflow my eyes.
O that I as a little child,
May follow Thee, nor ever rest,
Till sweetly Thou hast poured Thy mild
And lowly mind into my breast.
Nor may we ever parted be,
Till I become one spir’t with Thee.
O draw me, Saviour, after Thee,
So shall I run and never tire;
With gracious words still comfort me;
Be Thou my hope, my sole desire;
Free me from every weight: nor fear
Nor sin can come, if Thou art here.
My health, my light, my life, my crown,
My portion, and my treasure Thou!
O take me, seal me for Thine own;
To Thee alone my soul I bow.
Without Thee all is pain; my mind
Repose in naught but Thee can find.
Howe’er I rove, where’er I turn,
In Thee alone is all my rest.
Be Thou my flame; within me burn,
Jesu, and I in Thee am blest.
Thou art the balm of life: my soul
Is faint; O save, O make it whole!
What in Thy love possess I not?
My star by night, my sun by day;
My spring of life when parched with drought,
My wine to cheer, my bread to stay,
My strength, my shield, my safe abode,
My robe before the throne of God!
Ah love! Thy influence withdrawn
What profits me that I am born?
All my delight, my joy is gone,
Nor know I peace, ’till Thou return.
Thee may I seek ’till I attain;
And never may we part again.
From all eternity with love
Unchangeable Thou hast me viewed;
Ere knew this beating heart to move,
Thy tender mercies me pursued.
Ever with me may they abide,
And close me in on every side.
Still let Thy love point out my way,
How wondrous things Thy love hath wrought!
Still lead me, lest I go astray;
Direct my work, inspire my thought;
And if I fall, soon may I hear
Thy voice, and know that love is near.
In suffering be Thy love my peace,
In weakness be Thy love my power;
And when the storms of life shall cease,
Jesu, in that important hour,
In death as life be Thou my guide,
And save me, who for me hast died!