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Jesus! The Very Thought of Thee
Psalm 104:34
ST. AGNES  |  Hymn History  |  Same-Tune Hymns  |  Bible Passage
Author: Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1151
Musician: John B. Dykes, 1823-1876

  Play MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the mem'ry find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O Saviour of mankind!

O Hope of ev'ry contrite heart,
O Joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show,
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize wilt be;
Be Thou our only glory now,
And thro' eternity.



HYMN HISTORY:

Hymns often raise odd associations in the mind. This hymn written by Bernard of Clairvaux, always takes me to the green, mountainous country beyond Grenoble in France and to, La Grande Chartreuse. Its secluded position in the mountains makes it a remote spot even today, but nothing to what it was in the spring of 1125 when Bernard came tiding up the ravines to visit it.

Bernard's letters had already made him famous, but his hosts were disappointed to see him tiding such a splendid horse and sitting on so fine a saddle. It was mentioned to Bernard, who was surprised at the criticism. Although he had ridden miles on it he had not noticed, he said, how fine the saddle was, and in any case the horse was not his: it had been lent to him for the journey by his uncle!

His friends were happy again, and marvelled at Bernard's deep contemplation which had hidden from him what they saw at first glance. He was later tiding by the lake of Geneva, and his companion asked him what he thought of the lake. 'What lake?' asked Bernard.

Few in Christian history was more deeply devoted to Jesus in every thought and action than Bemard of Clairvaux.

Seven centuries afterwards David Livingstone wrote in his African journal, 'The hYmn of St. Bernard on the name of Christ pleases me so; it rings in my ears as I wonder across the wide, wide wilderness."

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.


OTHER HYMNS with the SAME TUNE:

•   Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire  Charles Wesley, 1707-1788


BIBLE PASSAGE:

34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.



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