Wretched, helpless, and distressed

Wretched, helpless, and distressed

Author: Charles Wesley
Tune: KINGSWOOD
Published in 51 hymnals

Representative Text

1 Wretched, helpless, and distrest,
Ah! whither shall I fly,
Ever gasping after rest,
I cannot find it nigh:
Naked, sick, and poor, and blind,
Fast bound in Sin and Misery,
Friend of Sinners, let me find
My help, my all in Thee.

2 Who my Misery can relate,
My depth of Woe reveal?
I have lost my first Estate,
In helpless Adam fell.
Driven out of mine abode,
I now have lost my perfect bliss,
Fallen, fallen out of God,
And banish'd Paradise.

3 I am all unclean, unclean,
Thy Purity I want;
My whole heart is sick of Sin,
And my whole Head is faint;
Full of putrifying Sores,
Of Bruises and of Wounds, my Soul
Looks to Jesus, Help implores,
And Gasps to be made whole.

4 In the Wilderness I stray,
My foolish Heart is blind;
Noting do I know: The Way
Of Peace I cannot find.
Jesus, Lord restore my Sight,
And take, O take the Vail away;
Turn my Darkness into Light,
My Midnight into Day.

Source: A Choice Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs: intended for the edification of sincere Christians of all denominations #XXVI

Author: Charles Wesley

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 >

Text Information

First Line: Wretched, helpless, and distressed
Author: Charles Wesley

Notes

Wretched, helpless, and distressed. C. Wesley. [Lent.] First published in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1742, p. 43, in 8 stanzas of 8 lines, as a second hymn on Rev. iii. 17. In 1780, stanza ii. was omitted when the hymn was given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, No. 105, and in the same form it is still retained. Original text Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. ii. pp. 92-94. The somewhat peculiar lines:—
"My whole heart is sick of sin, And my whole head is faint"
is furnished with this note by Dr. Osborn (Poetical Works as above).
"This singular transposition of the Prophet's words (Isaiah i. 5) though found in all the editions, must still be regarded as an oversight."
No evidence, however, of its being such is forthcoming, and the revised edition of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1875, retains the old reading. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 51 of 51)

A Collection of Hymns Adapted to the Use of the Methodist Episcopal Church #d643

A Collection of Hymns for Public, Social and Domestic Worship #d997

A Collection of Hymns for Public, Social and Domestic Worship #d1004

A Collection of Hymns for Public, Social, and Domestic Worship #d1004

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A Collection of Hymns for Public, Social, and Domestic Worship #400

A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America #d395

A Collection of Hymns for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. with a Supplement #d682

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A Collection of Hymns, for the Use of the People Called Methodists, with a Supplement #109

A Selection of Hymns ... Supplement to the Methodist Pocket Hymn Book. 1st ed #d313

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A Selection of Hymns for Worship (2nd ed.) #371

Hymn Book of the Holiness Movement Church #d578

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Hymns and Sacred Poems #43

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Hymns and Songs of Praise for Public and Social Worship #489

Hymns for the Use of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Impr. ed. #d561

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Hymns for the Use of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. ed. #415

Methodist Hymn and Tune Book #d890

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Methodist Hymn-Book #321

Musica Sacra; or Springfield and Utica Collections United #d178

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Parish Hymns: a collection of hymns for public, social, and private worship; selected and original #260

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Plymouth Collection of Hymns and Tunes; for the use of Christian Congregations #999

Psalmista: or, Choir Melodies #d278

Revival Hymns ... with a Supplement. 2nd ed. #d359

Spiritual Melodies #d369

Spiritual Melodies. Enl. & impr. ed. #d434

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The Centenary Singer: a collection of hymns and tunes popular during the last one hundred years #131

The Great Redemption in Songs New and Selected #d337

The Sacred Lyre #d78

The Victory #d461

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