Scripture Verse

The Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. Jonah 1:4–5


Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns for Times of Trou­ble and Per­se­cu­tion, se­cond edi­tion, en­larged (Lon­don: Stra­han, 1744), pag­es 9–10.

Music: Ad­vent (Ply­mouth), in the Ply­mouth Col­lec­tion, by Hen­ry W. Beech­er, 1855, where it is des­cribed as a West­ern me­lo­dy (🔊 pdf nwc).

Charles Wesley


Merciful God, to Thee we cry,
O think upon us, or we die
The ever-living death!
Lo! by a mighty tem­pest tossed,
Our ship without Thine aid is lost,
Lost in the gulf beneath.

The mariners are struck with fear,
And shudder at de­struc­tion near,
So high the billows swell;
Ready to o’erwhelm our shat­tered state,
Thy judgments fall with all their weight,
To crush us into hell.

Ah! wherefore is this evil come?
Show us, omniscient God, for whom
Thy plagues our Church be­fall:
Give, while we ask, a righteous lot,
And let the guilty soul be caught,
Who brings Thy curse on all.

With trembling awe we humbly pray,
Now, now the secret cause dis­play
Of our calamity,
Whose sins have brought Thy judg­ments down!
Alas, my God, the cause I own,
The lot is fallen on me!

I am the man, the Jonas I,
For me the working waves run high,
For me the curse takes place;
I have increased the nation’s load,
I have called down the wrath of God
On all our helpless race.

With guilty unbelieving dread
Long have I from His presence fled,
And shunned the sight of Heav­en;
In vain the pardoning God pur­sued,
I would not be by grace sub­dued,
I would not be for­giv­en.

I know the tempest roars for me,
Till I am cast into the sea,
Its rage can never cease:
Here then I to my doom submit,
Do with me as Thy will sees fit,
But give Thy people peace.

Save, Jesu, save the sink­ing ship,
And lo! I plunge into the deep
Of all Thy judgments here;
I fall beneath Thy threatenings, Lord,
But let my soul, at last restored,
Before Thy face appear.

Beneath Thine anger’s pre­sent weight
I sink, and only dep­re­cate
Thy sorer wrath to come:
Give me at last in Thee a part,
And now, in mercy, now avert
The guilty nation’s doom.

O bid the angry waves sub­side,
Into a calm the tempest chide
By Thy supreme com­mand:
Thou in our broken ship re­main,
Till every soul the harbor gain,
And reach the heavenly land.