O Love, that wilt not let me go

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.
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.
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.
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.

James Smith

Mansfield, Ohio, United States

O love that will not let me go. Thank you Lord your love is strong and does not wain. My love is fickle and I tend to stray. Even I have strayed. But your love, many times exhibited through the saints, has drawn me back. My weary soul can really rest in your love.

Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

The tune of this hymn was written by Albert Lister Peace. He was a British organist, arranger, composer, editor, and author. He went on to become the organist for several cathedrals, as well as for the University of Glasgow between 1870 and 1880. Peace was born on January 22, 1844 in Huddersfield, England, and learned to play the organ at an early age becoming the organist of Holmfirth Parish Church at age nine.

Albert was appointed to play at Liverpool’s St. George’s Hall. The Music Teachers National Association described Peace as “one of the finest interpreters of the organ classics that England has ever seen. ”

Peace died on March 14, 1912, aged 68, in Liverpool, England. He is buried in the graveyard of Saint Mary’s Church, Sefton, Merseyside.


Omaha, NE, United States

Matheson himself wrote of the composition:

"I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high."

Joan Barrette

Warsaw, IN, United States

It is good to remember in these uncertain times that the words of this hymn are a comfort and a truth from God. Seeing all the comments is encouraging. Sometimes I feel like the whole world is lost and then see the numbers of believers from different cities and countries and remember that the Lord is indeed sovereign.

Laura Ard

Conway, Arkansas, United States

This hymn was written during a time of distress. When you consecrate yourself to the Lord and give everything to Him, it all has to go to the cross. The red blossoms signify resurrection life. Resurrection life builds the church. It is a life that has had all the natural, fleshly and fleshy things killed. All that is left is resurrection life, Life that shall endless be.

Rachel Snell

Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom

I am in transit between churches. I have attended three different churches, one of those three times. Each time of those five times, God has spoken to me. Last Sunday going into the church I wondered what God would say to me that time. When the service was over, they played a recording of 'O Love That Will Not Let Me Go'. I was amazed. I needed to hear that.

Joanna Smathers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

In an account I read several years ago , in the third verse the original was I climb the rainbow in the rain. Before it was published Mr. Matheson was persuaded to change it to trace. He said he regretted changing it. In ones’ experience one can see and prefer the word climb.

Joanna Smathers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

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

Thato Mokoteli

Maseru, Lesotho

"I trace the rainbow through the rain"

This is so encouraging that through all that we see and experience today, God' promises still sustain those who put their trust on His promises. I am so delighted that going through the hymn brings a new hope that overshadowed all my present challenges.

Fergus Tyson

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Hi, Paula. The red life refers to the blood of Jesus, shed on the Cross.