A Plain Account of Christian Perfection
AS BELIEVED AND TAUGHT
BY THE REV. MR. JOHN WESLEY
FROM THE YEAR 1725 TO THE YEAR 1777.
H. HYMNS PUBLISHED IN 1749.
18. In the year 1749, my brother printed two volumes of "Hymns and Sacred Poems." As I did not see these before they were published, there were some things in them which I did not approve of. But I quite approved of the main of the hymns on this head; a few verses of which are subjoined : —
Come, Lord, be manifested here,
And all the devil's works destroy;
Now, without sin, in me appear,
And fill with everlasting joy:
Thy beatific face display;
Thy presence is the perfect day. (Vol. I., p. 203.)
Swift to my rescue come,
Thy own this moment seize;
Gather my wand'ring spirit home,
And keep in perfect peace.
Suffer'd no more to rove
O'er all the earth abroad,
Arrest the pris'ner of thy love,
And shut me up in God! (Page 247.)
Thy pris'ners release, Vouchsafe us thy peace;
And our sorrows and sins in a moment shall cease.
That moment be now! Our petition allow,
Our present Redeemer and Comforter thou! (Vol. II., p. 124.)
From this inbred sin deliver;
Let the yoke Now be broke;
Make me thine for ever.
Partner of thy perfect nature,
Let me be Now in thee
A new, sinless creature. (Page 156.)
Turn me, Lord, and turn me now,
To thy yoke my spirit bow;
Grant me now the pearl to find
Of a meek and quiet mind.
Calm, O calm my troubled breast;
Let me gain that second rest:
From my works for ever cease,
Perfected in holiness. (Page 162.)
Come in this accepted hour,
Bring thy heavenly kingdom in!
Fill us with the glorious power;
Rooting out the seeds of sin. (Page 168.)
Come, thou dear Lamb, for sinners slain,
Bring in the cleansing flood;
Apply, to wash out every stain,
Thine efficacious blood.
O let it sink into our soul
Deep as the inbred sin:
Make every wounded spirit whole,
And every leper clean! (Page 171.)
Pris'ners of hope arise,
And see your Lord appear:
Lo! on the wings of love he flies,
And brings redemption near.
Redemption in his blood
He calls you to receive:
"Come unto me, the pard'ning God:
Believe," he cries, "believe!"
Jesus, to thee we look,
Till saved from sin's remains,
Reject the inbred tyrant's yoke,
And cast away his chains.
Our nature shall no more
O'er us dominion have:
By faith we apprehend the power,
Which shall for ever save. (Page 188.)
Jesus, our life, in us appear,
Who daily die thy death:
Reveal thyself the finisher;
Thy quick'ning Spirit breathe!
Unfold the hidden mystery,
The second gift impart;
Reveal thy glorious self in me,
In every waiting heart. (Page 195.)
In Him we have peace, In Him we have power!
Preserved by his grace Throughout the dark hour,
In all our temptation He keeps us, to prove
His utmost salvation, His fulness of love.
Pronounce the glad word, And bid us be free!
Ah, hast thou not, Lord, A blessing for me?
The peace thou hast given, This moment impart,
And open thy heaven, O Love, in my heart! (Page 324.)
A second edition of these hymns Was published in the year 1752; and that without any other alteration, than that of a few literal mistakes.
I have been the more large in these extracts, because hence it appears, beyond all possibility of exception, that to this day both my brother and I maintained, (1.) That Christian perfection is that love of God and our neighbour, which implies deliverance from all sin. (2.) That this is received merely by faith. (3.) That it is given instantaneously, in one moment. (4.) That we are to expect it, not at death, but every moment; that now is the accepted time, now is the day of this salvation.