Scripture Verse

I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me. Genesis 32:26


John Newton (1725–1807)

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 1, num­ber 10. My name is Jacob. Some hym­nals change the first line to Lord, I can­not let Thee go.

Music: Sey­mour, from the op­era Ob­er­on, by Carl M. von We­ber, 1826. Hen­ry W. Great­or­ex pub­lished it as a hymn tune in 1851 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Jacob Wrestling with an Angel
Gustave Doré (1832–1883)


Nay, I can­not let Thee go,
Till a bless­ing Thou be­stow:
Do not turn away Thy face,
Mine’s an ur­gent, press­ing case.

Dost Thou ask me who I am?
Ah! my Lord, Thou know’st my name!
Yet the quest­ion gives a plea,
To sup­port my suit with Thee.

Thou didst once a wretch be­hold,
In re­bel­lion blind­ly bold;
Scorn Thy grace, Thy pow­er de­fy,
That poor re­bel, Lord, was I.

Once a sin­ner, near des­pair,
Sought Thy mer­cy seat by pray­er;
Mercy heard, and set him free,
Lord, that mer­cy came to me.

Many days have passed since then,
Many chang­es I have seen;
Yet have been up­held till now;
Who could hold me up but Thou?

Thou hast helped in ev­ery need;
This em­bold­ens me to plead;
After so much mer­cy past,
Canst Thou let me sink at last?

No—I must main­tain my hold,
’Tis Thy good­ness makes me bold;
I can no de­ni­al take,
When I plead for Je­su’s sake.