Scripture Verse

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6


Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Words: Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems (Bris­tol, Eng­land: Fe­lix Far­ley, 1749), Vol­ume 1, pag­es 35–40, alt.

Music: Ec­ce Ho­mo Will­iam H. Monk (1823–1889) (🔊 pdf nwc).

William H. Monk (1823–1889)


Who believes the tidings? Who
Witnesses that God is true?
Sees his sins and follies more
Than the sands upon the shore?
Sees his works with evil fraught,
All his life a constant blot?
Sees his heart of virtue void,
Alien from the life of God?
Tastes in every tainted breath
Pride, and self, and sin and death!

Who, ah, who deserves to feel
Never ending pains in hell?
Trembling views his long sought hire,
Vengeance of eter­nal fire?
Who hath fruitless toil bestowed
To appease the wrath of God?
Vain is all thy toil and care,
Vain all nature’s treasures are:
More to buy one soul it cost,
More to save a spirit lost.

What, then, wilt thou, canst thou do?
Canst thou form thyself anew?
Canst thou cleanse a filthy heart,
Life to the dead soul impart?
Canst Thou thy lost powers restore?
Rise, go forth, and sin no more?
Never, ne­ver can it be,
God alone can set thee free!
God alone the work hath done,
Fought the fight, the battle won.

God alone the price hath paid,
All thy sins on Him were laid;
Happy soul, from guilt set free,
Jesus died for thee, for thee!
Jesus does for thee atone,
Points thee to th’eter­nal crown,
Speaks to thee the kingdom giv’n,
Kingdom of an inward heaven,
Glorious joy, unuttered peace,
All vic­to­ri­ous right­eous­ness.

Why then do thy fears return?
Yet again why dost thou mourn?
Why are all thy comforts fled?
Sin revives, and I am dead.
Dead alas! thou art within,
Still remains the inbred sin;
Dead within thou surely art,
Still unclean remains thy heart;
The untamed rebellious will,
Foe to good, enslaved to ill.

Soon the Com­fort­er will come,
Fix in thee His constant home,
With thy heart His witness bear
Strong, and permanent, and clear:
All thy griefs shall then be gone,
Doubt and fear no more be known;
Holy love thy heart possess,
Silent joy, and steadfast peace;
Peace that ne­ver can decay,
Joy that none can take away.

Wrath, and pride and hatred cease,
All thy heart is gentleness;
Let the waves around thee rise,
Let the tempest cloud the skies;
Calm thou ever art within,
All unruffled, all serene:
Thy sure anchor cannot fail,
Entered now within the veil;
Glad this earth thou canst resign:
The new heavens and earth are thine.

Why then heave again thy sighs,
Heir of all in earth and skies?
Still thou feel’st the root within,
Bitter root of inbred sin;
Nature still in thee hath part,
Unrenewed is still thy heart;
Still thy heart is unrenewed,
Alien from the life of God:
Hence with secret earnest moans,
Deep unutterable groans.

Come, Thou holy God and true!
Come, and my whole heart renew;
Take me now, possess me whole,
Form the Sav­ior in my soul;
In my heart Thy name reveal,
Stamp me with Thy Spi­rit’s seal;
Change my nature into Thine,
In me Thy whole image shine:
Bow Thine ear, in mercy bow,
Fill me with Thy fullness now.

Happy soul, who now renewed,
God in thee, and thou in God,
Only feel’st within thee move
Tenderness, compassion, love;
Love immense and unconfined,
Love to all of humankind;
Love which willeth all should live,
Love which all to all would give;
Love that over all prevails,
Love that ne­ver, ever fails.

Stand secure, for thou shalt prove
All th’eternity of love.
Happy soul, from self and sin
Clean, e’en as thy Lord is clean;
God hath made thy footsteps sure,
Purified as He is pure.
God thou dost in all things see,
God is all in all to thee;
Heav’n above, and earth abroad,
All to thee is full of God.

Happy soul, whose active love
Emulates the blest above,
In thy every action seen,
Sparkling from the soul within:
Thou to every sufferer nigh,
Hearest, not in vain, the cry
Of the widow in distress,
Of the poor and fatherless!
Raiment give to all that need,
To the hungry deal’st thy bread.

To the sick thou give relief,
Soothe the hapless prisoner’s grief;
Weak the hands thou liftest up,
Bid the helpless mourners hope,
Give to those in darkness light,
Guide the weary wanderer right;
Break the roaring lion’s teeth,
Save the sinner’s soul from death;
Happy Thou, for God doth own
Thee, His well belovèd son.

Let the sons of Belial rage,
Let all hell its powers engage;
Brand with infamy thy name,
Put thee to an open shame;
Let earth’s comforts be withdrawn,
Parents, kindred, friends be gone;
Happy, O thrice happy thou,
Sealed unto re­demp­tion now!
All in earth thou well hast giv’n,
God is thy reward in Heav’n.