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 >
Sons of men, behold from far. C. Wesley. [Epiphany.] Published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled, "Hymn for the Epiphany." (Poetical Works, 1868-72, volumes i. p. 184.) In M. Madan's Psalms & Hymns, 1760, it was given as No. 23, and was thus brought into use in the Church of England. It is seldom given in modern hymn books in its full form; and slight alterations are nearly always found in the text. It is in extensive use in most English-speaking countries. Notwithstanding this popularity it was excluded from the Wesleyan Hymn Book of 1780 and 1875. In the Cooke and Denton Hymnal, 1853, stanzas iv., v., vi., of this hymn, rewritten, together with an opening stanza and a doxology from another source, were given as, "Lo, the Gentiles bend the knee." This cento was repeated in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, and other collections. Sometimes it reads, "Lo, the Gentiles bend the knee."