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
|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)