1 How happy every child of grace
Who knows his sins forgiven!
This earth, he cries, is not my place,
I seek my place in heaven:
A country far from mortal sight;
Yet, O! By faith I see
The land of rest, the saints’ delight,
The heaven prepar’d for me.
2 A stranger in the world below,
I calmly sojourn here,
Nor can its happiness or woe
Provoke my hope or fear:
Its evils in a moment end,
Its joys as soon are past;
But, O! The bliss to which I tend
Eternally shall last.
3 To that Jerusalem above
With singing I repair,
While in the flesh, my hope and love,
My heart and soul are there:
There my exalted Saviour stands,
My merciful high-priest,
And still extends his wounded hands
To take me to his breast.
4 What is there here to court my stay,
To hold me back from home,
While angels beckon me away,
And Jesus bids me come?
Shall I regret my parted friends
Still in the vale confin’d?
Nay, but whene’er my soul ascends,
They will not stay behind.
5 The race we all are running now,
And if I first attain,
They too their willing head shall bow,
They too the prize shall gain:
Now on the brink of death we stand,
And if I pass before,
They all shall soon escape to land,
And hail me on the shore.
6 Then let me suddenly remove,
That hidden life to share;
I shall not lose my friends above,
But more enjoy them there.
There we in Jesus’ praise shall join,
His boundless love proclaim,
And solemnize in songs divine
The marriage of the Lamb.
7 O what a blessed hope is ours!
While here on earth we stay,
We more than taste the heavenly powers,
And antedate that day:
We feel the resurrection near,
Our life in Christ conceal’d,
And with his glorious presence here
Our earthen vessels fill’d.
8 O would he more of heaven bestow,
And let the vessel break,
And let our ransom’d spirits go
To grasp the God we seek:
In rapturous awe on him to gaze
Who bought the sight for me,
And shout and wonder at his grace
Thro’ all eternity.
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 happy every child of grace. C. Wesley. [The Hope of Heaven.] Published in his Funeral Hymns, 2nd series, 1759, No. 2, in 8 stanzas of 8 lines, and from thence into the Supplement of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1830. G. J. Stevenson has given interesting "Associations" in his Methodist Hymn Book Notes, 1883, setting forth the spiritual help this hymn has been to many. (Original text, Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. vi. p. 216.) Its use with the Methodist bodies in all English-speaking countries is extensive. A cento from this hymn, beginning "A stranger in the world below," is given in H. W. Beecher's Plymouth Collection, 1855, No. 1273. It is composed of stanzas ii. and iii. A second cento in the American Hymns and Songs of Praise, N. Y., 1874, is, "O what a blessed hope is ours" (stanzas vii., viii.).