O for a Thousand Tongues

Representative Text

1 O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

2 My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread thro' all the earth abroad
the honors of your name.

3 Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease,
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life and health and peace.

4 He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean;
his blood availed for me.

5 To God all glory, praise, and love
be now and ever given
by saints below and saints above,
the Church in earth and heaven.

Worship & Rejoice, 2003

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: O for a thousand tongues to sing My dear Redeemer's praise
Title: O for a Thousand Tongues
Author: Charles Wesley (1739)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English
Liturgical Use: Opening Hymns
Article: "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" by Charles Wesley - by Robin Knowles Wallace (from "The Hymn")

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Scripture References: st. 1-2 = Ps.145:10-12 st. 2 = Luke 4:18-19, Isa. 61:1-2 st. 3 = Acts 3:16, Rom. 5:1 st. 4 = Col. 2:14 st. 5 = Heb. 2:4 st. 6 = Matt. 11:5, Isa.35:6, Acts 3:8 st. 7 = Rev. 5:13 In 1739, for the first anniversary of his conversion, Charles Wesley (PHH 267) wrote an eighteen-stanza text beginning "Glory to God, and praise and love." It was published in Hymns and Sacred Poems (1740), a hymnal compiled by Wesley and his brother John. The familiar hymn "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues" comes from stanzas 1 and 7-12 of this longer text (this pattern already occurs in Richard Conyers's Collection of Psalms and Hymns 1772). Stanza 7 is the doxology stanza that began the original hymn. Wesley acquired the title phrase of this text from Peter Böhler, a Moravian, who said to Wesley, "If I had a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ with them all" (Böhler was actually quoting from Johann Mentzner's German hymn "O dass ich tausend Zungen hätte"). Through this jubilant, partly autobiographical text Wesley exalts his Redeemer and Lord. With its many biblical allusions it has become a great favorite of many Christians. Liturgical Use: Many types of services; profession of faith; baptism; other times of renewal; Pentecost. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

AZMON

Lowell Mason (PHH 96) adapted AZMON from a melody composed by Carl G. Gläser in 1828. Mason published a duple-meter version in his Modern Psalmist (1839) but changed it to triple meter in his later publications. Mason used (often obscure) biblical names for his tune titles; Azmon, a city south of C…

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