God is Love: His mercy brightens

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1 God is Love: His mercy brightens
All the path in which we rove;
Bliss He wakes, and woe He lightens:
God is Wisdom, God is Love.

2 Chance and change are busy ever;
Man decays and ages move;
But His mercy waneth never:
God is Wisdom, God is Love.

3 E'en the hour that darkest seemeth
Will His changeless goodness prove;
From the mist His brightness streameth:
God is Wisdom, God is Love.

4 He with earthly cares entwineth
Hope and comfort from above;
Everywhere His glory shineth:
God is Wisdom, God is Love.

The Hymnal: Published by the authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895

Author: John Bowring

James Bowring was born at Exeter, in 1792. He possessed at an early age a remarkable power of attaining languages, and acquired some reputation by his metrical translations of foreign poems. He became editor of "The Westminster Review" in 1825, and was elected to Parliament in 1835. In 1849, he was appointed Consul at Canton, and in 1854, was made Governor of Hong Kong, and received the honour of knighthood. He is the author of some important works on politics and travel, and is the recipient of several testimonials from foreign governments and societies. His poems and hymns have also added to his reputation. His "Matins and Vespers" have passed through many editions. In religion he is a Unitarian. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charl… Go to person page >


God is love, His mercy brightens. Sir J. Bowring. [The Love of God.] This hymn is sometimes attributed in error to his Matins and Vespers, 1823. It actually appeared in his Hymns in 1825, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, stanza i. being repeated as stanza v. In 1853 it was given without the repetition of the first stanza, in the Leeds Hymn Book, from whence it passed into numerous collections. Its use in English-speaking countries is very extensive, and it has become one of the most popular of the author's hymns. Original text, Turing's Collection, No. 292, with “the mist," altered to "the gloom," and the omission of the repetition of stanza v. This is the generally accepted form of the hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


[God is love, his mercy brightens] (Stebbins)


STUTTGART was included in Psalmodia Sacra (1715), one of the most significant hymnals of the early sixteenth century [sic: eighteenth century]. Christian F. Witt (b. Altenburg, Germany, e. 1660; d. Altenburg, 1716) was an editor and compiler of that collection; about 100 (of the 774) tunes in that c…

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