There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy (Frederick W. Faber, 1814-1863)
A wealth of truth about the depth of God’s love and mercy is expressed simply but eloquently in this choice two-line hymn text written by Frederick Faber in the middle of the nineteenth century. In addition to being known as a man with unusual personal charm, persuasive preaching ability, and excellent writing skills, Faber made his lost lasting contribution with the 150 hymn texts he composed during his brief life of 49 years.
Frederick Faber had an unusual spiritual journey. Raised as a strict Calvinist, he strongly opposed the Roman Catholic Church. After education at Oxford, he became an ordained Anglican minister. Gradually, however, he was influenced by the Oxford Movement, which stressed that Anglican churches had become too evangelical – with too little emphasis on formal and liturgical worship. Eventually, Faber renounced the Anglican State Church, became a Catholic priest, and spent his remaining years as Superior of the Brompton Oratory in London.
Faber had always realized the great influence hymn singing had in Protestant evangelical churches. Determined to provide material for the Catholics to use in the same way, he worked he worked tirelessly in writing hymns and publishing numerous collections of them. In 1854, the Pope honored Frederick Faber with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his many accomplishments. Today, we are still grateful for this memorable declaration of the boundless love and mercy of our God to all mankind.
Source: Amazing Grace, 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories