Souls of Men!

Representative Text

1 Souls of men! why will ye scatter
Like a crowd of frightened sheep?
Foolish hearts! why will ye wander
From a love so true and deep?

2 Was there ever kindest shepherd
Half so gentle, half so sweet,
As the Saviour who would have us
Come and gather round his feet?

3 There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in his justice
Which is more than liberty.

4 There is welcome for the sinner,
And more graces for the good;
There is mercy with the Saviour;
There is healing in his blood.

5 But we make his love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we lose the tender shepherd
In the judge upon the throne.

6 For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind;
And the heart of the eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

Source: The Song Book of the Salvation Army #265

Author: Frederick William Faber

Raised in the Church of England, Frederick W. Faber (b. Calverly, Yorkshire, England, 1814; d. Kensington, London, England, 1863) came from a Huguenot and strict Calvinistic family background. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and ordained in the Church of England in 1839. Influenced by the teaching of John Henry Newman, Faber followed Newman into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 and served under Newman's supervision in the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Because he believed that Roman Catholics should sing hymns like those written by John Newton, Charles Wesley, and William Cowpe, Faber wrote 150 hymns himself. One of his best known, "Faith of Our Fathers," originally had these words in its third stanza: "Faith of Our Fathers! Mary'… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Souls of men, why will ye scatter
Title: Souls of Men!
Author: Frederick William Faber
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Souls of men, why will ye scatter? F. W. Faber. [Invitation: The Divine Call.] This is given from his Hymns, 1862. It really appeared in his Oratory Hymns, 1854, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, with the heading "Come to Jesus." It is found in its full form in some collections; and the following centos therefrom are also in common use:—(1) "There's a wideness in God's mercy;" and (2) "Was there ever kindest Shepherd?" These are in several collections.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #6253
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Instances (1 - 6 of 6)
Page Scan

Complete Mission Praise #607

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #251

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #443a

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #443b


The Cyber Hymnal #6253


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #265

Include 123 pre-1979 instances
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