1 Thou awful God, whose righteous ire
In Sion as a furnace burns;
Fit fuel of eternal fire,
A face that all Thy mercy scorns;
Behold us where in death we lie,
Nor let our souls for ever die.
2 All we like sheep have gone astray,
Have turned to our own wickedness,
Rushed headlong down the spacious way;
But O! how few their sins confess,
Their foul apostasy bemoan,
Or tremble as the wrath comes down.
3 Yet hast Thou left Thyself a seed,
A remnant of peculiar grace,
A little flock who mourn and plead,
And wrestle for the faithless race,
That will not hear Thy threatening rod,
Or turn, and find a pardoning God.
4 Touched from above with fear divine,
We would the weeping few increase,
Our broken hearts and voices join,
And wail our nation’s wickedness,
In deepest groans our crimes declare,
In all the agony of prayer.
5 Alas for us, to evil sold,
A seed of lips and hearts unclean,
In vice beyond example bold,
Sunk in the dregs of time and sin,
Laden with all iniquity,
As Satan contrary to Thee!
6 Yet for the righteous remnant’s sake
Our death-devoted Sodom spare,
And call the storms of vengeance back—
Or if Thou canst no more forbear,
Thyself resume our wretched breath,
But save us from eternal death.
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 >
The original chant melody associated with this text [i.e., "Eternal Father, strong to save"] is found in most hymnals of denominations where chant has played a role, including the Lutheran tradition, which has produced much organ music on this well-known chant.
The setting here is by John B. Dykes (…
Display Title: Thou Awful God, Whose Righteous IreFirst Line: Thou awful God, whose righteous ireTune Title: MELITAAuthor: Charles WesleyMeter: 88.88.88Source: Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution by John and Charles Wesley (London: Strahan, 1744)