Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go

A song that has been of great importance to me over the years has been George Mattheson's, Oh, love that will not let me go'. Numerous versions have been produced in recent times by such groups as Chris Rice, Indelible Grace, and, my favourite version, Robbie Seay Band.

Much of the significance of this song is infused with the story behind its writing. George Mattheson had discovered early in life that his failing vision would eventually leave him completely blind. As a young man, his fiancé had walked out on him, citing her lack of desire to be married to a 'blind man'. Undeterred, yet with deep heartache, George continued his theological training with he aid of his three sisters. With the dimming of his vision came a growing dependance on his sisters care. Written on the evening of one of his sister's marriage, George sat alone in darkness and penned his now famous words, first published in 1882.

Reflecting on this hymn, George later wrote:

"My hymn was composed in the manse of Inellan on the evening of June 6, 1882.  I was at that time alone.  It was the day of my sister's marriage, and the rest of my family were staying overnight in Glasgow.  Something had happened to me which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering.  The hymn was the fruit of that suffering.  It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life.  I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice than of working it out myself.  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 written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.  I have never been able to gain once more the same fervor in verse."

Included below are the adapted lyrics arranged by Robbie Seay.

Oh, Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Oh, love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in Thee
I give You back this life I owe
And in Your ocean depths, its flow
May richer, fuller be

Oh, light that follows all my way
I yield my flickering torch to Thee
And my heart restores its borrowed ray
And in Your sunshine's blaze, its day
May brighter, fairer be

And rejoice, my heart
Rejoice, my soul
My Savior God has come to thee
Rejoice, my heart
You've been made whole
By a love that will not let me go


Oh, joy that seeks me through the pain
I cannot close my heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That mourn shall tearless be

Saying rejoice, my heart
Rejoice, my soul
My Savior God has come to thee
And rejoice, my heart
You've been made whole
By a love that will not let me go
It's a love that will not let me go


Oh, cross that lifts and holds my head
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust life's glory dead
And from the ground, their blossoms red
Life that shall endless be

Rejoice, my heart
Rejoice, my soul
My Savior God has come to thee
And rejoice, my heart
You've been made whole
By a love that will not let me go
(A love that will not let me go)


This hymn has been used powerfully by God as a means through which I can preach to my own soul. I have found it necessary to repeatedly reinforce the truths of the gospel to my own life; to speak words of truth to my soul as a way of continual reminder.

Oh, joy that seeks me through the pain
I cannot close my heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That mourn shall tearless be

In moments of great hardship or sorrow, it has been this verse that draws my fickle heart to the ever-present reality of God's enduring faithfulness. God's promises are never given in vain.