Hymn #43: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) first published this hymn in a 1747 pamphlet with the title “Hymns for those that seek and those that have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ.”  Many believe his inspiration for these words stemmed from the poems of Dryden or Joseph Addison.

Charles Wesley was born in Epworth, England, on December 18, 1707, and was educated for the Anglican priesthood.  He was ordained in 1735 and assisted his brother John in spreading the doctrines of the Oxford Methodists.  Charles never renounced his Anglican ordination vows, however.

John Zundel (1815-1882) composed BEECHER for this text in 1870.  It is named after his friend Lyman Beecher, a prominent preacher in the United States.  It has also been called ZUNDEL for the composer, and LOVE DIVINE from these words by Wesley.

John Zundel was born December 10, 1815, at Hochdorf, Germany, and died at Cannstadt, Germany, in July 1882.  However, he spent thirty years as a church organist in the United States, chief among them at Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn, New York where Henry Ward Beecher was the minister.