Depth of Mercy

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).


Depth of Mercy

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for God’s Mercy
O God, we confess to you that we are double-minded people. We love you, but we love money too. We love you, but we love worldly comforts too. We love you, but we love ourselves too. In our folly, we more often think of ourselves than we think of you. O God, in your depth of mercy center our hearts and minds in you, so that we are double-minded no more. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Depth of Mercy

Tune Information

D Major
Meter D



Depth of Mercy

Author Information

Several members of the Wesley family are significant figures in the history of English hymnody, and none more so than Charles Wesley. Charles was the eighteenth child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, who educated him when he was young. After attending Westminster School, he studied at Christ Church College, Oxford. It was there that he and George Whitefield formed the Oxford "Holy Club," which Wesley's brother John soon joined. Their purpose was to study the Bible in a disciplined manner, to improve Christian worship and the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and to help the needy. Because of their methods for observing the Christian life, they earned the name “Methodists.”
Charles Wesley was ordained a minister in the Church of England in 1735 but found spiritual conditions in the church deplorable. Charles and John served briefly as missionaries to the British colony in Georgia. Enroute they came upon a group of Moravian missionaries, whose spirituality impressed the Wesleys. They returned to England, and, strongly influenced by the ministry of the Moravians, both Charles and John had conversion experiences in 1738 (see more on this below). The brothers began preaching at revival meetings, often outdoors. These meetings were pivotal in the mid-eighteenth-century "Great Awakening" in England.
Though neither Charles nor John Wesley ever left the Church of England them­selves, they are the founders of Methodism. Charles wrote some sixty-five hundred hymns, which were published in sixty-four volumes during his lifetime; these include Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741), Hymns on the Lord's Supper ( 1 745), Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1753), and Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780). Charles's hymns are famous for their frequent quotations and allusions from the Bible, for their creedal orthodoxy and their subjective expression of Christian living, and for their use of some forty-five different meters, which inspired new hymn tunes in England. Numerous hymn texts by Wesley are standard entries in most modern hymnals; fifteen are included in Lift Up Your Hearts.
Charles's elder brother John also studied at Christ Church College, Oxford, and was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1728. A tutor at Lincoln College in Oxford from 1729 to 1735, Wesley became the leader of the Oxford "Holy Club" mentioned above. After his contact with the Moravian missionaries, Wesley began translating Moravian hymns from German and published his first hymnal, Collection of Psalms and Hymns, in Charleston, South Carolina (1737); this hymnal was the first English hymnal ever published for use in worship. Upon his return to England in 1738 Wesley "felt his heart strangely warmed" at a meeting on Aldersgate Street, London, when Peter Bohler, a Moravian, read from Martin Luther's preface to his commentary on the epistle to the Romans. It was at that meeting that John received the assurance that Christ had truly taken away his sins. That conversion experience (followed a few days later by a similar experience by his brother Charles) led to his becoming the great itinerant evangelist and administrator of the Methodist "societies," which would eventually become the Methodist Church. An Anglican all his life, John Wesley wished to reform the Church of England and regretted the need to found a new denomina­tion. Most of the hymnals he prepared with his brother Charles were intended for Christians in all denominations; their Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780) is one of the few specifically so designated. John was not only a great preacher and organizer, he was also a prolific author, editor, and translator. He translat­ed many classic texts, wrote grammars and dictionaries, and edited the works of John Bunyan and Richard Baxter. In hymnody he is best known for his translation of selec­tions from the German hymnals of Johann Cruger ('Jesus, thy boundless love to me"), Freylinghausen, and von Zinzendorf ('Jesus, thy blood and righteousness"), and for his famous "Directions for Singing," which are still printed in Methodist hymnals. Most significant, however, is his well-known strong hand in editing and often strengthening his brother Charles's hymn texts before they copublished them in their numerous hymnals.
— Bert Polman

Author and Composer Information

I currently have the privilege of serving as the Director of Sovereign Grace Music for Sovereign Grace Ministries. My main tasks include equipping pastors and musicians in the theology and practice of congregational worship, and overseeing albums produced by Sovereign Grace Music. I’m currently participating in a church plant to Louisville, KY, led by CJ Mahaney. Our first public meeting was Sept. 30, 2012.

I grew up as a Roman Catholic and planned to become a missionary priest in a third world country. Didn’t happen. When I was a freshman in college, someone from Campus Crusade shared the Gospel with me and for the first time I realized that the death of Jesus on the cross paid for ALL my sins. I turned from my sin and put my complete trust in Jesus Christ to save me from God’s wrath. After receiving a piano performance degree from Temple University in 1976, I traveled for 8 years with the contemporary Christian group GLAD, as a song writer, speaker, and arranger. I left the group in 1984, but continued writing and arranging for them until 2007. Our most well known recording is The A Cappella Project, released in 1988. I left GLAD in 1984 to pursue active involvement in the local church. I became a pastor in 1985 at Fairfax Covenant Church in Virginia, and in 1991 moved to help start what is now Crossway Community Church in Charlotte, NC.  In 1997, I moved to Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland to serve in my present role as Director of Sovereign Grace Music.  In June of 2012, I moved one more time , this time to Louisville, KY with Sovereign Grace Ministries, and also to help plant Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.
— Bob Kauflin

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