Posts Tagged ‘Charles Wesley’



Hark! the herald angels sing,  “Glory to the new born King,   peace on earth, and mercy mild,  God and sinners reconciled!”  

Joyful, all ye nations rise,   join the triumph of the skies;   with th’ angelic host proclaim,  “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”  

Hark! the herald angels sing,  “Glory to the new born King!”

Charles Wesley was born 12/18/1707 at the Epworth Rectory in England.  He was the eighteenth 18th child (born 18th was 18th 🙂 ) of Anglican pastor Samuel.  Charles & his older brother John formed the “Holy Club” (Charles was more responsible than John for Whitfield’s conversion).  The group was derisively dubbed “Methodists” for methodical forms of personal piety.  Charles underwent a spiritual conversion 5/20/1738. Between 1737 and 1742 he & John published six volumes of original hymns.  He penned more than 6,500 hymns. He died 3/29/1788.


His “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” obviously fits Resurrection morning. His “And Can It Be?” “O for a Thousand Tongues,” “Love Divine All Loves Excelling,” “A Charge to Keep I Have,” and “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” fit any day. But this time of year we love to sing his, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

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304 years ago yesterday Charles Wesley was born in England.  He wrote:

            Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born inBethlehem!”

Refrain Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

            2. Christ, by highest Heav’n adored; Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.

            3. Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.

            4. Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power, Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

            5. Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart.

How much poorer our world would be without the heart & pen of Charles.

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Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus


Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.


Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Charles Wesley, one of the greatest hymn writers ever born, was born this date, 12/18/1707 at Epworth Rectory, England.  He became what may be called the “co-founder” of Methodism.  (Anyone wishing to deny him that title remember – we know more theology from his sacred hymns than we do, with all due respect, from John’s sermons.)  Charles was the eighteenth child of his Anglican pastor father, Samuel, and his methodical mother, Susanna.

The Wesleys and their friends formed the “Holy Club,” a group derisively called “Methodists” for their methodical form of piety.  He was ordained an Anglican minister in 1735 but had a radical conversion to Christ 5/20/1738 three days prior to John’s Aldersgate experience.  Between 1737 and 1742 he and John published six volumes of original hymns.  Recently the United Methodist hymnal still had seventy-three of these poems the Lord gave him.  He penned more than 6,500 in total.

Among his best-known works are “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” (Resurrection Lord’s Day), “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and the above (both about Christ’s Birth).  He is said to have written his last hymn his last day on earth, 3/29/1788 – no early retirement with Charles Wesley.

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Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful Name;
The Name all victorious of Jesus extol,
His kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

The waves of the sea have lift up their voice,
Sore troubled that we in Jesus rejoice;
The floods they are roaring, but Jesus is here;
While we are adoring, He always is near.

When devils engage, the billows arise,
And horribly rage, and threaten the skies:
Their fury shall never our steadfastness shock,
The weakest believer is built on a rock.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save,
And still He is nigh, His presence we have;
The great congregation His triumph shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus, our King.

“Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!”
Let all cry aloud and honor the Son;
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore and give Him His right,
All glory and power, all wisdom and might;
All honor and blessing with angels above,
And thanks never ceasing and infinite love

Today in history, 6/25/1744, the first Methodist conference convened in London.  What better way to note it in verse than to have a Charles Wesley hymn here.

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“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.

In Christ your Head, you then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.

Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above,
The church in earth and heaven.

On this glad day the glorious Sun
Of Righteousness arose;
On my benighted soul He shone
And filled it with repose.

Sudden expired the legal strife,
’Twas then I ceased to grieve;
My second, real, living life
I then began to live.

Then with my heart I first believed,
Believed with faith divine,
Power with the Holy Ghost received
To call the Savior mine.

I felt my Lord’s atoning blood
Close to my soul applied;
Me, me He loved, the Son of God,
For me, for me He died!

I found and owned His promise true,
Ascertained of my part,
My pardon passed in heaven I knew
When written on my heart.

Look unto Him, ye nations, own
Your God, ye fallen race;
Look, and be saved through faith alone,
Be justified by grace.

See all your sins on Jesus laid:
The Lamb of God was slain,
His soul was once an offering made
For every soul of man.

Awake from guilty nature’s sleep,
And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep,
And wash the Æthiop white.

Harlots and publicans and thieves
In holy triumph join!
Saved is the sinner that believes
From crimes as great as mine.

Murderers and all ye hellish crew
In holy triumph join!
Believe the Savior died for you;
For me the Savior died.

With me, your chief, ye then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.

Charles Wesley was converted to Jesus Christ this date 5/21/1738.

On 5/21/1739 Wesley wrote this hymn on the first anniversary of his conversion.  He wrote 6000 hymns across some fifty years or an

average of 120 a year.  This means he wrote (on the average) between

two and three a week.  And, as seen here, some were not short!

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“Love Divine”


Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.


Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.


Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.


Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.


Charles Wesley married this date (4/8/1749) to Miss Sarah Gwynne.

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