Dwelling in Love

I rejoice that I cannot but love Him

Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg; Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

I rejoice that I cannot but love Him,
Because He first loved me;
I would that measureless, changeless,
My love might be;
A love unto death and for ever;
For, soul, He died for thee.
Give thanks that for thee He delighted
To leave His glory on high;
For thee to be humbled, forsaken,
For thee to die.
Wilt thou render Him love for His loving?
Wilt thou die for Him who died?
And so by thy dying and living
Shall Christ be magnified.
And deep in the fiery stream that flows
From God’s high throne,
In the burning tide that for ever glows
Of the marvellous love unknown;
For ever, O soul, thou shalt burn and glow,
And thou shalt sing and say,
“I need no call at His feet to fall,
For I cannot turn away.
I am the captive led along
With the joy of His triumphal song;
In the depths of love do I love and move,
I joy to live or to die;
For I am borne on the tide of His love
To all eternity:”
The foolishness of the fool is this,
The sorrow sweeter than joy to miss.

Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899

Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg

Mechthild of Helfta, or Mathilde in modern spelling, was a mystic author who lived in the Cisterian nunnery at Helfta near Eisleben, Germany. She is also known as Mechthild of Hackeborn, her parents' home. She was a younger sister of St. Gerturde of Hackeborn. She is mentioned in Bocaccio's Decameron, VII, 1, and in canto 28 of Dante's Purgatory. Cf. "Liber specialis gratiae" in Revelations Gertrudianae ac Mechtildianae (1877). Her "Liber specialis gratiae" was popular in England and was translated into English in the fifteenth century. More recently it has been edited by Theresa A. Halligan as The Booke of Gostlye Grace of Mechtild of Hackeborn (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1979). --Leonard Ellinwood, DNAH Arch… Go to person page >

Translator: Frances Bevan

Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856. Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I rejoice that I cannot but love Him
Title: Dwelling in Love
Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg
Language: English


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Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series) #25

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