Scripture Verse

The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame. Isaiah 10:17

Introduction

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Edward J. Hopkins (1818–1901)

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems 1746.

Music: Cul­ford Ed­ward J. Hop­kins, in The Tem­ple Church’s Cho­ral Ser­vice, 1867 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

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Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Jackson’s 1848 Mem­oirs of the Rev. Charles Wes­ley states the hymn was writ­ten …on the joy­ful oc­ca­sion of his min­is­te­ri­al suc­cess, and that of his fellow la­bour­ers, in New­cas­tle and vi­ci­ni­ty. Pe­rhaps the im­age­ry was sug­gest­ed by the large fires con­nected with the col­lier­ies, which il­lum­in­ate the whole of that part of the coun­try in the dark­est nights.

Lyrics

See how great a flame as­pires,
Kindled by a spark of grace!
Jesu’s love the na­tions fires,
Sets the king­doms on a blaze:
To bring fire on earth He came;
Kindled in some hearts it is:
O that all might catch the flame,
All par­take the glo­ri­ous bliss!

When He first the work be­gun,
Small and fee­ble was His day:
Now the Word doth swift­ly run;
Now it wins its wid­en­ing way:
More and more it spreads, and grows,
Ever migh­ty to pre­vail;
Sin’s strong­holds it now o’er­throws,
Shakes the trem­bling gates of hell.

Sons of God, your Sav­ior praise!
He the door hath op­ened wide!
He hath giv’n the word of grace,
Jesus’ word is glo­ri­fied;
Jesus migh­ty to re­deem,
He alone the work hath wrought;
Worthy is the work of Him,
Him who spake a world from naught.

Saw ye not the cloud arise,
Little as a hu­man hand?
Now it spreads along the skies,
Hangs o’er all the thirs­ty land!
Lo! the pro­mise of a show­er
Drops alrea­dy from above;
But the Lord will short­ly pour
All the spir­it of His love.