Posted by: rcottrill | February 10, 2012

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Words: Samuel Trevor Francis (b. Nov. 19, 1834; d. Dec. 28, 1925)
Music: Ebenezer, by Thomas John Williams (b. _____, 1869; d. Apr. 23, 1944)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Written around 1875, the popularity of this particular hymn can be measured by the fact that the year after his death at the age of ninety-two, Mr. Francis’s collected works were published under the title O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus and Other Poems. The dramatic and rhythmic tune Ebenezer works well with this beautiful hymn. But you might also try it with Beecher or Blaenwern.

Many of our traditional hymns, particularly back in Watts’ or Wesley’s era, commonly have ten or twelve stanzas (though some of these are not used today). Here is a hymn that is brief by comparison, but there is certainly quality, if not quantity here. It is simply gorgeous. If your church does not know it or use it, I encourage you to urge that this be changed!

The author, a London merchant, was also a lay preacher with the Plymouth Brethren, in Great Britain and in other countries as well. He journeyed across the Atlantic a number of times. One can picture him contemplating the boundless love of the Lord, as he looked out upon the sea, stretching from horizon to horizon, and considered the immense depths beneath him.

CH-1) O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

When we are born again into the family of God, through faith in the Saviour, we are wrapped ‘round with the eternal love of God. Nothing is able to separate the believer from His love (Rom. 8:38-39). The infinity of the love of the Lord is beyond our feeble comprehension, but we can grow in our knowledge of it, as we walk in fellowship with Him. The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians was, in part:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge (Eph. 3:17-19).

God’s love is a great (Eph. 2:4) and everlasting (Jer. 31:3) love. It is sacrificial, as seen in the Father’s giving of His own beloved Son to die for our sins (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8). It could also be described as effectual, since it brought us, through Christ, into God’s forever family. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (I Jn. 3:1). It becomes, in our experience, a “compelling” love, motivating us to respond in love to love, and serve the Lord (II Cor. 5:14).

CH-2) O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

CH-3) O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

1) If the Lord loved us even while we were sinners, and His enemies (Rom. 5:8, 10), why does He love us?

2) What are some things in our lives that are expressions and evidences of the love of God?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


  1. […] Deep Love of Jesus” and he wrote a really good post on that hymn.  (You can read that post here.) Share this:TwitterEmailFacebookRedditDiggStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


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