Depth of mercy! can there be

Full Text

1. Depth of mercy! can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

2. I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.

3. Kindled His relentings are:
Me He now delights to spare;
Cries, "How shall I give Thee up?"
Lets the lifted thunder drop.

4. There for me the Saviour stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is Love; I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps, but loves me still.


The Hymnal: Published by the authority of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 1895

Author: Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley, the son of Samuel Wesley, was born at Epworth, Dec. 18, 1707. He was educated at Westminster School and afterwards at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated M.A. In 1735, he took Orders and immediately proceeded with his brother John to Georgia, both being employed as missionaries of the S.P.G. He returned to England in 1736. For many years he engaged with his brother in preaching the Gospel. He died March 29, 1788. To Charles Wesley has been justly assigned the appellation of the "Bard of Methodism." His prominence in hymn writing may be judged from the fact that in the "Wesleyan Hymn Book," 623 of the 770 hymns were written by him; and he published more than thirty poetical works, written either by himself alone,… Go to person page >


Depth of mercy, can there be. C. Wesley. [Desiring Mercy and Pardon.] First published in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1740, and headed "After a Relapse into Sin," in 13 stanzas of 4 lines, Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 271. When included in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, No. 162, stanza iii. was omitted, and stanza viii. was included in stanza ii., the result being 6 stanzas of 8 lines. This arrangement was continued in later editions, and has passed into other collections, both in Great Britain and America. In Stevenson's Methodist Hymn Book, and its Associations, 1870-83, is an interesting and pathetic account of an actress and her change of life through the instrumentality of this hymn. The account has been repeated in many books and in various forms. It is of American origin, and first appeared, as far as can be traced, in Belcher's Historical Notes on Hymns and Authors. Although possibly true, it lacks authentication. No one has yet ventured to say whether the circumstance occurred in Great Britain or America, or whether it was in the last century or in this. Failing these details, we are not surprised that the names of the town and of the actress are both wanting.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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