Antoinette Bourignon was born in what we now call Belgium. She was betrothed to a noble man, but on being awakened to sin (by the influence of a Huguenot preacher) she felt her spiritual life would be hindered by marrying. Her family insisted on the marriage, and on the night before the ceremony she cut off her hair, put it by her jewels and wrote the words of this hymn; she then took flight to Germany where she devoted her life to the service of Christ. The hymn was translated into English by John Wesley.
Come, Saviour, Jesus, from above!
Assist me with thy heavenly grace,
Empty my heart of earthly love
And for thyself prepare the place.
O, let thy sacred presence fill
And set my longing spirit free,
Which pants to have no other will,
But day and night to feast on thee.
While in these regions here below
No other good will I pursue;
I’ll bid this world of noise and show,
With all its glittering snares, adieu!
That path with humble speed I’ll seek
Wherein my Saviour’s footsteps shine;
Nor will I hear, nor will I speak,
Of any other love but thine.
To Thee my earnest soul aspires,
To Thee I offer all my vows;
Keep me from false and vain desires,
My God, my Saviour and my Spouse.
Henceforth may no profane delight
Divide this consecrated soul;
Possess it thou, who hast the right,
As Lord and Master of the whole.
Wealth, honour, pleasure, or what else
This short-enduring world can give,
Tempt as ye will, my soul repels,
To Christ alone resolved to live.
Thee I can love, and thee alone,
With pure delight and inward bliss:
To know thou tak’st me for thine own,
O what a happiness is this!
Nothing on earth do I desire,
But thy pure love within my breast;
This, only this, will I require,
And freely give up all the rest.