Yes, here we are with another Charles Wesley hymn! Charles was the next to youngest of the 19 children of Samuel and Susannah Wesley. He was born in 1707.
In 1735, he became a clergyman with the Anglican Church (Church of England) and went on a missionary trip to Georgia, USA with his brother John. Within a year, he had to return to England, in broken health and very discouraged.
Years before, he and his brother John had been part of a group at Oxford University called “Methodists” because of the strictness in their religious methods. But they came under the teaching of Moravians who helped them learn what true religion was…that it was centered in Jesus Christ, not methods of practicing religion!
Shortly after this, revival broke out in England. Charles wasn’t as directly involved in the preaching, but his brother John was. There was plenty of persecution that came with this message. Charles was driven out of his church.
It is said that this hymn was written after Charles and John had been driven from a place where they were preaching, by an angry mob! The approximate date of the writing of this hymn was 1740.
Charles lived to be nearly 80 years old and died in March of 1788.
I’m told this was one of his favorite hymns. The following verse was his favorite verse (verse 3), but isn’t sung anymore.
Wilt Thou not regard my call?
Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—
Lo! on Thee I cast my care:
Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
Dying, and, behold, I live!
Now, here is the rest of the song.
Jesus, Lover of my soul,
let me to thy bosom fly,
while the nearer waters roll,
while the tempest still is high:
hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life be past;
safe into the haven guide,
O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none,
hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah! leave me not alone,
still support and comfort me!
All my trust on thee is stayed;
all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenseless head
with the shadow of thy wing.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want;
more than all in thee I find;
raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy Name;
I am all unrighteousness;
false and full of sin I am;
thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with thee is found,
grace to cover all my sin;
let the healing streams abound,
make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
freely let me take of thee:
spring thou up within my heart,
rise to all eternity.
By Charles Wesley, 1740
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