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To the Same, Before His Voyage7878The animating strains of this hymn and the two next are by no means in accordance with Charles Wesley’s spiritual condition and mood of mind in December, 1737, when Mr. Whitefield first left England for America. They were more probably composed in preparation for his second voyage, which began in August, 1739. Nor can we imagine anything more suitable for the occasion; while in the hymns “To be Sung at Sea,” and “In a Storm,” the Christian and the poet appear to equal advantage. It may be doubted if the full assurance of faith was ever more finely expressed, or at the same time more rationally vindicated, than in the second and third of the three hymns which follow one another here.

Servant of God, the summons hear

Thy Master calls, arise, obey!

The tokens of His will appear,

His providence points out the way.

Lo! we commend thee to His grace:

In confidence go forth! be strong!

Thy meat His will, thy boast His praise,

His righteousness be all thy song.

Strong in the Lord’s almighty power,

And arm’d in panoply Divine,

Firm mayst thou stand in danger’s hour,

And prove the strength of Jesus thine.

Thy breastplate be His righteousness;

His sacred truth thy loins surround;

Shod be thy beauteous feet with peace;

Spring forth, and spread the Gospel sound.

Fight the good fight, and stand secure

In faith’s impenetrable shield;

Hell’s prince shall tremble at its power,

With all his fiery darts repell’d.

Prevent thy foes, nor wait their charge,

But call their lingering battle on;

But strongly grasp thy sevenfold targe,

And bear the world and Satan down.

The helmet of salvation take,

The Lord’s, the Spirit’s conquering sword;

Speak from the Word—in lightning speak;

Cry out, and thunder—from the Word.

Champion of God, thy Lord proclaim,

Jesus alone resolved to know;

Tread down thy foes in Jesu’s name:

Go—conquering, and to conquer go.

Through racks and fires pursue thy way,

Be mindful of a dying God;

Finish thy course, and win the day:

Look up and seal the truth with blood.

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