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From The International Library of Masterpieces, Literature, Art, & Rare Manuscripts, Volume XXX, Editor-in-Chief: Harry Thurston Peck; The International Bibliophile Society, New York; 1901; pp. 10991-10997.



(1708-1788) *

WESLEY, CHARLES, an English clergyman and hymnologist; born at Epworth, Lincolnshire, December 18, 1708; died at London, March 29, 1788. He was a younger brother of John Wesley, with whom he studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and with whom he went to Georgia in 1735, returning with him to England after about two years. He was an earnest co-laborer with John Wesley in the so-called “Methodist” movement, was an eloquent preacher, and a voluminous writer on theological topics. Charles Wesley is distinctively known as “the poet of Methodism,” and may of his hymns rank among the best in our language.


LOVE divine, all love 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:
Ed 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.



ETERNAL Beam of Light divine,
     Fountain of unexhausted love,
In whom the Father’s glories shine,
     Through earth beneath and heaven above;

Jesus, the weary wanderer’s rest,
     Give me thy easy yoke to bear;
With steadfast patience arm my breast,
     With spotless love and lowly fear.

Thankful I take the cup from thee,
     Prepared and mingled by thy skill;
Though bitter to the taste it be,
     Powerful the wounded soul to heal.

Be thou, O Rock of Ages, nigh!
     So shall each murmuring thought be gone,
And grief, and fear, and care shall fly,
     As clouds before the midday sun.

Speak to my warring passions, “Peace;”
     Say to my trembling heart, “Be still;”
Thy power my strength and fortress is,
     For all things serve thy sovereign will.

O Death! where is thy sting? Where now
     Thy boasted victory, O Grave?
Who shall contend with God? or who
     Can hurt whom God delights to save?



GENTLE Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child;
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to Thee.
Fain I would to thee be brought:
Dearest god, forbid it not;
Give me, dearest God, a place
In thy kingdom of thy grace.

Put thy hands upon my head,
Let me in thine arms be stayed;
Let me lean upon thy breast, —
Lull me, lull me, Lord, to rest.

Hold me fast in thy embrace,
Let me see thy smiling face.
Give me, Lord, thy blessing give;
Pray for me, and I shall live.

I shall live the simple life,
Free from sin’s uneasy strife,
Sweetly ignorant of ill,
Innocent and happy still.

Oh, that I may never know
What the wicked people do!
Sin is contrary to thee.
Sin is the forbidden tree.

Keep me from the great offence,
Guard my helpless innocence;
Hide me, from all evil hide,
Self, and stubbornness, and pride.

Lamb of God, I look to thee;
Thou shalt my example be;
Thou art gentle, meek and mild,
Thou wast once a little child.

Fain I would be as thou art;
Give me thy obedient heart.
Thou art pitiful and kind:
Let me have thy loving mind.

Meek and lowly may I be:
Thou art all humility.
Let me to my betters bow:
Subject to thy parents thou.
Let me above all fulfil
God my heavenly Father’s will;
Never his good Spirit grieve,
Only to his glory live.

Thou didst live to God alone,
Thou didst never seek thine own;
Thou thy self didst never please,
God was all thy happiness.

Loving Jesu, gentle Lamb,
In Thy gracious hands I am.
Make me, Savior, what thou art,
Live thyself within my heart.

I shall then show forth thy praise,
Serve thee all my happy days:
Then the world shall always see
Christ the holy Child, in me.



     THOU very present aid
          In suffering and distress,
The soul which still on thee is stayed
          Is kept in perfect peace.
     The soul by faith reclined
          On his Redeemer’s breast
Midst raging storms exults to find
          An everlasting rest.

Sorrow and fear are gone,
          Whene’er thy face appears;
It stills the sighing orphan’s moan,
          And dries the widow’s tears.
     It hallows every cross;
          It sweetly comforts me;
And makes me now forget my loss,
          And lose myself in thee.

Peace to the troubled heart,
          Health to the sin-sick mind,
The wounded sprit’s Balm thou art,
          The Healer of mankind.
10995      In deep affliction blest,
          With thee I mount above,
And sing, triumphantly distrest,
          Thine all-sufficient love.

     Jesus, to whom I fly.
          Doth all my wishes fill;
In vain the creature-streams are dry:
          I have the Fountain still.
     Stript of my earthly friends,
          I find them all in One;
And peace, and joy that never ends,
          And heaven, in Christ alone.



HAIL! holy, holy, holy Lord,
     Whom One in Three we know;
By all thy heavenly host adored,
     By all thy Church below!
One undivided Trinity
     With triumph we proclaim:
The universe is full of thee,
     And speaks thy glorious name.

Thee, holy Father we confess;
     Thee, holy Son adore;
Thee, Spirit of true holiness
     We worship evermore.
Thine incommunicable right,
     Almighty God, receive,
Which angel-choirs and saints in light
     And saints embodied give.

Three Persons equally divine
     We magnify and love;
And both the choirs were long shall join
     To sing thy praise above.
Hail! holy, holy, holy Lord
     (Our heavenly song shall be),
Supreme, essential One adored
     In coeternal Three!




     A CHARGE to keep I have,
          A God to glorify;
A never-dying soul to save,
          And fit it for the sky;
     To serve the present age,
          My calling to fulfil:
Oh, may it all my powers engage
          To do my Master’s will!

     Arm me with jealous care,
          As in thy sight to live;
And oh, thy servant, Lord, prepare
          A strict account to give!
     Help me to watch and pray,
          And on thyself rely;
Assured, if I my trust betray,
          I shall forever die.



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 is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
     Oh, 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 defenceless head
     With the shadow of thy wing.

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!

Thou, O Christ, art all I want;
     More then 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.


 *  For another short biographical note and some poems by his more famous brother, see “John Wesley,” in this same book.

Even better, see the funny epigram written by their father, “On Butler’s Monument,” by Reverend Samuel Wesley, on this site, from Parton’s Humorous Poetry. — Elf.Ed.

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