I'd like to begin periodically posting some of my favorite hymns. In most cases I'll just post the text and ask that you read it - carefully. Often we become oblivious to a hymn's meaning with familiarity.
I'll begin with probably my MOSTEST favorite hymn (in fact I had to search my own blog & was suprised that I haven't posted it previously). My favorite verse in this Weslian text is the fourth, as it so accurately describes my spiritual awakening. Actually, if you are a believer, this is a good description of your conversion as well. While I may offer caution to the "feel" (pun intended) of verse 5*, I cannot say enough about this hymn.
If you're not used to singing some of the older hymns (I will post newer songs as well), then you may already be scoffing at the antiquated lyrics. Please don't let this hinder you. Here's a few pointers:
Don't necessarily read the text line by line
Don't necessarily pause between each line.
Replace the archaic words with the more modern word (Thou=You, 'Tis=it's, shouldst... drop the "st", etc.)
Read it out loud, and pause often
And Can It BeCharles Wesley
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Words: Charles Wesley, Psalms and Hymns, 1738.
Music: Sagina,Thomas Campbell, Bouquet, 1825
*I love the assurance given in the fifth verse, but would argue that the basis of this assurance is God's Word, not voices or feelings.