Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns for Those That Seek and Those That Have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ 1747.
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In 1961, during the Manchester, England, crusade…just as the meetings were about to start, Billy Graham became quite seriously ill…
Billy had been scheduled to speak to the ministers of London just before the crusade opened. You can imagine my feelings when he sent word that I should represent him and speak at that meeting. The British pastors are themselves thorough scholars and often brilliant preachers. And they were expecting to hear Billy Graham, not me!
At the beginning of that meeting in Westminster’s Central Hall, the ministers joined in singing this great hymn of Charles Wesley. Most of these British clergymen were also well acquainted with hymn texts and hymn tunes, and they sang gloriously. Accompanied by the grand piano and the great pipe organ and using the Welsh tune Blaenwern, these familiar words lifted our hearts in praise and prayer to God. I felt God’s strength evident through the singing; He blessed our meeting together despite my fears and their disappointment.
Barrows, p. 21
This hymn was also sung at the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey, London, April 29, 2011.
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of Heav’n to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.
Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in Heav’n we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.