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 >
God of unexampled grace. C. Wesley. [Passiontide.] First published in his Hymns on the Lord's Supper, 1745, No. 21, in 9 stanzas of 8 lines (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. iii. p. 229). From this the following centos have come into common use:
1. In M. Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760, No. 159 is composed of stanzas i.-iii. This was added to the Supplement to the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1830, and is retained in the revised edition, 1875.
2. In A. M. Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 299 is composed of stanzas i.-iv., vi., viii. ix., with alterations.
3. In the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1800-1, stanza iv.-ix., beginning "Jesus drinks the bitter cup." This is in a few Methodist collections, but is omitted from the revised edition of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1875.
The use of portions of this hymn is thus somewhat extensive, especially amongst the Methodist bodies. In common with Milton ("Hymn for the Morning of Christ's Nativity") and others, Wesley has pressed heathen mythology into the service of Christianity in this hymn. The fifth stanza reads:—
"Dies the glorious cause of all
The true eternal Pan,
Falls to raise us from the fall
To ransom sinful man.
“Well may Sol withdraw his light,
With the Sufferer sympathise,
Leave the world in sudden night,
While his Creator dies."