Scripture Verse

I trust in Your unfailing love. Psalm 13:5


George Matheson

Words: George Ma­the­son, in the Church of Scot­land mag­a­zine Life and Work, Jan­ua­ry 1882.

Music: St. Mar­ga­ret (Peace) Al­bert L. Peace, 1884 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Albert L. Peace

Origin of the Hymn

My hymn was com­posed in the manse of In­nel­lan [Ar­gyle­shire, Scot­land] on the even­ing of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age.

I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sis­ter’s mar­riage, and the rest of the fa­mi­ly were stay­ing ov­er­night in Gla­sgow.

Something hap­pened to me, which was known on­ly to my­self, and which caused me the most se­vere men­tal suf­fer­ing. The hymn was the fruit of that suf­fer­ing.

It was the quick­est bit of work I ev­er did in my life. I had the im­pres­sion of hav­ing it dic­tat­ed to me by some in­ward voice ra­ther than of work­ing it out my­self. I am quite sure that the whole work was com­plet­ed in five min­utes, and equal­ly sure that it ne­ver re­ceived at my hands any re­touch­ing or cor­rec­tion.

I have no na­tur­al gift of rhy­thm. All the oth­er vers­es I have ev­er wri­tten are man­u­fac­tured ar­ti­cles; this came like a day­spring from on high.

George Matheson

This hymn was sung at the fun­er­al of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent Cal­vin Cool­idge, Jan­u­a­ry 7, 1933, at the Ed­wards Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church, North­amp­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts. Ac­cord­ing to Mrs. Cool­idge, it was his fa­vor­ite.


O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.