O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Full Text

1 O love that will 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 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.

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The firm confidence of this song is expressed throughout the Scriptures, but especially in passages such as Psalm 23, Romans 8:28-39 and Philippians 1:6.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

No hope is stronger than that expressed in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: we “…belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ…because I belong to him, Christ by His Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life...”


The basic perspective of hope is expressed in Belgic Confession, Article 37 “…the Lord will make them (us) possess a glory such as the human heart could never imagine. So we look forward to that day (of Christ’s return) with longing in order to enjoy fully the promises of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 15, Question and Answer 42 clarifies what may be misunderstood when it says that even though Christ died for us, we still have to die, but “our death does not pay the debt of our sins. Rather it puts an end to our sinning and is our entrance into eternal life.” Additionally, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45 explains that Christ’s resurrection “is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection.”


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22, Questions and Answers 57 and 58 speak reassurances about the actual event of dying: “Not only will my soul be taken immediately after this life to Christ its head, but also my very flesh will be raised by the power of Christ, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body,” and “even as I already now experience in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 58).

Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 56 summarizes our hope by testifying, “We long for that day when our bodies are raised, the Lord wipes away our tears, and we dwell forever in the presence of God. We will take our place in the new creation, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, and the Lord will be our light. Come, Lord Jesus, come.”


O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Tune Information

[O love that will not let me go]
C Major

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Hymn Story/Background

Here is another example of a traditional hymn text set to a contemporary tune, which has been the case in many songs collected in the collection produced by the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) in their RUF Hymnbook, and continuing to be composed and published by RUF composers. From their website:
In the early days of RUF we sang various scripture songs, psalms, and hymns but in the mid 1980s some of the students began to experiment with setting old hymn texts to new music and this movement has continued to spread. While we don't sing hymns exclusively in RUF, we have found through years of ministering to college students that there is a real hunger to connect with something real and solid, something that is ancient, yet full of passion. It helps us to be connected to a church that is bigger than this generation and singing the hymns of the church in the musical language of our students has helped us do this. 
— Reformed University Fellowship (http://www.ruf.org/resources/music/)

Author Information

A brilliant student of philosophy at the University of Glasgow and its divinity school, George Matheson (b. Glasgow, Scotland, 1842; d. North Berwick, Scotland, 1906) wrote several important theological and devotional works, including Aids to the Study of German Theology (1874). This achievement is especially noteworthy because of his failing eyesight during his teen years and virtual blindness by the age of eighteen. He had to rely on others, especially his sisters, for all his reading, research, and writing. Matheson was a very able preacher, serving Presbyterian churches in Glasgow; Clydeside Church in Innellan, Argyllshire (1868-1886); and finally St. Bernard's Church in Edinburgh (1886-1899).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Christopher Miner is one of the most prolific of the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) hymn tune writers. He began writing hymn tunes in the early 1990s, first as a freshman at Vanderbilt and then later at UT Knoxville where he led the worship for RUF for several years. Chris has recorded several CDs of his own hymns.
— Indelible Grace Bio (http://hymnbook.igracemusic.com/people/christopher-miner)

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