God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.@1 John 4:16

Charles Wes­ley, Hymns for Those That Seek and Those That Have Re­demp­tion in the Blood of Je­sus Christ 1747.

Beech­er John Zun­del, Chris­tian Heart Songs 1870 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

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.