Lyricist: Samuel Trevor Francis
Lyrics Date: 1875
Composer: Thomas John Williams
Music Date: 1890
Few hymns paint such a vivid picture of God’s love as this one by Samuel Trevor Francis. It helps visualize the immensity of Christ’s love: overwhelming and free, submerging us in the depths of his tender heart. Even the swelling and receding notes of the melody create an image of God’s love, reminding us of the gentle waves on a vast ocean.
Francis experienced that love in an especially compelling way one cold, winter night. At a point in life when his faith had wavered, Francis found himself walking across London’s Hungerford Bridge. Mulling over his sadness and loneliness, he heard a whisper tempting him to end his misery and jump into the churning waters below.
Fortunately, Francis didn’t heed the dark voice. Instead, he heard God’s reassuring words speaking to him in the night. On that bridge, he reaffirmed his faith in Jesus Christ, and put complete trust in him as his Savior.
Echoes of this transformational experience resound throughout Francis’s hymn, “O, the Deep, Deep, Love of Jesus,” reminding us of the truth found in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus – Christian Hymns / Lyrics