1 Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Borders on the shades of death,
Come, and by Thy love's revealing
Dissipate the clouds beneath:
The new heaven and earth's Creator,
In our deepest darkness rise,
Scattering all the night of nature,
Pouring eyesight on our eyes.
2 Still we wait for Thine appearing;
Life and joy Thy beams impart,
Chasing all our fears, and cheering
Every poor benighted heart:
Come, and manifest the favour
God hath for our ransomed race;
Come, thou universal Saviour,
Come and bring the gospel grace.
3 Save us in Thy great compassion,
O Thou mild, pacific Prince!
Give the knowledge of salvation,
Give the pardon of our sins:
By Thy all-restoring merit
Every burdened soul release;
Every weary, wandering spirit
Guide into Thy perfect peace.
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 >
Light of those whose dreary dwelling. C. Wesley. [Christmas.] First published in his Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord, 1746, No. xi., in 3 stanzas of 8 lines (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. iv. p. 116). It was adopted by M. Madan in 1760, B. Conyers in 1774, A. M. Toplady in 1776, and most evangelical hymnal compilers of that period. At the first it was retained in an unaltered form, but the changes made by Toplady in 1776 were followed by others, until at the present time, although found in numerous collections in all English-speaking countries, it is difficult to find any two texts alike. The secret lay in its being a purely Arminian hymn, but so constructed that it could be easily turned to account by Calvinists. For the alterations in use, Toplady, 1776, Cotterill, 1810, Bickersteth, 1833, and Elliott, 1835, are mainly answerable. In 1830 it was given in the Supplement to the Wesleyan Hymn Book in an unaltered form.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Display Title: Light of Those Whose Dreary DwellingFirst Line: Light of those whose dreary dwellingTune Title: HALTON HOLGATEAuthor: Charles WesleyMeter: 87.87Source: Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord (London: William Strahan, 1745), number 11