Scripture Verse

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


Frederick M. Lehman

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

Claudia F. Mays

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.