Unpublished Hymns By Charles Wesley -- By: J. Dale
Unpublished Hymns By Charles Wesley
Among the autograph manuscripts of hymns by Charles Wesley which are in the custody of the Epworth Press, City Road, are five volumes of short hymns on the Gospels and the Book of Acts. They vary in length from 195 pages (Mark) to 555 pages (Acts).
In search of variant readings, I began to collate the hymns in manuscript with Volume ii of Short Hymns on Select Passages of Holy Scripture, first published in 1762, and with the supposedly definitive Poetical Works of 1868-72. To my surprise, I began to find hymns in manuscript which were not included in either publication. Among the hymns on the Gospel of Mark alone, there are 46 unpublished hymns or portions of hymns.
The Short Hymns are in the nature of brief devotional verse expositions; the following is typical, and one cannot help wondering why it was ever omitted; the text chosen for exposition is Mark 15:39
“How powerful our Redeemer’s cries
Which life in death impart,
Which open still the sinner’s eyes,
And pierce his echoing heart!
By faith I hear his speaking blood,
His mangled form I see,
And know, This is the Son of God,
Whose cries converted me.”
Tyndale House Cambridge.
THE RIDLEY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE AND ST. IVES.
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