Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

This hymn, attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, was translated from the Latin in 1858 (a loose paraphrase rather than a strict translation) by Dr. Ray Palmer, a Congregational pastor from Albany, New York.  It would seem almost fair to say that the hymn as we know it was written by Bernard of Clairvaux and Palmer of Albany.  Dr. Palmer also wrote several hymns on his own, the best known being “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”1. Bernard of Clairvaux, born 1090, was a mystic French Catholic monk, and an influential church leader in the Middle Ages. He made statements suggestive of imputed righteousness and seemed to embrace a form of the doctrine of sole fide. His writings on these topics were used by Reformers of later centuries to support their efforts2.

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,
Thou fount of life, Thou light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood,
Thou savest those that on Thee call,
To them that seek Thee, Thou art good,
To them that find, Thee all in all.

We taste of Thee, O living bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still,
We drink of Thee the fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Wherever our changeful lot is cast,
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright,
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed over the world Thy holy light.

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