The End of Life

And am I only born to die?

Author: Charles Wesley
Published in 119 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 And am I only born to die?
And must I suddenly comply
With nature’s stern decree?
What after death for me remains?
Celestial joys, or hellish pains,
To all eternity.

2 How then ought I on earth to live,
While God prolongs the kind reprieve,
And props the house of clay;
My sole concern, my single care,
To watch, and tremble, and prepare
Against the fatal day!

3 No room for mirth or trifling here,
For worldly hope, or worldly fear,
If life so soon is gone;
If now the judge is at the door,
And all mankind must stand before
The inexorable throne!

4 Nothing is worth a thought beneath,
But how I may escape the death
That never, never dies!
How make mine own election sure;
And when I fail on earth, secure
A mansion in the skies.

5 Jesus, vouchsafe a pitying ray,
Be Thou my guide, be Thou my way
To glorious happiness.
Ah! write the pardon on my heart;
And whensoe’er I hence depart,
Let me depart in peace.

Source: Book of Worship (Rev. ed.) #296

Author: Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley, M.A. was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn-writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, Dec. 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with a home and board by his elder brother Samuel, then usher at the school, until 1721, when he was elected King's Scholar, and as such received his board and education free. In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepene… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: And am I only born to die?
Title: The End of Life
Author: Charles Wesley
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


And am I only born to die? C. Wesley. [Death and Eternity.] This hymn, similar in character to the above, appeared in the same work— Hymns for Children, 1763, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines. In 1780 it was included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book. and from thence it has passed into all the collections of the Methodist bodies, and several others, in Great Britain and America. Stevenson gives some interesting details of circumstances attending the singing of this hymn, in his Methodist Hymn Book Notes, 1883, p. 54. Original text in Poetical Works of J. & C. Wesley, 1868-72, vol. vi. p. 432.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #1
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The Cyber Hymnal #1

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