JESUS, the very thought of Thee

The most holy name of Jesus.




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

2 Nor voice can sing,
nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
O Saviour of mankind.

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

4 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.

5Jesus, our only Joy be Thou,
As Thou our Prize wilt be ;
Jesus, be Thou our Glory now,
And through eternity.

Like No. 15, this hymn is translated from the Latin, and the original of this, as of that, was written by a monk, and the name of the writer of each was the same, Bernard. But the other Bernard was an obscure monk in the Abbey of Cluny, while the writer of this, Bernard of Clairvaux (born 1091, died 1153), was head of the Abbey of that name, an orator, scholar, and statesman, and indeed one of the most prominent figures in the history of the middle ages. He had beautiful thoughts in his heart, and expressed some of them in lovely hymns. These five verses are from a translation of his hymn upon the Name of Jesus, made by the Rev. Edward Caswall in 1849. Caswall was then a clergyman in the Church of England, but in the next year joined the Roman Catholic Church.