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Christ, Whose glory fills the skies

Representative Text

1 Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true and only Light,
Sun of righteousness, arise,
triumph o'er the shade of night;
Day-spring from on high, be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

2 Dark and cheerless is the morn
unaccompanied by Thee;
joyless is the day's return,
till Thy mercy's beams I see,
till they inward light impart,
glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

3 Visit then this soul of mine,
pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
fill me, radiancy divine,
scatter all my unbelief;
more and more Thyself display,
shining to the perfect day.

Source: Psalms and Hymns to the Living God #399

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: Christ, Whose glory fills the skies
Author: Charles Wesley (1740)
Language: English
Notes: Spanish translation: "Cristo lleno de esplendor" by Horacio Ríos
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References:
st. 1 =John 8:12, 2 Pet. 1:19, Luke 1:78, Mal. 4:2, Ps.27:1

Written by the great hymn writer Charles Wesley (PHH 267), this text was published in three stanzas in Hymns and Sacred Poems, compiled in 1740 by Charles Wesley and his" brother John. James Montgomery called it "one of Charles Wesley's loveliest progeny.”

Titled "Morning Hymn" by Wesley, it is unusual in that it does not contain the customary reference to the previous night's rest or to the work and dangers of the day ahead. The text begins by placing the focus entirely on Christ, the "light of the world," the sun of Righteousness who rises with healing in his wings"; he is the "Dayspring" and "Daystar." Thus the "light of Christ" is to fill our lives and lead us forward "to the perfect day."

Liturgical Use:
As a morning hymn during the Easter vigil service and during Advent; other services that have as their theme Christ as "light."

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Christ, Whose glory fills the skies, Christ the true, &c. C. Wesley. [Morning.] First published in J. and C. Wesley's Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1740, p. 61, in 3 stanzas of 6 lines, and entitled "A Morning Hymn" (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 224). In 1776, A. M. Toplady included it, unaltered, in his Psalms and Hymns, No. 296, and for many years it was quoted as his production. Montgomery, however, corrected the error in his Christian Psalmist in 1825. Its extensive use in the Church of England, and by Nonconformists, is due mainly to Toplady and Montgomery. The latter held it in special esteem, and regarded it as "one of C. Wesley's loveliest progeny." In its complete form it was not included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book until 1875. Its use is very extensive. The hymn:—"Thou, Whose glory fills the skies," as found in the People's Hymnal, 1867, No. 570, is the same hymn with slight alterations. In the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, the doxology is from the Cooke and Denton Hymnal, 1853; stanzas ii. and iii. have also been used in the cento "O disclose Thy lovely face," q. v. It has been rendered into Latin by the Rev. R. Bingham, in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871, as "Christe, cujus gloriae." The American use of the original is extensive.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



LUX PRIMA (Gounod)

French romanticist composer Charles F. Gounod (PHH 165) wrote LUX PRIMA, which means "first light" in Latin. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Gounod left his native Paris and settled in England for five years. This sturdy tune was published in the Scottish Hymnary in 1872. It uses sev…

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