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’.The Hymn that we sing as ‘Saviour of all, to Thee we bow’ is, in fact, the third part of a much longer hymn. It is entitled “Unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans” (Revelation iii. 14, &c..). Here the poem is reproduced in its entirety
Amen to all that God hath said,
Witness divine, the just and true,
Who wast before the worlds were made,
Whose being no beginning knew;
With guilty self-condemning fear,
With humble self-abasing shame,
Thy Spirit’s dreadful charge we hear,
Nor dare throw off th’ imputed blame.
God of unspotted purity,
Us, and our works canst thou behold?
Justly we are abhor’d by thee,
For we are neither hot nor cold.
We call Thee Lord, thy faith profess,
But do not from our hearts obey,
In soft Laodicean ease
We sleep our useless lives away.
We live in pleasures, and are dead,
In search of fame and wealth we live,
Commanded in Thy steps to tread,
We seek sometimes, but never strive.
A lifeless form we still retain,
Of this we make our empty boast,
Nor know the name we take in vain:
The power of godliness is lost.
The power we daringly deny,
A fancied good, a madman’s dream,
The truth itself we deem a lie,
The promis’d Holy Ghost blaspheme.
How long, great God, have we appear’d
Abominable in Thy sight!
Better that we had never heard
Thy word, or seen the gospel-light.
Better that we had never known
The way to heaven thro’ saving grace,
Than basely in our lives disown
And slight, and mock thee to Thy face.
Thou rather would’st that we were cold,
Than seem to serve Thee without zeal,
Less guilty, if with those of old,
We worship’d Thor and Woden still.
Less grievous will the judgment-day
To Sodom and Gomorrah prove,
Than us, who cast our faith away,
And trample on Thy richer love.
Yet still we glory in Thy name,
O Christ, as though we knew Thy grace,
Thee with unhallow’d lips we claim,
A lukewarm, worse than heathen race.
We say, that we with goods abound,
Are rich, and full, and need no more,
Nor know that we are wretched found
With Thee, and bare, and blind, and poor.
O let us our own works forsake,
Ourselves, and all we have, deny,
Thy condescending counsel take,
And come to thee pure gold to buy.
Gold, that can bear the fiery test,
And make the buyer rich indeed;
Adorn us in the milk-white vest,
And over us thy mantle spread.
When this unspotted robe we wear,
Our sins are cover’d all by Thee,
No longer doth our shame appear;
Salvation in thy light we see.
Touch’d by an unction from above,
Our eyes are open’d to perceive
The mystery of redeeming love,
The death by which alone we live.
Beholding as with open face
The glory of the Lord, we go
From strength to strength, from grace to grace,
And perfect holiness below.
O might we thro’ thy grace attain
The faith thou never wilt reprove,
The faith that purges every stain,
The faith that always works by LOVE.
O might we see in this our day
The things belonging to our peace,
And timely meet Thee in Thy way
Of judgments, and our sins confess:
Thy fatherly chastisements own,
With filial awe revere the rod,
And turn with zealous haste, and run
Into the out-stretch’d arms of God.
Behold thou standest at the door,
Thou knockest long at every heart,
Ready the sinner to restore,
And lift the fallen up Thou art.
Thou callest all men to repent,
And all men may obey thy call,
They may—the stoniest may relent,
Thy death hath bought the grace for all.
What thou hast lent we all may use,
We all our talents may improve;
We need not, Lord, thy grace refuse,
Or stop our ears against thy love.
Thou hast obtain’d for us a power
Thy proffer’d mercy to embrace,
And all may know their gracious hour,
And all may close with SAVING GRACE.
Saviour of all, to thee we bow,
And own thee faithful to Thy word;
We hear thy voice, and open now
Our hearts to entertain our Lord.
Come in, come in, thou heavenly guest,
Delight in what thyself hast given;
On thy own gifts and graces feast,
And make the contrite heart thy heav’n.
Smell the sweet odour of our prayers,
Our sacrifice of praise approve,
And treasure up our gracious tears,
And rest in thy redeeming love.
Beneath Thy shadow let us sit,
Call us thy friend, and love, and bride,
And bid us freely drink, and eat
Thy dainties, and be satisfied.
O let us on Thy fulness feed,
And eat thy flesh, and drink thy blood,
Jesu, thy blood is drink indeed,
Jesu, thy flesh is angels’ food.
The heavenly manna faith imparts,
Faith makes thy fulness all our own,
We feed upon Thee in our hearts,
And find that heaven and Thou art one.
An heaven begun on earth we feel,
Who conquer in the glorious strife,
And pass o’er sin, and earth, and hell
Triumphant to eternal life.
The fullness of eternal bliss,
We shall from thee receive above,
This the reward of conquests, this
The crown of all victorious love.
Conqueror of sin, and hell, and death,
As thou the dreadful fight hast won,
And wearest now th’ immortal wreath,
And sittest on Thy Father’s throne;
So shalt Thou grant to all that fight,
And conquer in Thy mighty name,
To claim the kingdom as their right,
Their sufferings, and their crown the same.
Who bore thy cross shall wear thy crown,
Shall triumph in thy victory,
And in thy glorious throne sit down,
And reign in endless bliss with thee.