Words: , Hymns and Sac­red Po­ems, 1739.

Music: St. Pe­ters­burg, at­trib­ut­ed to , 1825. Al­ter­nate tune:

  • Carey’s Sur­rey, , cir­ca 1732

Charles Wesley’s journal for May 21, 1738, says:

At nine, I be­gan an hymn up­on my con­ver­sion, but I was per­suad­ed to break off for fear of pride. Mr. Bray, com­ing en­cour­aged me to pro­ceed in spite of Sa­tan. I prayed Christ to stand by me, and fin­ished the hymn. Upon my af­ter­wards show­ing it to Mr. Bray, the de­vil threw in a fiery dart, sug­gest­ing that it was wrong, and I had dis­pleased God. My heart sunk with­in me; when, cast­ing my eye up­on a Pray­er-book, I met with an an­swer for him. “Why boast­est thou thy­self, thou ty­rant, that thou canst do mis­chief?” Up­on this, I clear­ly dis­cerned it was a de­vice of the en­e­my to keep back glo­ry from God.

The next day, his bro­ther was con­vert­ed, and Charles wrote in his jour­nal:

Towards ten my bro­ther was brought in tri­umph by a troop of our friends, and de­clared “I be­lieve.” We sang the hymn with great joy and part­ed with pray­er.

It’s wide­ly thought this hymn was “Where Shall My Won­der­ing Soul Be­gin?”

Where shall my wondering soul begin?
How shall I all to heaven aspire?
A slave redeemed from death and sin,
A brand plucked from eternal fire,
How shall I equal triumphs raise,
Or sing my great Deliverer’s praise?

O how shall I the goodness tell,
Father, which Thou to me hast showed?
That I, a child of wrath and hell,
I should be called a child of God,
Should know, should feel my sins forgiven,
Blessed with this antepast of Heaven!

And shall I slight my Father’s love?
Or basely fear His gifts to own?
Unmindful of His favors prove?
Shall I, the hallowed cross to shun,
Refuse His righteousness to impart,
By hiding it within my heart?

No! though the ancient dragon rage,
And call forth all his host to war,
Though earth’s self-righteous sons engage
Them and their god alike I dare;
Jesus, the sinner’s friend, proclaim;
Jesus, to sinners still the same.

Outcasts of men, to you I call,
Harlots, and publicans, and thieves!
He spreads His arms to embrace you all;
Sinners alone His grace receives;
No need of Him the righteous have;
He came the lost to seek and save.

Come, O my guilty brethren, come,
Groaning beneath your load of sin,
His bleeding heart shall make you room,
His open side shall take you in;
He calls you now, invites you home;
Come, O my guilty brethren, come!

For you the purple current flowed
In pardons from His wounded side,
Languished for you the eternal God,
For you the Prince of glory died:
Believe, and all your sin’s forgiven;
Only believe, and yours is Heaven!