Definitions

excelling

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

"Love Divine, Al Loves Excelling" is a Christian hymn by Charles Wesley. It first appeared in Wesley's Hymns for those that seek, and those that have Redemption (1747) and is said to have been inspired by the song "The Song of Venus" from John Dryden's play King Arthur. The hymn suggests that one can be completely cleansed of sin in this life, an idea many, including Wesley's brother John, found troublesome and prompted them to alter verses in the hymn; thus the second verse below is omitted in Hymns and Psalms.

In the UK it is often used at weddings, and (usually to the tune Blaenwern) at funerals where there is a surviving spouse.

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 that second rest.
Take away our love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
(Original Lyric: take away our bent to sinning)
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, never more 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.

References

  • Bradley, Ian. The Book of Hymns. Testament Books, 1989. (ISBN 0-517-16241-5)

Musical setting

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