Scripture Verse

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Romans 8:35


Frederick M. Lehman (1868–1953)

Words & Mu­sic: Fred­er­ick M. Leh­man, 1917. Mu­sic ar­ranged by his daugh­ter, Clau­dia F. Mays (🔊 pdf nwc).

Claudia F. Mays (1892–1973)

Origin of the Song

Lehman wrote this song in Pa­sa­de­na, Ca­li­for­nia, and it was pub­lished in Songs That Are Dif­fer­ent, Vol­ume 2, 1919. The lyr­ics are based on the Jew­ish po­em Had­da­mut (or Ak­da­mut, אקדמות), writ­ten in Ara­ma­ic in 1050 by Me­ir Ben Is­aac Ne­ho­rai, a can­tor in Worms, Ger­ma­ny. They have been trans­lat­ed in­to at least 18 lang­uag­es.

One day, dur­ing short in­ter­vals of in­at­ten­tion to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seat­ed up­on an emp­ty le­mon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pen­cil, add­ed the (first) two stan­zas and cho­rus of the song…

Since the lines (3rd stan­za from the Jew­ish po­em) had been found pen­ciled on the wall of a pa­tient’s room in an in­sane asy­lum af­ter he had been car­ried to his grave, the ge­ne­ral opin­ion was that this in­mate had writ­ten the ep­ic in mo­ments of sa­ni­ty.

Frederick M. Leh­man

His­to­ry of the Song, The Love of God, 1948


The love of God is great­er far
Than tongue or pen can ev­er tell;
It goes be­yond the high­est star,
And reach­es to the low­est hell;
The guil­ty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His err­ing child He re­con­ciled,
And par­doned from his sin.


O love of God, how rich and pure!
How mea­sure­less and strong!
It shall for­ev­er­more en­dure
The saints’ and an­gels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earth­ly thrones and king­doms fall,
When men, who here re­fuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mount­ains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still en­dure,
All mea­sure­less and strong;
Redeeming grace to Ad­am’s race—
The saints’ and an­gels’ song.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parch­ment made,
Were ev­ery stalk on earth a quill,
And ev­ery man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll con­tain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.