1 The love of God is greater far
than tongue or pen can ever tell;
it goes beyond the highest star,
and reaches to the lowest hell.
The wand'ring child is reconciled
by God's beloved Son.
The aching soul again made whole,
and priceless pardon won.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
the saints’ and angels’ song.
2 When ancient time shall pass away,
and human thrones and kingdoms fall;
when those who here refuse to pray
on rocks and hills and mountains call;
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
all measureless and strong;
grace will resound the whole earth round—
the saints’ and angels’ song. [Refrain]
3 Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made;
were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
and ev’ryone a scribe by trade;
to write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky. [Refrain]
Source: Voices Together #162
|First Line:||The love of God is greater far|
|Title:||The Love of God|
|Author:||Frederick M. Lehman (1917)|
|Meter:||188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 with refrain|
|Refrain First Line:||O love of God, how rich and pure|
The first two stanzas are Lehman's own work. The third, by his own account, he heard in a camp meeting sermon. They were apparently lines "found written by a demented man on the wall of his narrow room in the asylum where he died"; those words are a translation of an Aramaic poem, "Haddamut", written ca. 1050 by Rabbi Meir of Worms, Germany. From the Qur'an (31st Sura) from the early 7th century there are these lines:
If all the trees on earth were pens,
and the ocean were ink,
replenished by seven more oceans,
the writing of God's wonderful signs and creations
would not be exhausted;
surely God is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
--based on The Hymn, vol. 64, no. 3, p. 42, in an article on Mennonite hymnody by Ken Nafziger, Professor of Music at Eastern Mennonite University and 101 More Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck, Kregel Publications, 1985