Home > Uncategorized > Music Monday: Charles Wesley – Can it be?

Music Monday: Charles Wesley – Can it be?

I’m continuing a “music monday” theme where I am exploring theology expressed in the songs of the church, past & present. I’m telling you, songs can be memorable sermons. I’m loving this journey so far. Today might be a little familiar to you.

Charles Wesley is probably best known in tandem with his brother John Wesley. Church history generally attributes the founding of the methodist movement to these Wesley brothers, who were ironically anglican. Charles in particular must have had a love for music as he penned over 6,000 hymns in his life. Yes, that many. I am blown away by this because you have to be in such a constant overwhelmed by God state to write so much. So challenging to me.

Below is one he wrote in 1739 while reflecting on Acts 16.26 where Paul & Silas were in prison singing hymns, then all of the sudden an earthquake happens & the chains fall off of the prisoners. It also happens to be one we sang in part when I was going through college. I spent some time meditating on these words today and am overwhelmed with how little I probably grasped what I was singing then. I hope you will consider them.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood!
Died he for me, who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
That thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

‘Tis mystery all: th’ Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left his Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite his grace!
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
Alive in him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.


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