Despite the first line this is indeed “O for a thousand tongues to sing” – but the well known verses are hidden in a poem by Charles Wesley celebrating the anniversary of his conversion. Read it and see what motivated one servant of God. Remember as you read verse 15(!) that here was a man who preached to prisoners awaiting execution – this is no mere rhetoric. The gospel Wesley preached offers assurance that, whatever we have done, no matter how far we have run, there is forgiveness and there can be new assurance of God’s love. v5 and v14 read together beautifully place together the subjective and objective reality of the Christian’s salvation. Read and ponder these words from 250 years ago.
1. Glory to God, and praise and love
Be ever, ever given;
By Saints below, and Saints above,
The church in earth and Heaven.
2. On this glad day the glorious Sun
Of Righteousness arose;
On my benighted soul He shone
And fill’d it with repose.
3. Sudden expired the legal strife;
’Twas then I ceased to grieve;
My second, real, living life
I then began to live.
4. Then with my heart I first believed,
Believed with faith Divine,
Power with the Holy Ghost received
To call the Saviour mine.
5. 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!
6. I found, and own’d His promise true,
Ascertain’d of my part,
My pardon pass’d in heaven I knew,
When written on my heart.
7. O for a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer’s praise!
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.
8. My gracious Master, and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.
9. 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!
10. He breaks the power of cancell’d sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood avail’d for me.
11. He speaks; and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.
12. Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosen’d tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come;
And leap, ye lame, for joy.
13. Look unto Him, ye nations; own
Your God, ye fallen race!
Look, and be saved through faith alone;
Be justified by grace!
14. 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.
15. Harlots, and publicans, and thieves
In holy triumph join;
Saved is the sinner that believes
From crimes as great as mine.
16. Murderers, and all ye hellish crew,
Ye sons of lust and pride,
Believe the Saviour died for you;
For me the Saviour died.
17. Awake from guilty nature’s sleep,
And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep,
And wash the Ethiop white.
18. With me, your chief, you then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.