The True Light

Representative Text

1 Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Borders on the shades of death,
Jesus, now Thyself revealing,
Scatter every cloud beneath.

2 Still we wait for Thine appearing;
Life and joy Thy beams impart,
Chasing all our doubts, and cheering
Every meek and contrite heart.

3 Show Thy power in every nation,
O Thou Prince of Peace and Love!
Give the knowledge of salvation,
Fix our hearts on things above.

4 By Thine all-sufficient merit,
Every burdened soul release;
By the presence of Thy Spirit,
Guide us into perfect peace.

Source: The Church Hymnal: containing hymns approved and set forth by the general conventions of 1892 and 1916; together with hymns for the use of guilds and brotherhoods, and for special occasions (Rev. ed) #319

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: Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Title: The True Light
Author: Charles Wesley (1744)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


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)



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The Baptist Hymnal #567


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