Thursday, March 09, 2017

Singing the Faith: Day 4

Day 4  The Wesleys

The Methodist revival of the 18th century produced a huge volume of music. Church of England authorities were suspicious of these new hymns, sung with an enthusiasm they distrusted.
But ordinary people loved to sing, and the hymns of John and Charles Wesley, along with many other hymn writers of the time soon caught on.

Love Divine was one of at least 6000 hymns written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), and is one of his best loved. Its words remind us of God’s longing to transform our lives through his Holy Spirit, making us a “new creation." This was a central emphasis in Methodist theology, and gave immense hope and dignity to the industrial and rural poor who embraced Methodism first and most enthusiastically. 

It is sung to several tunes, but Blaenwern composed by William Penfro Rowlands during the Welsh Revival of 1904-5 is probably the most popular.

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit;
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.

What would you like God to change in your life? How do you need to be made a “new creation”.

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