Father, I stretch my hands to thee

Full Text

1 Father, I stretch my hands to thee,
No other help I know;
If thou withdraw thyself from me,
Ah! whither shall I go?

2 What did thine only Son endure,
Before I drew my breath?
What pain, what labor to secure
My soul from endless death!

3 O Jesu, could I this believe,
I now should feel thy power;
Now my poor soul thou wouldst retrieve
Nor let me wait one hour.

4. Author of faith, to thee I lift
My weary, longing eyes:
O let me now receive that gift!
My soul without it dies!

The Christian's duty, exhibited in a series of hymns, 1791

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 >

Notes

Father, I stretch my hands to Thee. C. Wesley. [Faith desired.] From Psalms & Hymns, 1741, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and entitled "A Prayer for Faith" (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. ii. p. 13). In 1760 M. Madan included 3 stanzas in his Collection, and thus introduced it into the Church of England. The altered text in the Wesleyan Hymn Book was given in the Supplement of that hymnal in 1830. Our authority for ascribing this hymn to C. Wesley with an expression of doubt is the following note by Dr. Osborn in the Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. ii. p. 8.

“The reader will observe that of the 160 hymns contained in this volume as originally published [Psalms & Hymns, 1741], more than 130 may be traced (by reference given above in brackets) to previous publications by other authors; and were merely selected, arranged, and more or less altered by Wesley. Only three of those which have been so treated have been reprinted here; viz. ‘Resignation,' ‘Submission,' and the first ‘Hymn to Christ.' The second with that title, together with ‘A Thought in Affliction,' ‘A Player for the Light of Life,' ‘A Prayer of Faith' [the above hymn], and ‘God's Love and Power,' are also reprinted, because they have not been identified in other collections, and may possibly be Wesley's."

The hymn is in several modem collections both in Great Britain and America.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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Media

The Cyber Hymnal #1479
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Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #1479TextScoreAudio
Include 454 pre-1979 instances



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