Search Fore Hymn

My Song is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown,
my Savior's love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
O who am I
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne
salvation to bestow,
but men made strange, and none
the longed-for Christ would know.
But O my friend,
my friend indeed,
who at my need,
his life did spend.

Sometimes they strew his way,
and his strong praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King.
Then "Crucify!"
is all their breath,
and for his death
they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
he gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
themselves displease,
and 'gainst him rise.

They rise, and needs will have
my dear Lord made away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of Life they slay.
Yet steadfast he
to suffering goes,
that he his foes
from thence might free.

Here might I stay and sing,
no story so divine:
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like thine.
This is my friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.

Written by Samuel Crossman in 1664

This hymn was sang at my wedding. Read from post-romanticism (1850ish onwards) these words can feel trite and shallow.  But read in context and sung with depth these words are not the 17th century equivalent of Jesus is my boy/girl-friend; it is not 'romantic' in that sense.  These are words born in the midst of a struggle with conscience and a striving for integrity. You can read a precie of Crossman's life here

What I love in these words is the sense of wonder, awe and joy at being so loved in Christ; that same joy and wonder which has caused many to pen and sing hymns of reverent joy through all the ages of the Church thus far, and will mark our singing for all the ages to come!

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11.33-36)


This hymn!! So significant. Sums up so much of what it is to be loved by Jesus:
"This is my friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend."
Oh yes.
Inspired Coldplay's 'A Message' on X&Y apparently.

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