1 Oh, that thou wouldst the heavens rend,
In majesty come down,
Stretch out thine arm omnipotent,
And seize me for thine own.
2 Descend, and let thy lightnings burn
The stubble of thy foe;
My sins o'erturn, o'erturn, o'erturn,
And make the mountains flow.
3 Thou my impetuous spirit guide,
And curb my headstrong will;
Thou only canst drive back the tide,
And bid the sun stand still.
4 What though I can not break my chain,
Or e'er throw off my load;
The things impossible to men,
Are possible to God.
Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #391
O that Thou would'st the heavens rend. C. Wesley. [Prayer against the power of Evil.] Appeared in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, p. 79, in 17 stanzas of 4 lines (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 269). It has been broken up into parts thus:—
1. O that Thou would'st the heavens rend. Stanza i.-ix. in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 134. In the American Methodist Episcopal Hymns, 1849, stanzas i.-iv. are given as No. 376.
2. Jesus, Redeemer, Saviour, Lord. Stanzas x.-xvii. in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 135. In the American Meth. Epis. Hymns, 1849, No. 426 is composed of stanzas x.-xiii.
3. Almighty God, be Thou our Guide. Stanzas ill., iv., vi., viii., ix., slightly altered, in Holy Song for all Seasons. London, 1869.
4. Is there a thine too hard for Thee. Stanzas v.-ix. in the American Methodist Epis. Hymns, 1849, No. 377.
5. O Christ, Redeemer, Saviour, Lord. In Kennedy, 1863, is composed of stanzas x., xiii.-xvii. slightly altered.
In addition to these arrangements from this hymn another in 8 stanzas is sometimes met with in the Church of England collections. It opens with the first stanza of the original, but is distinguished from the arrangement in the Wesleyan Hymn Book as above, by the second stanza, which reads, "What tho’ I cannot break my chain." It first appeared in A. M. Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 352, and is composed of stanzas i., iv., vi., vii., ix., xii., xv., xiii. in the Older named. A second cento in Toplady, 1776, No. 108, and beginning, "Jesus, Redeemer, Saviour, Lord," is composed of six stanzas from this hymn, and three (iv.-vi.) from C. Wesley's "Jesus, if still Thou art today." Also in later collections.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)