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  • Writer's pictureJosh Hill

May - And Can It Be

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

This has to be one of my top three favorite hymns across the board. The pensive, rather wondering inquiry through quality poetry into the the unmerited and unfathomable love of Christ strikes incredible awe into my heart again and again. I am amazed on a daily basis and Christ's love for me! What kind of love would spur the righteous heart of our Savior to leave greater glory and joy than we could ever imagine to come experience pain and death for the first time, and take hell's punishment for us—willing sinners whose sin separated Him from His Father?

 

(1) And can it be that I should gain

An int'rest 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, should die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!


(2) '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.

'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,

Let angel minds inquire no more.


(3) 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.

'Tis mercy all, immense and free;

For, O my God, it found out me.


(4) Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature's night;

Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.


(5) 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.

Bold I approach th'eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

 

About the Author

Charles Wesley, one of the most well-known (if not the most well-known) hymn writer of all time was born in 1707. During college in his early twenties, he sensed his need for spiritual fulfilment in his life, later even going as a missionary to the recently founded state—back then, colony—of Georgia. Nevertheless, after all this, still he felt no lasting peace, until he was saved by the blood this exact month—even this exact day—285 years ago! God greatly used this brother to write so many hymns of doctrine and salvation. From the sources I used, it appears than Charles wrote over 6,000 hymns. Approximately, this means he wrote almost one and a half hymns per week (if he began writing the day he was born)! Charles and his brother John Wesley served the Lord for many years with song and sermon in their home country of England, where as a result of their ministry the Lord saved many souls.

 

Works Cited

 

A Few Thoughts...

I can not understand why some hymnals leave out the fourth verse of this song! "My chains fell off!" When Christ freed me from my sin, I no longer was chained to my natural self which was set on death, but my heart had died to that sin and became alive through Christ's resurrection! What an incredible salvation we have been given! But there is more to this verse: "My heart was free." Then, what was the result? "I rose, went forth and followed Thee." This is the necessary end of our deliverance. The justified soul should yearn to be a sanctified soul! We have been set free, so now let us rise and follow Christ!


P.S. I have attached the link to a video where some friends of mine and I play an arrangement I have composed this hymn. It starts at 2:16:20 in the video. I hope you will check it out and be blessed! https://www.youtube.com/live/UnPSIUWzT3g?feature=share

 




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