1 See how great a flame aspires,
Kindled by a spark of grace.
Jesus’ love the nations fires,
Sets the kingdoms on a blaze:
To bring fire on earth He came;
Kindled in some hearts it is;
O that all might catch the flame,
All partake the glorious bliss!
2 When He first the work begun,
Small and feeble was His day:
Now the word doth swiftly run;
Now it wins its widening way:
More and more it spread and grows,
Ever mighty to prevail;
Sin’s strongholds it now o’erthrows,
Shakes the trembling gates of hell.
3 Sons of God, your Savior praise,
who the door hath opened wide;
He hath given the word of grace,
Jesus’ word is glorified;
Jesus, mighty to redeem,
He alone the work hath wrought;
Worthy is the work of Him,
Him Who spake a world from naught.
4 Saw ye not the cloud arise,
Little as a human hand?
Now it spreads along the skies,
Hangs o’er all the thirsty land.
Lo! the promise of a shower
Drops already from above;
But the Lord will shortly pour
All the spirit of His love.
|First Line:||See how great a flame aspires|
|Title:||See How Great a Flame Aspires|
|Author:||Charles Wesley (1749)|
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)