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 >
Sovereign of all, Whose will ordains. C. Wesley. [In Time of National Trouble.] This is from the tract of Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution, first edition, 1744, No. 10, in 9 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "A Prayer for His Majesty King George, 'Fear God and honour the King.'" (Poetical Works, 1868-72, volumes iv., p. 21.) Jackson, in his Memoir of C. Wesley (ed. 1848, pp. 149-51), says that the dread of invasion by France on behalf of the Pretender, and the fear that Popery would be re-established, drove the people to many excesses, not the least marked of which was a common crusade against the Wesleys and their followers on the alleged ground (amongst other things) that they were secretly furthering the Pretender's views, and were receiving money for their labours. It was under these circumstances that the Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution were written and published, the finest being Saviour of all, Whose will ordains," and “Lord, Thou hast bid Thy people pray," the latter being entitled "For the King and the Royal Family." The former of these hymns was given in the first edition of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 453, and the latter in the 1830 Supplement thereto, an abbreviated form as No. 755.