The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Words: Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems (Bristol, England: Felix Farley, 1742), number 76.
Hymns for the persecuted.
Jesu, the growing work is Thine,
And who shall hinder its success?
In vain the alien armies join
Thy glorious Gospel to suppress,
And vow, with Satan’s aid, to o’erthrow,
The work Thy grace revives below.
The wary world, as Julian wise,
Wise with the wisdom from beneath,
A while its milder malice tries,
And lets these mad enthusiasts breathe,
Breathe to infect their purest air,
And spread the plague of virtue there.
Wondering the calm despisers stand,
And dream that they the respite give.
Restrained by Thine o’erruling hand,
They kindly suffer us to live,
Live to defy their master’s frown,
And turn his kingdom upside down.
Still the old dragon bites his chain,
Not yet commissioned from on high;
Rage the fierce Pharisees in vain;
Away with them, the zealots cry,
And hoary Caiaphas exclaims,
And Bonner dooms us to the flames.
But our great God, who reigns on high,
Shall laugh their haughty rage to scorn,
Scatter their evil with His eye,
Or to His praise their fierceness turn;
While all their efforts to remove
His Church, shall stablish her in love.
Yes, Lord, Thy promise-word is true,
Our sacred hairs are numbered all;
Though earth and hell our lives pursue,
Without Thy leave we cannot fall;
And if Thou slack the murderer’s chain,
We suffer but with Thee to reign.
Our sufferings shall advance Thy cause,
And blunt the persecutor’s sword,
Dispread the victory of Thy cross,
And glorify our conquering Lord.
Evil shall work for Sion’s good:
Its seed is still the martyr’s blood.