Love Divine all Loves Excelling

This hymn by Charles Wesley (1707 – 1788) was first published in in his "Hymns for those that Seek, and those that Have Redemption", published in Bristol in 1747.

Many people believe is is a Christian version of the song "Fairest Isle" from the semi-opera King Arthur (1691).

With meter 8.7.8.7 D, tunes it is set to include:
  • BLAENWERN by (William Penfro Rowlands, 1860-1937) - very common in the UK, almost unknown in the USA
  • BEECHER (sometimes called ZUNDEL) by John Zundel (1815–1882; from Christian Heart Songs, 1870) - very common in the Americas
  • HYFRYDOL by Rowland Hugh Prichard (1811–1887)
  • MORIAH - a Welch tune
  • AIREDALE by Sir C. V. Stanford (in 1924
  • BITHYNIA by S. Webbe in "Webbe's Collection" 1792
  • LOVE DIVINE by Sir John Stainer (1889 Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern)
  • HOLY MANNA  by William Moore, 1825
Since several tunes are in common use today, make sure you agree on a tune when selecting this hymn. Also, a modern-English version of the lyrics is often used, provided below.


Files to Download:


On-line examples


Lyrics:

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion;
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast;
Let us all in thee inherit;
Let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver;
Let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in thee:
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.


Modern lyrics

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us your humble dwelling;
All your faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, you are all compassion;
Pure, unbounded love you are;
Visit us with your thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe your loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast;
Let us all in you inherit;
Let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver;
Let us all your life receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Nevermore your temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve you as your hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
Glory in your perfect love.

Finish then your new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see your great salvation
Perfectly restored in thee:
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before you,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

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