I [am] determined not to know any thing…save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.@1 Corinthians 2:2
portrait
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems 1742.

Sherbourne, from the 9th Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 (🔊 pdf nwc).

In 1783, at the Bristol Conference, Wesley was seized with a sudden illness, from which no one expected him to recover. He told Joseph Bradford, ‘I have been reflecting on my past life. I have been wandering up and down between fifty and sixty years, endeavouring, in my poor way, to do a little good to my fellow creatures; and now it is probable that there are but a few steps between me and death; and what have I to trust to for salvation? I can see nothing that I have done or suffered that will bear looking at. I have no other plea than this—

I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.’

Charles Wesley’s daughter, Sarah, died in Bristol on September 9, 1828, when nearly seventy years old. Joseph Entwisle visited her on her death-bed. She was too weak to talk much, but would often repeat the same lines. They were almost her last words. She was buried in St. James’s Churchyard, Bristol, where five infant children of Charles Wesley’s had been laid to rest. Her father’s verses were put on her gravestone.

Telford, pp. 216-7

portrait
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Let the world their virtue boast,
Their works of righteousness,
I, a wretch undone and lost,
Am freely saved by grace;
Other title I disclaim;
This, only this, is all my plea:
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.

I, like Gideon’s fleece, am found
Unwatered still, and dry,
While the dew on all around,
Falls plenteous from the sky;
Yet my Lord I cannot blame,
The Savior’s grace for all is free:
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.

Surely He will lift me up,
For I of Him have need;
I cannot give up my hope,
Though I am cold and dead;
To bring fire on earth He came;
O that it now might kindled be!
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.

Jesus, Thou for me hast died,
And Thou in me wilt live;
I shall feel Thy death applied,
I shall Thy life receive;
Yet, when melted in the flame
Of love, this shall be all my plea:
I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me.