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The Work of Faith

Representative Text

1 Author of faith, eternal word,
whose Spirit breathes the active flame -
faith, like its Finisher and Lord,
today as yesterday the same:

2 to you our humble hearts aspire,
and ask the gift unspeakable;
increase in us the kindled fire,
in us the work of faith fulfil.

3 By faith we know you strong to save;
your saving presence let us know;
Whate'er we hope, by faith we have,
future and past are present now.

4 To us who in your name believe
eternal life with you is given;
into ourselves we all receive,
pardon, and happiness, and heaven.

5 The things unknown to feeble sense,
unseen by reason's glimmering ray,
with strong, commanding evidence,
their heavenly origin display.

6 Faith lends its realizing light,
the clouds disperse, the shadows fly,
the Invisible appears in sight,
and God is seen by mortal eye.

Source: Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #565

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 >


Author of faith, Eternal Word. C. Wesley. [Faith.] This poem is a paraphrase of Heb. xi. It appeared in 88 stanzas of 4 lines in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1740, with the title "The Life of Faith." In 1780 J. Wesley gave stanzas i.-vi. as No. 92 in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, (ed. 1875, No. 95). From the Wesleyan Hymn Book it has passed into most of the collections of the Methodist denominations in Great Britain and America, and also into other hymnals. Full original text in Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. pp. 209-221. The poem as a whole, is criticised in the Wesleyan Magazine, 1839, p. 381.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #306
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
Page Scan

Common Praise #381

Hymns and Psalms #662

Singing the Faith #457


The Cyber Hymnal #306


Together in Song #565

Include 84 pre-1979 instances
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