The Backslider's Complaint

And wilt Thou yet be found

Author: Charles Wesley
Published in 62 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 And wilt Thou yet be found?
And may I still draw near?
Then listen to the plaintive sound
Of a poor sinner’s prayer.

2 Jesu, Thine aid afford,
If still the same Thou art;
To Thee I look, to Thee, my Lord,
Lift up a helpless heart.

3 Thou seest my tortured breast,
The strugglings of my will,
The foes that interrupt my rest,
The agonies I feel:

4 The daily death I prove,
Savior, to Thee is known;
’Tis worse than death, my God to love,
And not my God alone.

5 My peevish passions chide,
Who only canst control,
Canst turn the stream of nature’s tide,
And calm my troubled soul.

6 O my offended Lord,
Restore my inward peace;
I know Thou canst: Pronounce the word,
And bid the tempest cease.

7 Abate the purging fire,
And draw me to my good;
Allay the fever of desire,
By sprinkling me with blood.

8 I long to see Thy face,
Thy Spirit I implore,
The living water of Thy grace,
That I may thirst no more.

9 When shall Thy love constrain
And force me to Thy breast?
When shall my soul return again
To her eternal rest?

10 Ah! what avails my strife,
My wandering to and fro?
Thou hast the words of endless life,
Ah! whither should I go?

11 Thy condescending grace
To me did freely move;
It calls me still to seek Thy face,
And stoops to ask my love.

12 Lord, at Thy feet I fall,
I groan to be set free,
I fain would now obey the call,
And give up all for Thee.

13 To rescue me from woe,
Thou didst with all things part,
Didst lead a suffering life below,
To gain my worthless heart:

14 My worthless heart to again,
The God of all that breathe
Was found in fashion as a man,
And died a cursèd death.

15 And can I yet delay
My little all to give?
To tear my soul from earth away
For Jesus to receive?

16 Nay, but I yield, I yield!
I can hold out no more;
I sink, by dying love compelled,
And own Thee Conqueror.

17 Though late, I all forsake;
My friends, my life resign;
Gracious Redeemer, take, O take,
And seal me ever Thine!

18 Come, and possess me whole,
Nor hence again remove;
Settle and fix my wavering soul
With all Thy weight of love.

19 My one desire be this,
Thy only love to know,
To seek and taste no other bliss,
No other good below.

20 My life, my portion Thou,
Thou all-sufficient art,
My hope, my heavenly treasure, now
Enter, and keep my heart.

21 Rather than let it burn
For earth, O quench its heat;
Then, when it would to earth return,
O let it cease to beat.

22 Snatch me from ill to come,
When I from Thee would fly,
O take my wandering spirit home,
And grant me then to die!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8051

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 wilt Thou yet be found
Title: The Backslider's Complaint
Author: Charles Wesley
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


And wilt Thou yet be found? C.Wesley. [Resignation.] First published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740, in 22 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "Resignation." It was repeated in subsequent editions of the same, and in the Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 266. In its full form it is unknown to the collections, but a portion therefrom, consisting of stanzas ix.-xx., and beginning "When shall Thy love constrain," was given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book 1780, No. 133, and continued in all later editions. It has also passed from thence into other collections, and specially in those in use amongst the Methodist bodies. Another cento, beginning with stanza x., "Ah! what avails my strife," is also in limited use; whilst a third, "And can I yet delay," opening with stanza xv., is given in a large number of American hymnals.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




Although this tune is widely attributed to Isaac Smith and was published in Smiths Collection of Psalm Tunes, London, ca. 1780, Smith does not claim to be the composer. The tune also appeared in other books of similar or earlier date. Southern Harmony, 1835 attributes the tune to J. Street. - From T…

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The Cyber Hymnal #8051
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The Cyber Hymnal #8051

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