Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 150:6

Soon after their graduation from Oxford University, John and Charles Wesley decided to sail to America, the new world, to try to minister to the rough colonists under General Oglethorpe in Georgia and to evangelize the native Americans. The Wesleys soon became disillusioned with the situation there, however, and after a short time returned to England.

As they crossed the Atlantic, John and Charles were much impressed by a group of devout Moravians, who seemed to have such spiritual depth and vitality as well as genuine missionary zeal. After returning to London, the Wesleys met with a group of Moravians in the Aldersgate Hall. Here in May of 1738, both brothers had a spiritual "heart-warming experience", realizing that even though they had been so zealous in religious activity, neither had ever personally known God's forgiveness or real joy. From that time on their ministry displayed a new dimension of spiritual power.

"O For a Thousand Tongues" was written by Charles in 1739 on the 1st anniversary of his Aldersgate experience. It was inspired by a chance remark of an influential Moravian leader named Peter Bohler, who expressed his spiritual joy in this way: "Oh, Brother Wesley, the LORD has done so much for my life. Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with every one of them!"

These words of personal testimony by Charles Wesley have provided a moving vehicle of worship for God's people for more than two centuries.

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemerís 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 calms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
íTis music in the sinnerís ears,
íTis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the pow'r of canceled sin,
He sets the pris'ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, list'ning 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!

Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above,
The church in Earth and Heav'n.

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,
íTwas 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,
Pow'r with the Holy Ghost received
To call the Savior mine.

I felt my Lordís atoning blood
Upon 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 Heav'n 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 natureís sleep,
And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep,
And wash the scarlet 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;
This Savior can be thine.

With me, your chief, ye then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiv'n;
Anticipate your Heav'n below,
And own true love in Heav'n.

*For Today*: Psalm 96:1-4, 103:1-4, 145:2 & 3; Romans 14:17

Let this hymn be the desire of your heart as you sing this message.

Music url: The CyberHymnal
**Click on the alternate melody Lyngham as well**

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Return to Hymn Devotionals Index

Caleb's Country Corner *_*

The Christian Counter