Majesty and Mercy

Representative Text

1 O GOD, of good the unfathomed sea!
Who would not give his heart to Thee?
Who would not love Thee with his might?
O Jesu, lover of mankind,
Who would not his whole soul and mind,
With all his strength, to Thee unite.

2 Thou shin’st with everlasting rays;
Before th’insufferable blaze
Angels with both wings veil their eyes:
Yet free as air Thy bounty streams
On all Thy works; Thy mercy’s beams
Diffusive as Thy sun’s arise.

3 Fountain of good! All blessing flows
From Thee; no want Thy fulness knows;
What but Thyself canst Thou desire?
Yet, self-sufficient as Thou art,
Thou dost desire my worthless heart;
This, only this, dost Thou require.

4 High throned on heav’n’s eternal hill,
In number, weight, and measure still
Thou sweetly orderest all that is:
And yet Thou deign’st to come to me,
And guide my steps, that I, with Thee
Enthroned, may reign in endless bliss.

Source: Redemption Hymnal #11

Author: Angelus Silesius

Pen name of Johann Scheffler… Go to person page >

Translator: John Wesley

John Wesley, the son of Samuel, and brother of Charles Wesley, was born at Epworth, June 17, 1703. He was educated at the Charterhouse, London, and at Christ Church, Oxford. He became a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and graduated M.A. in 1726. At Oxford, he was one of the small band consisting of George Whitefield, Hames Hervey, Charles Wesley, and a few others, who were even then known for their piety; they were deridingly called "Methodists." After his ordination he went, in 1735, on a mission to Georgia. The mission was not successful, and he returned to England in 1738. From that time, his life was one of great labour, preaching the Gospel, and publishing his commentaries and other theological works. He died in London, in 17… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O God of good, the unfathomed sea
Title: Majesty and Mercy
Author: Angelus Silesius
Translator: John Wesley
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Du unvergleichlich's Gut. J. Scheffler. [Love to God.] Appeared as No. 195 in Bk. v. of his Heilige Seelenlust, Breslau, 1668, p 655 (Werke, 1862, i. p. 323), in 8 stanzas of 6 lines, entitled "She [The Soul] contrasts the Majesty of God with her Nothingness." Included as No. 726 in Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch1705, and recently, as No. 15, in Knapp's Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz, 1850 (1865, No. 15). The only translation in common use is:—
0 God, of good the unfathom'd sea, a vigorous and full rendering by J. Wesley in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1739 (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 141), and thence in full, as No. 36, in the Hymns & Spiritual Songs, 1753, and as No. 5 in the Pocket Hymn Book, 1785. it did not appear in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, but was added in an edition between 1797 and 1809, and is No. 38 in the revised edition, 1875. Various forms beginning with stanza i. appear in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853; the Methodist New Connexion, 1863; the Irish Church Hymnal, 1869-73; Baptist Hymnal, 1879; Westminster Abbey Hymn Book, 1883, &c.; and in America in the Methodist Episcopal Collection, 1849; Evangelical Hymnal, N. Y., 1880; Canadian Presbyterian Hymn Book, 1880, &c. In the Methodist Episcopal South Hymn Book, 1847, No. 24, begins with stanza 5, "Fountain of good! all blessing flows."
Another translation is:—"O Good beyond compare," by Miss Winkworth, 1869, p. 249. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Dmitri Stephanovich Bortnianski (b. Gloukoff, Ukraine, 1751; d. St. Petersburg, Russia, 1825) was a Russian composer of church music, operas, and instrumental music. His tune ST. PETERSBURG (also known as RUSSIAN HYMN) was first published in J. H. Tscherlitzky's Choralbuch (1825). The tune is suppo…

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GENEVAN 68 is usually attributed to Matthäus Greiter (b. Aichach, Bavaria, 1490; d. Strasbourg, France, 1550). It was published as a setting for Psalm 119 in Das dritt theil Strassburger Kirchenampt (1525), which Greiter and his friend Wolfgang Dachstein edited. Greiter studied at Freiburg Universi…

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