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Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

(1708 – 1788)

TUNE: Marienlyst

Captain of Israel’s host

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 one of Wesley’s shorter hymns! In verse 2 Charles originally wrote ‘The light of man’s direction need.’ John wrote in the a note ‘yes J.W.’ However in 1780 he altered it to the version below to express confidence, without giving the impression of the independence of human help.


Captain of Israel’s host, and Guide
Of all who seek the land above,
Beneath Thy shadow we abide,
The cloud of Thy protecting love;
Our strength, Thy grace; our rule Thy word;
Our end, the glory of the Lord.


By Thine unerring Spirit led,
We shall not in the desert stray;
We shall not full direction need,
Nor miss our providential way;
As far from danger as from fear,
While love, almighty love, is near.