‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’, sung by Wells Cathedral Choir

I heard this hymn at the royal wedding on Friday and remembered how much I love this Welsh tune. Charles Wesley originally wrote four verses, which expressed his Methodist belief that there is a Second Blessing (after conversion) in which the Holy Spirit fills us, takes away our love of sinning, and makes us perfect in love (hence ‘Finish then thy new creation/pure and spotless let us be’). However, nowadays the second verse is usually omitted and only three verses are sung (as on this video). Here are Wesley’s original lyrics, with the full four verses:

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

UPDATE: The Wikipedia article on this hymn is very informative.

6 thoughts on “‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’, sung by Wells Cathedral Choir

  1. Actually there were originally many more verses to Love Divine, and the three we commonly sing today represent a part of the middle section. The Wesley’s were known for long hymns- some of them had 20+ verses!

  2. Debbie Loy

    HI I was wondering if there is a song by Charles Wesley titled “Oh, the faith of Love Divine” I’m not coming up with anything. Thank you for any help. God Bless

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