“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”

Apparently Charles Wesley wrote this hymnimage of hymnal page (with 19 verses!) to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his conversion. And that event is reflected in the words: “On this glad day the glorious Sun / Of Righteousness arose . . .”

But when we sang this one day, I was struck by another verse: “He breaks the power of canceled sin, / He sets the prisoner free; / His blood can make the foulest clean, / His blood availed for me.” I’d sorta read that first phrase to mean: “He has the power to cancel sin.” But Wesley’s words go deeper. One meaning I took away is that Jesus has not only covered all sin; he’s mighty enough to deal with any leftover “power” that might try to hang around after I’ve repented (like guilt?).

Online biographies of Wesley say that though he was ordained at age 28, he didn’t have “a conscious knowledge of sins forgiven” until about three years later. Fascinating.


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