Almost every phrase of this hymn references one or more scripture passages, starting with Advent prophecies in the first two verses, then moving on through the gospels to the epistles as we ask Christ to rule in our hearts. That's pretty typical of Charles Wesley's hymns – strongly liked to the Bible.
Charles Wesley is credited with writing over 6000 hymns. The 'Bard of Methodism' is ranked as one of the world's great hymnwriters. Many of his hymns are still firm favourites today, including 'Hark! the Herald Angels Sing', 'Christ the Lord is Risen Today', and 'Love Divine, All Loves Excelling'. I guess I need to do an arrangement of Christ the Lord is Risen Today to complete the set – the other three are already published as part of the Hymnody Project.
It's generally believed that Christian Friedrich Witt composed the tune STUTTGART. He was an editor and compiler of the hymnbook 'Psalmodia Sacra Gotha', published in 1715 in the German city of Gotha, and contributed about a hundred tunes to the volume. The hymnbook was well established by the time Wesley wrote this text, and it is probable that he set it with STUTTGART in mind.
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Available as audio only, or as a High Definition Lyric Video: simply select from the popup above. This setting is has four verses and is a comfortable sing for all congregations.
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