Could we with ink the oceans fill
And were the skies of parchment made
And every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry,
Nor could that scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky
Frederick M. Lehman, author and composer, wrote a pamphlet, in 1948, entitled History of the Song, The Love of God. It tells about the origin of this beloved hymn—
While at camp-meeting in a mid-western state, some fifty years ago in our early ministry, an evangelist climaxed his message by quoting the last stanza of this song. The profound depths of the line moved us to preserve the words for future generations.
Not until we had come to California did this urge find fulfillment, and that at a time when circumstances forced us to hard manual labor.
One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song.
Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity.
Actually, the key-stanza (third verse) under question as to its authorship was written nearly one thousand years ago by a Jewish songwriter, and put on the score page by F.M. Lehman, a Gentile songwriter, in 1917.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Lou Nicholes on May 25, 2005
A custom of the natives in New Guinea is told. At certain times they have rituals, songs, and dances. They work themselves up into a frenzy and the ritual culminates in what are called “the murder songs,” in which they shout before God the names of the people they wish to kill. When the natives ...read more
Contributed by Greg Buchner on Oct 11, 2004
“A 2 a.m. Miracle” – Joni Eareckson Tada It was 2 a.m. and Ken, my husband was snoring softly beside me, not aware that I was biting my lip to keep from waking him up. The combination of my paralysis with middle-of-the-night insomnia always makes me feel claustrophobic. But this was different. ...read more
Contributed by Andrew Hamilton on Oct 26, 2002
This week I was reading the story of an Australian couple who went to Bangladesh as missionaries. When Stuart and Margaret arrived in the country they were informed, by the Baptist missionaries already there that the Muslim people were impossible to reach with the Gospel message. For the six years ...read more
Contributed by Dan Cormie on Oct 25, 2002
At a nursing home in Florida, a resident group was discussing ailments: "My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee," said one. "Yes, I know, my cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee," replied another. "I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck," said a third, ...read more
Contributed by Richard Berry on Jun 21, 2004
Kenneth Chaflin, a seminary professor who often speaks and writes about building stronger families was home getting ready to eat supper before heading off to a speaking engagement. His 5yr old daughter came and said, “Daddy will you stay home with me tonight?” Her plea pierced his soul. He thought ...read more
Contributed by Charlie Roberts on Sep 30, 2012
We all need love, idn’t that what the beatles said, “all you need is love”? What they should have sang about was, “all you need is God”’s Love! for God is Love and Love is God and more of God is truly what the whole world needs!