Hymns for the Public Thanksgiving Day: October 9, 1746

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Charles Wesley (December 1, 1707 - March 29, 1788) was a composer of more than 6,000 hymns. As the brother of famed preacher John Wesley, the two would carry revival to England and help fan a similar flame in America with the First Great Awakening, where George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards were at work.

In 1746, as the title says, Charles Wesley printed a booklet of hymns for a public thanksgiving day. Granted, this is not the American day, which was not formally made a holiday until Abraham Lincoln signed it into law in April 1863. Nevertheless, we hope this selection from Wesley’s booklet will help you have a spirit of thanksgiving this season. It represents two of five hymns.

Thanks be to God, the God of Power

Thanks be to God, the God of Power,
Who shelter'd us in Danger's Hour,
The God of Truth, who heard the Prayer,
Let all his Faithfulness declare,
Who sent us Succurs from above,
Let all adore the God of Love.

God sitting on his holy Seat
Compels the Heathen to submit,
The Grasshoppers of Earth he sees,
And mocks their prosprous Wickedness,
Frustrates their Counsels with a Frown,
And turns their Babels upside down.

His Eye observed the dark Design,
To blast our rightful Monarch's Line,
The Scheme in Satan's Conclave laid,
Improv'd by Rome's unerring Head,
To gaul as with their Yoke abhor'd,
And plant their Faith with Fire and Sword.

He saw the Serpent's Egg break forth,
The Cloud arising in the North,
He let the slighted Mischief spread,
And hang in Thunder o'er our Head ;
And while we scorn'd our abject Foes,
The Drop into a Torrent rose.

Lured by the grateful Scent of Blood
The Vultures hasten'd to their Food,
The Aliens urged their rapid Way,
Resolved to die, or win the Day
Madly resolved their Doom to brave,
And gain a Kingdom or a Grave.

Swelled to a Host, the daring Few
Thru ours as waving Lightning flew,
Rushed on with unrivaled Power,
And scaled the Wall, and stormed the Tower,
While God seemed pleased their Cause to bless,
And cursed them with a short Success.

Drunk with the bold aspiring Hope,
Behold them march triumphant up,
Of Conquest fatally secure,
They vow to make our Ruin sure.
And shout around our threatened Tower,
"The Day, the Crown, and all is ours!

Who was it then dispersed the Snare
And choked those ravening Dogs of War?
Jehovah curbed their furious Speed,
Jehovah sent the panic Dread,
And damped and filled them with Dismay,
And scared the Vultures from their Prey.

His hidden Power controlled the Foe,
And said, " No farther shalt thou go."
His Bridle in their Mouths they found,
And fled subdued without a Wound,
(As Stubble by the Whirlwind driven)
They fled before the Crown of Heaven.

Thanks be to God, the God of Power,
Who sheltered us in Danger's Hour,
The God of Truth, who heard the Prayer,
Let all his Faithfulness declare,
Who sent Deliverance from above,
Let all adore the God of Love!

Britons rejoice, the Lord is King

Britons rejoice, the Lord is King
The Lord of Hosts and Nations sing ;
Whole Arm hath now your Foes o’erthrown
Ascribe the Praise to God alone,
The Giver of Success proclaim,
And shout your Thanks in Jesus' Name !

'Twas not a feeble Arm of ours
Which chas'd the fierce contending Powers,
Jehovah turn'd the Scale of Fight,
Jehovah quell'd their boasted Might,
And knapp'd their Spears, and broke their Swords,
And showed the Battle is the Lord's !

He beckon'd to the savage Band;
And bade them sweep thro' half the Land,
The savage Band their Terror spread
With Rome and Satan at their Head,
But stopped by His Almighty Breath
Rushed back ——into the Arms of Death.

Thou, Lord, alone has laid them low
In Pieces dashed the invading Foe,
Thy Breath which did their Fury raise,
Hath quench'd at once the sudden Blaze,
Destroy'd the Weapons of thine Ire,
And call the Rods into the Fire.

O that we all might see the Hand
Which still protects a guilty Land,
Glory and Strength ascribe to Thee,
Who gives to Kings the Victory ;
And yield, while yet thy Spirit strives,
And thank Thee with our Hearts and Lives.

O that we might to God rejoice,
And tremble at thy Mercy's Voice,
Nor fondly dream the Danger pass
While yet our own Rebellions last!
O that our Wars with Heaven might cease,
And all receive the Prince of Peace!

Or if, before the Scourge return,
The thankless Crowd disdains to mourn,
Yet, Lord, with reverential Joy,
We vow for Thee our All t' employ,
And bless Thee for the kind Reprieve,
And to our Saviour's Glory live.

Long as thou lengthens out our Days,
We live to testify thy Grace,
Secure beneath thy Mercy's Wings,
We triumph in the King of Kings,
The Giver of Success proclaim,
And shout out Thanks in Jesus' Name!