I Sought the Lord

Said by some scholars to have been written in 1878, this anonymous text was published in Holy Songs, Carols, and Sacred Ballads compiled by the Roberts brothers in Boston (1880). Austin Lovelace says of this text: “‘He first loved us.’ This simple yet profound thought is the basis for the hymn. God loved us long before we knew it. We seek God, but already God is holding out a hand waiting for us to take hold of it and be rescued from the seas of life”. This slightly altered version is by favourite1.

I sought the Lord,
And afterward I knew,
He moved my soul
To seek him, seeking me.
It was not I that found,
O Saviour true,
No, I was found of thee.

Thou didst reach forth
Thy hand and mine enfold,
I walked and sank
Not on the storm-vexed sea.
‘Twas not so much
That I on thee took hold
As thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love,
But, oh, the whole
Of love is but my answer,
Lord, to thee!
For thou wert long
Beforehand with my soul,
Always thou lovedst me.

Alternative Verse
What but such grace
Can woo my heart to love—
To worship thee
And seek my neighboUr’s best?
When in the end
I reach the heav’ns above,
All was of grace
That lifted me to rest.


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