I want the gift of power within:
Of love and of a healthful mind,
Of power to conquer inbred sin,
Of love to Thee and all mankind,
Of health that pain and death defies,
Most vigorous when the body dies.
When shall I hear the inward voice
Which only faithful souls can hear?
Pardon and peace and heavenly joys
Attend the promised Comforter;
O come, and righteousness divine
And Christ, and all with Christ, are mine!
O that the Comforter would come!
Nor visit as a transient guest,
But fix in me His constant home
And take possession of my breast,
And fix in me His loved abode,
The temple of indwelling God.
Where is the sure, the certain seal
That ascertains the Kingdom mine?
The powerful stamp I long to feel,
The signature of love divine;
O shed it in my heart abroad,
Fullness of love, of Heaven, of God!
The renowned Charles Wesley appears to have been seeking assurance of his relationship with God in this rarely sung hymn. Perhaps he was writing on behalf of others who might prayerfully sing these words, too.
Charles Wesley was a minister’s son who was educated at Westminster School and at Oxford University. While at Oxford, he was a member of the “Holy Club” and was called a Methodist because he regularly attended Holy Communion services and observed the method of study prescribed by the University statutes. He was ordained in 1735 and travelled with his brother, John, and two friends to Georgia, USA, where Charles was secretary to General Oglethorpe, the colony’s governor. Returning to England, Charles connected with some Moravian Christian friends and “found peace with God” on Whitsunday in 1738. One assumes this peace had previously eluded him, in spite of his studies and his zeal to preach the Gospel. We are indebted to Charles Wesley for the numerous hymns and poems he wrote – nine thousand in all – although of course not all have been published and survived to our time. Some of these were written co-operatively with his brother, John. Charles lived from 1707 to 1788.