Like a River Glorious

Full Text

1 Like a river glorious
is God's perfect peace,
over all victorious
in its bright increase:
perfect, yet still flowing
fuller every day;
perfect, yet still growing
deeper all the way.

Trusting in the Father,
hearts are fully blest,
finding, as he promised,
perfect peace and rest.

2 Hidden in the hollow
of his mighty hand,
where no harm can follow,
in his strength we stand.
We may trust him fully
all for us to do;
those who trust him wholly
find him wholly true. [Refrain]

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Like “Trust and Obey” (548) and various psalms of trust, this text extols the blessing of trusting in God's care and keeping. Such trust produces serenity (st. 1), strength to face each day (st. 2), and "perfect peace and rest" (ref.).


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).


Like a River Glorious


Eternal God, as we leave this place, guide our feet.
As our steps take us into an unknown future,
give us confidence in your faithfulness.
Help us see opportunities to serve and to love.
Support us with your love
so that we can work with you and rest in you. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Being at Peace
O God, without your grace we are jittery people. Looking at our own success in life we oscillate between pride and despair. Sometimes we think we’ve made it, and sometimes we think we’ll never make it. But when your grace flows to us like a river glorious, we find rest, we find repose, we find peace at the last through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Like a River Glorious

Tune Information

F Major
Meter D refrain



Like a River Glorious

Hymn Story/Background

Frances R. Havergal wrote this text in 1874 in Leamington, England. First appearing in leaflet form, the text was published in a collection of her poems, Loyal Responses (1878), without music.
Like “Trust and Obey” and various psalms of trust, this text extols the blessing of trusting in God's care and keeping. Such trust produces serenity (st. 1), strength to face each day (st. 2), and "perfect peace and rest" (refrain).
James Mountain composed WYE VALLEY for Havergal's text on one of his first preaching tours through Britain. WYE VALLEY is named for the district around the village of Wye, near Ashford in Kent.
This relatively simple tune is marked by repeated melody tones. In fact, the refrain melody is a repeat of the latter half of the tune for the stanzas. Sing in harmony throughout in six long phrases rather than twelve short ones. Try singing unaccompanied on stanza 2.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Although her formal education was sporadic because of poor health, Frances R. Havergal (b. Astley, Worcestershire, England, 1836; d. Oystermouth, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1879) learned six foreign languages, including Greek and Hebrew, and was well read in many subjects. She began writing poetry at an early age and was also an accomplished singer and pianist. The daughter of a clergyman, she had a conversion experience at the age of fourteen and was confirmed in the Church of England in 1853. Taking seriously her own words "take my silver and my gold," she sent all her jewelry to the Church Mission Society to be sold. She also supported other charitable organizations. Her more than one hundred hymns were originally published in leaflets and later gathered into seven collections: Ministry of Song (1869), Twelve Sacred Songs for Little Singers (1870), Under the Surface (1874), Loyal Responses (1878), Life Mosaic (1879), Life Chords (1880), and Life Echoes (1883), as well as in one large volume, Poetical Works (1884).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Throughout his life James Mountain (b. Leeds, York, England, 1844; d. Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, 1933) was influenced by the Countess of Huntington and her following of evangelical Pietists in the Anglican Church. He was trained at the Pietist Rotterham College and later served the Countess's church in Tunbridge Wells (1889-1897).
Strongly influenced by Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey's evangelistic tour of England, Mountain followed their example and did evangelistic work from 1874 to 1889, both in England and abroad. Later he became a Baptist and founded St. John's Free Church in Tunbridge Wells. Mountain wrote a number of devotional works as well as hymns and hymn tunes. Mountain also imitated Sankey's musical style. Assisted by Frances Havergal, he compiled Hymns of Consecration and Faith (1876), which included her text with the heading "Perfect Peace."
— Bert Polman
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