Charles Wesley and his brother John are well known in the history of the Christian church.
Charles was born prematurely in 1707 and neither cried or opened his eyes. His mother, Susanna, wrapped him tightly in wool until his actual due date. He then opened his eyes and cried! At a young age he and his brother were taken to London to attend Westminster School where at the age of 13, he became a King’s Scholar. After graduating, he enrolled at Oxford.
Neither Charles nor John had received Jesus Christ as Saviour yet. However, they became serious about spiritual things. They began to live the Christian life so methodically that they were dubbed ‘Methodists’ by fellow students. With their studies completed, the brothers volunteered to be missionaries in the new land called America. After a short time, they found their ministry ineffective and themselves in a spiritual crisis. Depressed and disappointed…they returned home.
It was in May 1738 that Charles became aware of his need to accept Jesus Christ by faith and he found himself at peace with God. His head knowledge had now become heart knowledge and his whole life and purpose was influenced. Within two days his journal records that he began to write a hymn. It is uncertain which hymn he had started but most agree that it was, AND CAN IT BE…because of his vivid personal testimony specifically related in the fourth verse.
This wonderful hymn may express each person’s journey to faith too.