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Happy! – Dec 18 (Charles Wesley)

Abby Sale 18 Dec 05 - 09:30 AM
Azizi 18 Dec 05 - 07:48 PM
Azizi 18 Dec 05 - 08:12 PM
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Subject: Happy! – Dec 18 (Charles Wesley)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 09:30 AM

Happy Birthday!

Singer/songwriter (and some other stuff),

Charles Wesley

born 12/18/1707

        And let this feeble body fail,
        And let it faint or die;
        My soul shall quit this mournful vale,
        And soar to worlds on high,

        Chorus: And I'll sing hallelujah,
                And you'll sing hallelujah,
                And we'll all sing hallelujah,
                When we arrive at home.

                        "Hallelujah," Tune: William Walker 1835; Lyrics: Charles Wesley 1759

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: Happy! – Dec 18 (Charles Wesley)
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 07:48 PM

Here's an interesting quote from Charles Wesley:

"Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns. Like most hymn­ists, his work were fre­quent­ly al­tered. In the pre­face to the 1779 Col­lection of Hymns for the Use of the Peo­ple called Meth­od­ists, his bro­ther John wrote:

I beg leave to men­tion a thought which has been long up­on my mind, and which I should long ago have in­sert­ed in the pub­lic pa­pers, had I not been un­will­ing to stir up a nest of horn­ets. Ma­ny gen­tle­men have done my bro­ther and me (though with­out nam­ing us) the hon­our to re­print ma­ny of our hymns. Now they are per­fect­ly wel­come to do so, pro­vid­ed they print them just as they are. But I de­sire they would not at­tempt to mend them, for they are real­ly not able. None of them is able to mend ei­ther the sense or the verse. There­fore, I must beg of them these two fa­vours: ei­ther to let them stand just as they are, to take things for bet­ter or worse, or to add the true read­ing in the mar­gin, or at the bot­tom of the page, that we may no long­er be ac­count­a­ble ei­ther for the non­sense or for the dog­ger­el of other men.

In addition to hymn writ­ing, Charles and his bro­ther John found­ed the move­ment which be­came the Meth­od­ist de­nom­in­a­tion."


Source: Charles Wesley Hymns

That site also has a list of the songs he wrote.

Needless to say, people didn't heed Wesley's words about letting his songs "stand just as they are."

Here are three {Charles} Wesley songs that I recall from my {African American} Baptist church in Atlantic City, New Jersey and elsewhere:

"Come, Thou Almighty King"
[I remember the first verse only. It is still used as a prelude to the prayer for blessing the offering. Wesley's words are:

"Come, Thou almighty King,
Help us Thy Name to sing, help us to praise!
Father all glorious, over all victorious,
Come and reign over us, Ancient of Days!"


The third line as I remember it being sung is
"Father all glorious, all victorius"
{with the all word elongated to all-ll}}


"A Charge To Keep Have I"
{I remember the exact words of the first verse only, also used as a prelude for blessing the offering *}

"A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky."


* Uptempo songs were used for collecting the offering. The congregation either sits at their seats and the ushers pass the plate row by row, or the entire congregation row by row gets up and puts their offering in the plates that are at a table placed on the floor in front of minister's podium.

"Father, I Stretch My Hands To Thee" {first verse only}

"Father, I stretch my hands to Thee,
No other help I know;
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me,
Ah! whither shall I go?


Thanks, Abby, for helping me solve the mystery about this song. I definitely recall this first verse. It is very much still a part of my prayer repertoire. But I never knew that these words were part of a song {or rather I figured it was part of a song, but never knew which song}. Unlike the first two songs I quoted here, I don't remember song being sung at all, though I must have learned it somewhere. Maybe it was recited at my church in my childhood or youth.

And thank you, Charles Wesley, though you wouldn't be happy to know that I recite only your first verse and that I recite [and my church recited]that first verse this way:

" Father, I stretch my hands to Thee,
No other help I know.
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me,
Oh whither shall I go.
Oh wither shall I go, My Lord?
Oh wither shall I go?
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me
Oh whither shall I go?

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Subject: RE: Happy! – Dec 18 (Charles Wesley)
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 08:12 PM


the words to A Charge To Keep" that I recall singing {and that is still sung in churches that I go to is:

"A charge to keep have I,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky."


I correctly presented Wesley's words to that first verse in the preceding post. The order of the words to that first line were probably changed to rhyme with the words "glorify" and "sky".

But I guess old Wesley wouldn't be happy about that, and wouldn't agree with me that this change improved that verse.

Sorry Wesley.

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