Hymn of the day

by Richard on July 18, 2010

Souls of men, why will ye scatter
like a crowd of frightened sheep?
Foolish hearts, why will ye wander
from a love so true and deep?

Was there ever kindest shepherd
half so gentle, half so sweet,
as the Saviour who would have us
come and gather round his feet?

It is God: his love looks mighty,
but is mightier than it seems:
’tis our Father: and his fondness
goes far out beyond our dreams.

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven;
there is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment given.

There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Saviour;
there is healing in his blood.

There is plentiful redemption
in the blood that has been shed;
there is joy for all the members
in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of man’s mind.
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.

But we make his love too narrow
by false limits of our own;
and we magnify its strictness
with a zeal he will not own.

Pining souls, come nearer Jesus,
and O come not doubting thus,
but with faith that trusts more bravely
his great tenderness for us.

Tis not all we owe to Jesus;
it is something more than all;
greater good because of evil,
larger mercy through the fall.

If our love were but more simple,
we should take him at his word:
and our lives would be all sunshine
in the sweetness of our Lord.

Frederick William Faber

A change from CW this week. Not all these verses are included in any hymnbook I’ve got, so I hope I’ve put them in the right order.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }


fat prophet 07.18.10 at 2:22 pm

I could see some folk complaining if you tried to have this hymn in its entirety in a service -I often find that when they have sung 6 verses they have had enough.
Some great words though!


Richard 07.18.10 at 4:42 pm

It would be exhausting to sing all in one go. But I’ve occasionally divided a long hymn like this in 2. That can work quite well.


Bob Gilston 07.18.10 at 5:29 pm

I see it’s included in “Singing the Faith” so it stands the test of time. I bet it doesn’t have 12 verses though!


Kim 07.18.10 at 7:22 pm

Why not just cut out out one of the dozen or so hymns you Methodists sing in every service; then you could sing the whole thing. :)


Bob Gilston 07.18.10 at 8:19 pm

It’s at least four dozen!!!!


TonyBuglass 07.19.10 at 9:06 am

Not as long as “O for a thousand tongues”-was it 26 verses in the original?


Richard 07.19.10 at 10:34 am

Something like that. I wonder if there’s a Wesley geek out there who can tell us which was the longest of the great man’s hymns?


Kim 07.19.10 at 3:34 pm

There are plenty that seem like the longest! ;)


fat prophet 07.19.10 at 9:49 pm

Kim you are absolutely right and some of them are dire! Mind you there are modern writers who also write dire stuff.

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