Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Composer Henry Purcell (from "Fairest Isle, All Isles Excelling" from King Arthur), arr. Alfred V. Fedak
Text Charles Wesley, 1747
Voicing Two-part choir and keyboard
Topics Freedom, Love of God, New Creation
Length Price $1.65 (U.S.) Released 7/01
Catalog no. 420-117 Difficulty Mod. easy
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The hymnwriter Charles Wesley certainly knew John Dryden's patriotic ode, "Fairest Isle, All Isles Excelling." In this anthem, Al Fedak has paired the words of Wesley with Henry Purcell's stirring tune for the Dryden text, the air "Fairest Isle" from Purcell's King Arthur. Fedak has realized the continuo, written a Purcellian introduction and interludes, and fitted the unison melody with a descant on the final stanza. A separate part for continuo cello is available from the Selah website. Suitable for any choir, and good for Advent or general use.
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.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore 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.
Text: Charles Wesley, 1747.