The Full Text Behind "O Love Incomprehensible" And A Great "Anne Steele" Meditation For Easter
by Kevin Twit
January 19, 2013
I wanted to share with you all the full text of 18th century Baptist hymn-writer Anne Steele's 4th hymn from her collection, "Redeeming Love." I took several of these verses and combined them some verses from a hymn by Augustus Toplady to make the hymn text for "O Love Incomprehensible" which was recorded on the 2nd Indelible Grace project, Pilgrim Days. I think this whole text by Steele is great, and it is perfect for meditation on Good Friday and Easter. Enjoy!
Anne Steele HYMN IV. “Redeeming Love”
1. Come heavenly love, inspire my song With thy immortal flame,
And teach my heart, and teach my tongue The Savior’s lovely name.
2. The Savior! 0 what endless charms Dwell in the blissful sound!
Its influence every fear disarms, And spreads sweet comfort round.
3. Here pardon, life, and joys divine In rich effusion flow,
For guilty rebels lost in sin, And doomed to endless woe.
4. In our first parent’s crime we fell; Our blood, our vital breath,
Deep tinged with all the seeds of ill, Sad heirs to sin and death.
5. Black o’er our wrath-devoted heads Avenging justice frowned
While hell disclosed her deepest shades And horrors rose around.
6. Wrapt in the gloom of dark despair, We helpless, hopeless lay:
But sovereign mercy reached us there, And smiled despair away.
7. God’s only son, (stupendous grace!) Forsook his throne above;
And swift to save our wretched race, He flew on wings of love.
8. Th’ Almighty former of the skies Stooped to our vile abode;
While angels viewed with wondering eyes, And hailed the incarnate God.
9. The God in heavenly strains they sung, Arrayed in human clay:
Mysterious love ! what angel tongue Thy wonders can display?
10. Mysterious love, in every scene, Through all his life appears:
His spotless life exposed to pain, And miseries and tears.
11. What blessings on a thankless race? His bounteous hand bestowed!
And from his tongue what wondrous grace, What rich instruction flowed!
12. The dumb, the deaf, the lame, the blind Confessed his healing power;
Disease and death their prey resigned, And grief complained no more.
13. Infernal legions trembling fled, Awed by his powerful word;
And winds and seas his voice obeyed, And owned their sovereign Lord.
14. But man, vile man, his love abused Blind to the noblest good
Blasphemed his power, his word refused, And sought his sacred blood.
15. Still his unwearied love pursued Salvation’s glorious plan;
And firm the approaching horrors viewed Deserved by guilty man.
16. What pain, what soul-oppressing pain, The great Redeemer bore;
While bloody sweat, like drops of rain, Distilled from every pore!
17. And ere the dreadful storm descends Full on his guiltless head,
See him by his familiar friends Deserted and betrayed!
18. While ruffian bands the Lord surround, Relentless, murderous foes;
Meek, as a lamb for slaughter bound, The patient sufferer goes
19. Arraigned at Pilate’s impious bar, (Unparralled disgrace!)
See spotless innocence appear In guilt’s detested place!
20. When perjury fails to stain his name, The mob’s envenomed breath
Extorts his sentence, “Public shame And painful lingering death.”
21. Patient, the cruel scourge he bore; The innocent, the kind!
Then to the rabble’s lawless power And rudest taunts consigned
22. With thorns they crown that awful brow, Whose frown can shake the globe;
And on their king in scorn bestow The reed and purple robe.
23. Ah! see the fatal cross appears, Heart-wounding, dreadful scene
His sacred flesh rude iron tears, With agonizing pain.
24. Exposed with thieves, to public view Could nature bear the sight?
The blushing sun his beams withdrew, And wrapped the globe in night!
25. Then, Oh! what loads of wrath unknown The glorious sufferer felt;
For crimes unnumbered to atone, To expiate mortal guilt!
26. The Father’s blissful smile withdrawn, In that tremendous hour;
Yet still the God sustained the man With his almighty power,
27. ‘Tis finished,’ now aloud he cries, ‘No more the law requires’
And now, (amazing sacrifice!) The Lord of life expires.
28. Earth’s firm foundation felt the shock, With universal dread;
Trembled the mountain, rent the rock, And waked the sleeping dead!
29. Now breathless in the silent tomb, His sacred body lies:
Thither his loved disciples come, With sorrow-streaming eyes.
30. But see the promised morn appear Their joy revives again;
The Savior lives; adieu to fear, To every anxious pain.
31. His kindest words their doubts remove, Confirm their wavering faith;
He bids them teach the world his love, Salvation by his death.
32. Triumphant he ascends on high, The glorious work complete
Sin, death, and hell, low vanquished lie Beneath his awful feet.
33. There, with eternal glory crowned, The Lord, the conqueror, reigns;
His praise the heavenly choirs resound In their immortal strains.
34. Amid the splendors of his throne, Unchanging love appears;
The names he purchased for his own, Still on his heart he bears
35. Still with prevailing power he pleads Their cause for whom he died;
His Spirit’s sacred influence sheds, Their comforter and guide.
36. For them, reserves a radiant crown, Bought with his dying blood;
And worlds of light, and joys unknown, For ever near their God.
37. 0 the rich depths of love divine! Of bliss, a boundless store:
Dear Savior, let me call thee mine; I cannot wish for more.
38. I yield to thy dear conquering arms, I yield my captive soul:
0 let thy all-subduing charms My inmost powers control!
39. On thee alone my hope relies: Beneath thy cross I fall,
My Lord, my life, my sacrifice, My Savior and my all