Some of our greatest anthems of the faith have deep and riveting back stories. Samuel Trevor Francis (1834–1925), for example, worked as a lay preacher and worked full time as a merchant to support himself. However, as a teenager looking for work, he despaired of life to the point that he was considering suicide by jumping off a bridge over the River Thames. In his contemplation he met the Lord and had a deep and true Spiritual renewal. This led him to write many hymns and poems, such as this:
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
– Samuel Trevor Francis