Scripture Verse

I have stretched out my hands unto Thee. Psalm 88:9


Hans G. Nägeli (1773–1836)

Words: Charles Wes­ley, A Col­lect­ion of Psalms and Hymns 1741.

Music: Na­omi Hans G. Nä­ge­li. Ar­ranged by Lo­well Ma­son, 1836 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Charles Wesley (1707–1788)


This was the hymn John Downes gave out on Fri­day, No­vem­ber 4, 1774, when death seized him in West Street Cha­pel, Lon­don. Wes­ley took great pride in this preach­er’s me­chan­ic­al ge­ni­us, and in the por­trait which Downes made of him.

In the af­ter­noon be­fore his ap­point­ment, Downes said, I feel such a love to the peo­ple of West Street, that I would be con­tent to die with them. I do not find my­self ve­ry well; but I must be with them this ev­en­ing.

His text was Come un­to Me, all ye that la­bour and are hea­vy la­den, and great pow­er at­tend­ed the mes­sage; but when he had spok­en for ten min­utes his strength was gone, and he gave out the lines—

Father, I stretch my hands to Thee,
No other help I know.

His voice failed. He fell on his knees, as if he in­tend­ed to pray, but he could not be heard. The preach­ers who were pres­ent raised him up and bore him to bed, where he soon breathed his last breath. He was on­ly fif­ty-two.

Telford, pp. 228–29


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

What did Thine on­ly Son en­dure,
Before I drew my breath?
What pain, what la­bor, to se­cure
My soul from end­less death!

O Je­sus, could I this be­lieve,
I now should feel Thy pow­er;
Now my poor soul Thou wouldst re­trieve,
Nor let me wait one hour.

Surely Thou canst not let me die;
O speak, and I shall live;
And here I will un­wea­ried lie,
Till Thou Thy Spir­it give.

Author of faith, to Thee I lift
My wea­ry, long­ing eyes:
O let me now re­ceive that gift!
My soul with­out it dies!

The worst of sin­ners would re­joice,
Could they but see Thy face:
O, let me hear Thy quick­en­ing voice,
And taste Thy par­don­ing grace.