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God is Love: His mercy brightens

Representative Text

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 goodnees prove;
From the gloom His brighness 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.


Source: Worship and Service Hymnal: For Church, School, and Home #2

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)



Instances (1 - 8 of 8)

AGO Founders Hymnal #53

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #43

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #119

Page Scan

The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #72

The Baptist Hymnal #74


The Cyber Hymnal #1784


The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #115

TextPage Scan

Worship and Service Hymnal #2

Include 697 pre-1979 instances
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