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O Love that will not let me go

| February 4, 2010

A couple of days ago, my mom mentioned to me that she had an opportunity to share her favorite hymn with her Bible Study group. I’ve known my mother my entire life, but I didn’t know what her favorite hymn was, so I asked her to send me the words.

The title is “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” written in 1882 by George Matheson. Matheson said about this hymn:

My hymn was com­posed in the manse of In­ne­lan [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.

Here are the lyrics that poured out from Matheson’s encounter with God that night. They are deep. They are rich. Print them out and meditate on them. Be gripped – overwhelmed- as I was, by the Great Love that will not let us go…

  1. 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.
  2. O light that foll’west all my way,
    I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
    My heart restores its borrowed ray,
    That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
    May brighter, fairer be.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

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  1. Trudy says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your mom’s favorite hymn. I attend Central Baptist and I just love your mom and dad. They are a great blessing to many people.

    Here is a rendition of “O Love that will not let me go” that you might enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fchS9fwIznw

    Mary, how wonderful it was to meet you at the onWORD series at Taylor. I was so excited by your lecture and your insights that you shared that I pre-ordered your book “Girls Gone Wise” and am looking forward to studying it in depth when it comes out. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come out and teach us.

    I can’t tell you how tickled I was to find you on youtube. (I’ve been telling my friends about you and passing along the link.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRQ_JLQ_fM0

    God bless,
    Trudy