How Can A Sinner Know

Representative Text

1 How can a sinner know
His sins on earth forgiven?
How can my gracious Savior show
My name inscribed in heaven?

2 What we have felt and seen
With confidence we tell;
And publish to the sons of men
The signs infallible.

3 We who in Christ believe
That He for us hath died,
We all His unknown peace receive,
And feel His blood applied.

4 Exults our rising soul,
Disburdened of her load,
And swells unutterably full
Of glory and of God.

5 His love surpassing far
The love of all beneath
We find within our hearts, and dare
The pointless darts of death.

6 Stronger than death or hell
The sacred power we prove;
And, conquerors of the world, we dwell
In heaven, who dwell in love.

Source: African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #264

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 >


How can a sinner know. C. Wesley. [The Marks of Faith.] Published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, vol. ii., No. 161. It consists of 8 stanzas, and each stanza is composed of 4 lines of 6’s metre, and 4 lines of short metre (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. v. p. 363). In the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 93, stanzas iv., v. were omitted, and the rest were rewritten in S.M. throughout. In this form the hymn is in common use in Great Britain and America.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #264

Hymns and Psalms #728


The Cyber Hymnal #10393

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The United Methodist Hymnal #372

Wesley Hymns #4

Include 131 pre-1979 instances
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