Scripture Verse

Great is Your love, higher than the heavens. Psalm 108:4

Introduction

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John Wesley (1703–1791)

Words: Ger­hard Ter­stee­gen, 1729 (Ver­borg­ne Gott­es­lie­be du). Ter­stee­gen wrote this hymn while in charge of the Pil­ger­hut­te, a spir­it­ual re­treat at Ot­ter­beck, Ger­ma­ny. John Wes­ley trans­lat­ed the words from Ger­man to Eng­lish in 1736 in Sa­van­nah, Georgia. His trans­la­tion was pub­lished in A Col­lect­ion of Psalms and Hymns (Lon­don: 1738).

Music: Va­ter un­ser Geist­liche Lied­er (Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny, 1539). Har­mo­ny by Jo­hann S. Bach, 1726 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

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Johann S. Bach (1685–1750)

Lyrics

Thou hid­den love of God, whose height,
Whose depth un­fa­thomed no man knows,
I see from far thy beau­te­ous light,
Inly I sigh for thy re­pose.
My heart is pained, nor can it be
At rest, till it finds rest in Thee.

Thy sec­ret voice in­vites me still
Thee sweet­ness of Thy yoke to prove;
And fain I would: but tho’ my will
Be fixed, yet wide my pass­ions rove.
Yet hin­dranc­es strew all the way;
I aim at Thee, yet from Thee stray.

’Tis mer­cy all, that Thou hast brought
My mind to seek its peace in Thee!
Yet while I seek, but find Thee not,
No peace my wan­der­ing soul shall see.
O when shall all my wan­der­ings end,
And all my steps to Thee­ward tend?

Is there a thing be­neath the sun
That strives with Thee my heart to share?
Ah tear it thence that thou alone,
May’st reign un­ri­valed mon­arch there.
From earth­ly loves I must be free,
Ere can find re­pose in Thee.

O hide this self from me, that I
No more, but Christ in me may live!
My vile af­fect­ions cru­ci­fy,
Nor let one dar­ling lust sur­vive.
In all things no­thing may I see,
Nothing de­sire or seek, but thee!

O love, thy so­ve­reign aid im­part
To save me from low-thought­ed care!
Chase this self-will from all my heart,
From all its la­tent maz­es there;
Make me thy du­te­ous child, that I
Ceaseless may Ab­ba, Fa­ther cry.

Ah no! ne’er will I back­ward turn:
Thine whol­ly, thine alone I am!
Thrice hap­py he, who views with scorn
Earth’s toys for Thee his con­stant flame;
O help that I may ne­ver move
From the blest foot­steps of Thy love!

Each mo­ment draw my heart away
From earth, that low­ly waits Thy call:
Speak to my in­most soul and say,
I am thy love, thy God, thy all!
To feel Thy power, to hear Thy voice,
To taste Thy love, is all my choice!