O Love, that wilt not let me go

1
O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
2
O Light, that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
3
O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
4
O Cross, that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

The author was inspired to write this hymn in 5 minutes during a time of distress.

29
Hephzibah Huggins

Pontarddulais, Swansea

This hymn came into my thoughts this morning while I was washing up after breakfast. That God loves me so much that He will not let me go made me cry. I had been doubting whether my faith is real and then I saw Leigh Powell’s words “Only when we are born again can we sing this hymn in worship to God”. I believe I was meant to see these words.


Leigh Powell

United Kingdom

This hymn does not mention the gospel of God, nor the Lord Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son. The gospel tells us that we are sinners who can only be saved for Heaven by repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ taking away our sin on the cross and dying for us, and then rising again from the dead. He did not deserve to die, as He is sinless, and that is why He arose again, by the Holy Spirit.

Only when we are born again can we sing this hymn in worship to God, who is Love, Light, and joy to us. And all because of the Lord Jesus dying on the Cross and rising again for us. - of which we have to repent of our unbelief and believe the gospel.


Tim Ou

Austin, Texas, United States

O Cross, that lifts up my head.


Oliver McRae

Lubbock, Texas, United States

Brothers and Sisters,

Do not doubt that this song will be in eternity;

Sung as we go about the tasks Our KING has for us,

Shared in leisure amongst HIS Children,

Taught to whatever new live will spring forth - of a season long ago when darkness was given reign, and there was pain and suffering.

The chorus of the Forever Family.


Joanna Smathers

Baton Rouge, United States

Psalm 7:5?... and lay my glory in the dust.


Cj

Uvita De Osa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Karen Hymnlover asked what "from the ground there blossoms red" means. When blood begins to pool on the ground, it looks like blossoms out like the opening of a flower. So from under the cross, as the blood of Christ blossomed in the dirt, His blood brought "life that shall endless be".


Anthony Ohre

Port Harcourt, Delta State, Nigeria

A spiritual song that sees me through pain. It boost my spirit whenever I sing it. God bless the composer.


Karen Hymnlover

Aiken, SC, United States

What does "And from the ground there blossoms red life" mean? Is it figuratively referring to Christ's life blood in us? The previous line is about being " in dust life’s glory dead", and before that, "O Cross, that liftest up my head". So, "red life" means alive in Christ versus dead in sin?

Love the info about "climbing" and "tracing" the rainbow. I like the idea of the victory in climbing, but I also like the idea of steadfastly tracing that often hard to see rainbow while in the midst of a storm. In others words, holding on to God's character and promises in spite of horizontal, temporal circumstances.


Ryan Danek

Bellevue, Washington, United States

Thank You Lord for not letting me go.


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

The original 3rd line of the 3rd stanza said "I climb the rainbow through the rain". It was a prosy hymnal committee of the Church of Scotland that insisted it be changed to "I trace the rainbow through the rain." The members of the committee could not imagine anything so fanciful and farcical as climbing a rainbow! ... Finally, Matheson consented to the change with regret, permitting a line he would never have written.

How sad! A close friend of Matheson, J. Morrison of Colinton, Scotland, expressed in an article for "The Scotsman" years later: "When "climb" was altered to "trace", the figure of a victorious ascent of the spirit toward its divine source (a purely inner experience) was changed to passive contemplation of an external phenomenon mentally envisaged - pious and beautiful in its way, but quite different from what was originally implied." ...

For Matheson, the rainbow was like Jacob's ladder let down from heaven for the poet's ascent into the glory of God.

James Black, in a book published 54 years after Matheson's death, wrote: "It is merely silly to think of Matheson 'tracing' that rainbow through the rain; his eyes were shut forever! But in his own fine imagination, he could picture himself stumbling forward blindly till he actually touched the rainbow with his groping fingers! And when he touched it, he could grasp it and climb it." - Climbing the Rainbow by Loyd J. Ogilvie