O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

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.

– George Matheson


George Matheson wrote the words to the hymn during a particularly painful and difficult moment of his life. As a blind man, he had relied on his sister’s loving and devoted assistance to fulfill his calling as a preacher and theologian. He was home alone on the day of her marriage and wrote the song in five minutes as he was in the depths of great despair. He never articulated, for anyone, the circumstances that caused him to feel such suffering. He said of that moment: I was at that time alone, it was the day of my sister’s marriage . . . 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 rather of having it dictated to me by some inward voice than of working it out myself…this came like a dayspring from on high. I have never been able to gain once more the same fervor in verse.

George Matheson was a household name in Scotland. His preaching was renowned, his books lauded, his hymns sung. He preached a sermon on the Book of Job to Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle. She liked it so much that she had it printed and distributed. Graduating with highest honours from the University of Glasgow, his was a life of achievement after achievement, of honour after honour. His fine tuned memory permitted him to preach sermons so perfectly, that people never suspected he was blind. He carried himself as a man of power, passion and purpose. He lived life to the hilt.

Courtesy: “Of Battered Aspect – A Blog By Dave Hingsburger”


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