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 >
O God of our forefathers, hear. C. Wesley. [Holy Communion.] First published in Hymns on the Lord's Supper, 1745, No. 125, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines. (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. iii. p. 309), from whence it passed into the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 382, and the collections of other Methodist bodies. In those works it is usually given in Section vii., entitled "Seeking for full Redemption." Its strictly Eucharistic character is thus lost. Stanza ii.: —
"With solemn faith we offer up
And spread before Thy glorious eyes,
That only ground of all our hope,
That precious, bleeding sacrifice,
Which brings Thy grace on sinners down,
And perfects all our souls in one:"
certainly suggests most strongly, if it does not actually teach, the doctrine of the "Real Presence," and would have been so regarded if the hymn had been appropriated to its original use, or had appeared anonymously in a modern hymn-book.
Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSE…