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How Vain, Great God

How vain, great God, and worse than vain

Author: Charles Wesley
Tune: HABAKKUK (Hodges)
Published in 1 hymnal

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 How vain, great God, and worse than vain,
How sinful our pretended pain
In this our evil day!
Unless we to our Smiter turn,
The cause of all our evils mourn,
And cast our sins away.

2 ’Gainst vice we partially declaim,
With undiscerning censure blame
Our nation’s wickedness:
But O! The sin that loudest cries
For all the vengeance of the skies,
We never once confess.

3 O might we from our hearts repent
Of scorning Him Thy pity sent
To heal our sin and grief!
Assist us through Thy Spirit’s power,
To own, and feelingly deplore
Our damning unbelief.

4 Convince the wretches who deny
Their Lord, that stooped for them to die,
Who triumph in His pain,
Who trample on His precious blood,
And hate, and scoff the dying God,
And crucify again.

5 Confound the misbelieving pride
Of those that impiously divide
Thy dearest Son and Thee,
Who will not Him Thine equal own,
But madly threaten to dethrone
The filial Deity.

6 And O! Almighty Son of God,
Into the blind self righteous crowd
Thy sharpest arrows dart;
The men who infidels condemn,
Nor ever knew themselves the same,
Mere infidels in heart.

7 A formal self deceiving race,
Who mock the counsel of Thy grace,
The sense of sins forgiven,
The power of godliness explode,
The witness, and the peace of God,
And faith that leads to Heaven.

8 Forgive us, Lord, for such we were,
And all our guilty brethren spare,
Our unbelief reprove,
Give us that root of sins to own,
And make our wounded spirits groan
Beneath their want of love.

9 Let all the faithless nation cry,
Redeem us, Savior, or we die,
A second death to feel:
O Jesus, Thine only name and blood
Can save us from the wrath of God,
Can ransom us from hell.

10 On Thee our dying souls we cast,
Our dying souls receive at last,
And in Thy arms embrace,
To triumph in Thy pardoning love,
And sing with all the saved above
Thine everlasting praise.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #8931

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: How vain, great God, and worse than vain
Title: How Vain, Great God
Author: Charles Wesley
Meter: 8.8.6 D
Source: Hymns Occasioned by the Earthquake, March 8, 1750 Part 2 (London: Strahan, 1750)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #8931
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #8931

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