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See How Great a Flame Aspires

Representative Text

4 Saw ye not the cloud arise,
as a human hand?
Now it spreads along the skies,
hangs o'er the thirsty land.
Lo! the promise of a shower
drops from above;
but the Lord will shortly pour
all the spirit of his love.

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #15

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: See how great a flame aspires
Title: See How Great a Flame Aspires
Author: Charles Wesley (1749)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


See how great a flame aspires. C. Wesley. [Praise for the Success of the Gospel.] In Jackson's Memoirs of the Rev. Charles Wesley, small edition, 1848, p. 191, this hymn is referred to under the date of Nov. 1746, as follows:—

"The very animated and emphatic hymn beginning—
'See how great a flame aspires,
Kindled by a spark of grace,'
was also written by Mr. Charles Wesley on the joyful occasion of his ministerial success, and that of his fellow labourers, in Newcastle and its vicinity. Perhaps the imagery was suggested by the large fires connected with the collieries, which illuminate the whole of that part of the country in the darkest nights."

The hymn was published in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1746, vol. i., No. 4, of 4 hymns, written "After Preaching to the Newcastle Colliers," in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. v. p. 120). It was given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 209, and is found in numerous collections.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



George J. Elvey (PHH 48) composed ST. GEORGE'S WINDSOR as a setting for James Montgomery's text "Hark! The Song of Jubilee," with which it was published in Edward H. Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1858). The tune has been associated with Alford's text since publication of the hymn in th…

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ARFON (Major)

ARFON is originally a six-phrase Welsh folk tune in minor tonality entitled 'Tros y Garreg." Named for a district on the mainland of northern Wales opposite Mon and Anglesey, the tune was published in Edward Jones's Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1784). In the later nineteenth century ARFON was associa…

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MADRID (Spanish)



The Cyber Hymnal #5983
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Instances (1 - 10 of 10)

Hymns and Psalms #781

Page Scan

Redemption Hymnal #744

Singing the Faith #412


The Cyber Hymnal #5983


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #165


The United Methodist Hymnal #541


The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #21


The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #15

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #16

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship #248

Include 98 pre-1979 instances
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