I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

Representative Text

1 I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me;
it was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found of Thee.

2 Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea;
'twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
as Thou, dear Lord, on me.

3 I find, I walk, I love, but O, the whole
of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!
For Thou wert long beforehand with my soul,
always Thou lovedst me.

Source: Hymns to the Living God #221

Author: Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >


Scripture References: st. 2 = Matt 14:22-23 st. 3 = 1 John 4:10,19, Jer. 31:3 Said by some scholars to have been written in 1878, this anonymous text was published in Holy Songs, Carols, and Sacred Ballads compiled by the Roberts brothers in Boston (1880). Austin Lovelace says of this text: "'He first loved us.' This simple yet profound thought is the basis for the hymn. God loved us long before we knew it. We seek God, but already God is holding out a hand waiting for us to take hold of it and be rescued from the seas of life" (Lovelace, Hymn Notes). Stanza 2 alludes to the scene in which Christ saves Peter from drowning (see Matt. 14:22-33). Liturgical Use: See PHH 496 and PHH 497. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook ==================== I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew. [He first loved us.] An anonymous and undated hymn in The Pilgrim Hymnal 1904. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



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The Cyber Hymnal #3066
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Instances (1 - 14 of 14)

Common Praise (1998) #547

Hymnal #506

Hymns of the Saints #213

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Hymns to the Living God #221

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #162


The Cyber Hymnal #3066


The United Methodist Hymnal #341

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The Worshiping Church #440


Worship (3rd ed.) #593


Hymnal 1982 #689


Lift Up Your Hearts #685

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #498

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #466

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #427

Include 59 pre-1979 instances
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