Charles Wesley was possibly the most prolific hymn writer that ever lived. It is estimated that he wrote more than 6500 hymns. He was born In Epworth, Lincolnshire (UK) . Along side his brother, John, Charles was used mightily by God during the 18th century ‘Great Evangelical Awaking’.This is perhaps one of Wesley’s most popular hymns. It was written soon after his conversion, and no doubt the language of the hymn describes his own experience. Charles was converted in May 1738, shortly before his brother John, and he wrote this in his Journal: “at midnight I gave myself up to Christ: assured I was safe sleeping or waking”. In most hymn books the penultimate stanza is omitted, here it is retained.
And can it be, that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me? — who caused His pain!
For me?–who Him to death pursued.
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should’st die for me?
‘Tis mystery all! the Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries
To sound the depths of Love Divine.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.
He left His Father’s throne above,
(So free, so infinite His grace!)
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free!
For, O my God! it found out me!
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night:
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell of, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.
Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel my Saviour in my heart.
No condemnation now I dread,
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine:
Alive in Him, my Living Head,
And clothed in righteousness Divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.