“The hymn ‘O for a thousand tongues’ was originally part of a much larger hymn with 18 stanzas, which are reproduced below. In the poetical works of the Wesleys this hymn is headed ‘ For the anniversary Day of One’s Conversion.’ Thus dating it May 21st 1739. It is said that on that date Charles Wesley spoke to Peter Bohler about confessing the Lord Jesus, and he received the reply: ‘ Had I a thousand tongues I would praise Him with them all.’ It has become a firm favourite with believers throughout the generations.
Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever given,
By saints below, and saints above,
The church in earth and heaven.
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;
‘Twas 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;
Power with the Holy Ghost received
To call the Saviour mine.
I felt my Lord’s atoning blood
Close to 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 for my part;
My pardon passed in heaven I knew,
When written on my heart.
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s 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 honours of thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace!
He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
He speaks; and listening 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 Saviour come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.
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.
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 Saviour died for you;
For me the Saviour died.
Awake from guilty nature’s sleep,
And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep,
And wash your black heart white***
With me, your chief, you then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.
*** the original version had “And wash the Ethiop white.”