Come on, my partners in distress,
My comrades through the wilderness,
Who still your bodies feel;
Awhile forget your griefs and fears,
And look beyond this vale of tears,
To that celestial hill,
To that celestial hill.
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 >
Come on, my partners in distress. C. Wesley. [Heaven anticipated.] This hymn has interwoven itself into the personal spiritual history of Methodists probably more completely than any other hymn by C. Wesley. The instances given in Stevenson's Methodist Hymn Book Notes, 1883, p. 235, and the Index, although numerous and interesting, but very inadequately represent the hold it has upon the Methodist mind and feeling. Its literary merits also place it high amongst the author's productions. Its history is simple. It appeared in the Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, in 8 stanzas of 6 lines; in M. Madan's Collection, 1760, in 5 stanzas; and again in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, with the omission of stanza iii., as No. 324. The last form of the text has passed into numerous hymnals in all English-speaking countries. Two centos from the hymn are also in common use, both commencing with stanza ii.:—"Beyond the bounds of time and space." The first is in the Leeds Hymn Book, 1853, No. 638, and others, and the second in Mercer, Oxford ed. 1864-72, No. 404. Original text, Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. v. p. 168.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)