Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The triumphs of his grace

On this day in 1738, Charles Wesley was sick with pleurisy. He had returned to England two years earlier from a stint as secretary to the governor of the Georgia colony. Charles WesleyThe future co-founder of Methodism was plagued with doubts about the Christian faith.

A group of Christians came and offered him testimony as well as care in his sickness. Charles reported later that their visit touched him. He read from his Bible "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise and believe, and thou shalt be healed of thy infirmities." Charles was deeply moved and felt at peace with God. Then strength returned to his body and his doubts receeded. John would have a similar experience three days later.

One year to the day later (May 21), Charles wrote an 18-stanza poem, 'For the anniversary day of one's conversion.' The seventh stanza began "O for a Thousand Tongues" an is now the first verse of the now famous hymn of the same name, whose text follows below. It is a hymn written in thanksgiving for the truth of the Gospel being confirmed in the life of the sick and doubting Charles Wesley, who was first touched by a group of Christians visiting him in his infirmity.

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my dear Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

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!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim
and spread through all the earth abroad
the honours of thy name.

Hymn text above taen from Common Praise (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2000).



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