Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Charles Wesley (1707-1788), author of more than 6,000 hymns, wrote this hymn in 1739 to commemorate the first anniversary of his conversion to Christ. Originally it was an eighteen stanza poem entitled "For the anniversary day of one's conversion." Today it is usually found in seven stanzas. Wesley studied under Peter Böhler in London who once said to him, "Had I a thousand tongues I would praise Him with them all." This inspired the opening words of the hymn.

The tune, composed by Carl Gläser, was adapted and named, by Lowell Mason. Mason composed and adapted many tunes. He used (often obscure) biblical names for his tune titles. Azmon, a city south of Canaan, appears in Numbers 34:4-5.

This great hymn of praise and rejoicing calls for exuberant singing and strong, full accompaniment.

Sources: Psalter Hymnal Handbook; Internet

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