Scripture Verse

The angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. Acts 12:7

Introduction

portrait
Thomas Campbell
(1777–1844)

Words: Charles We­sley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems (Lon­don: Stra­han, 1739), pag­es 117–19.

Music: Sa­gi­na Tho­mas Camp­bell, Bou­quet 1825 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

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Charles Wesley
(1707–1788)

Origin of the Hymn

Written at Little Bri­tain, in May, 1738, to­ge­ther with the hymn, Where shall my won­der­ing soul be­gin? on the oc­ca­sion of the great spir­it­u­al change which C. Wes­ley at that time un­der­went. His di­a­ry of that date gives min­ute de­tails of the men­tal and spir­it­u­al strug­gles through which he passed, ev­i­denc­es of which, and the ul­ti­mate tri­umph, are clear­ly trace­a­ble in both hymns.

Julian, p. 64

illustration
St. Peter Freed from Prison
Pier Francesco Mola
(1612–1666)

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.